ASUS P5K Premium Motherboard Reviewccokeman -
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What did I learn from the Asus P5K Premium? I found it to be a well laid out package that performs at a high level. In the benchmarking section of the review, the Asus offering consistently finished on top of the other manufacturer's options. Was this expected? Not really! Many of the P35 chipset boards I have tested performed within a margin of error at stock speeds and settings. Even though I could not get the installed hardware to perform at its maximum potential for Prime 95 testing, I was able to run at a higher speed on the processor for the benchmarking portion of this review. 500 FSB on the CPU and 600 FSB on the memory is nothing to sneeze at, especially when the setup is air cooled. To accomplish that feat required much less voltage to the CPU core than on any of the previous motherboards I have tested. Is this because Asus has gotten rid of the voltage issue that plagues almost all of the Intel offerings on the market? With the voltage dampener option in the BIOS, the droop is significantly reduced. In this review I noticed only a .02 volt difference between the BIOS setting and the reading shown by Asus Probe. Normally I have seen .05 or worse from some of the other high end boards out today.
A couple of the cool things that come with the accessories are the blower fans for the PWM heatsinks. They really are not able to be used with large aftermarket heatsinks, but if water cooling or smaller heatsinks are in your future, I can see the value in installing these. Using a Tuniq Tower for cooling the CPU made the use of these fans impossible for this review. The Q-Connectors make life a lot easier when wiring up the front panel connections, as well as the USB connections. No more using a pair of needle nose pliers and a magnifying glass to make sure the wires get in to their intended pins on the board. Now make the connection where you can see it and push the Q-Connector onto the header and it's done. While not the cheapest motherboard on the market, it is reasonably priced when you consider the performance that can be had when pushing your hardware. If you are in the market for a new board, keep this one on your short list. You won't go wrong!
- Ease of Overclocking
- Quality Parts Usage
- Voltage Options
- Memory Performance
- CPU Voltage Dampener
- Additional Cooling for PWM Heatsinks Included
- Q Connectors (Makes Life Easy for Those With Big Hands)