ASUS P5Q Premium Reviewajmatson - September 21, 2008
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ASUS has added some really special features that makes the P5Q Premium stand out among the competition. These features add power saving features and operating enhancements. I am going to take a close look at them so that you can see how far they went in making this motherboard.
ASUS 6-Engine EPU:
The newest thing among motherboard manufacturers is now designing boards to be more energy efficient and to be "green," which means they are better for the environment by not wasting resources such as electricity. To combat this waste of energy ASUS has designed the 6-Engine EPU. This is designed with an EPU chip on the board combined with the 6-Engine software which interact together to lower energy consumption and waste while reducing CO2 emissions. Dubbed the "Complete System Power Saving Solution" the EPU engine allows you to choose operating levels based on your computing needs while doing your part for the environment.
The options available for the 6-Engine system are Auto, Turbo (where everything is maxed out for speed and lttle energy conservation), High Performance (which is similar to the turbo mode with a little emphasis on power features), Medium (which adds more energy saving settings and a little sacrifice on the performance) and finally the Maximum Power Saving mode (which throttles down the system and voltages to reduce energy consumption at the price of performance loss).
To test the EPU 6-Engine I let the system sit idle for 30 minutes in High Performance mode and recorded the data. Then I switched it to Maximum Power Saving mode and recorded the data there. There was a difference of about 2.3 watts between the performance mode and power saving mode, which is a start but how well would it work under full load?
Again, I placed a full load on the system running programs and benchmarks for a bit to show the computer under pressure. Again, I recorded the data this time in Auto mode and Max Power Saving mode to see how well the system compensated for performance and energy. This time there was about a ten watt difference just for those few minutes of testing. Take those ten watts over a period of time and you are doing your part to be "green."
So what does this mean for your system as a whole? To figure that out I repeated the idle and load tests and measured the total wattage of the system for each setting while at idle and at loads.
ASUS Express Gate SSD:
The Express Gate SSD is a stripped down operating system based off of Linux that allows you to complete several tasks without booting into the main operating system on the hard disk. You can boot into the Express Gate SSD in about five seconds and get on the Internet without having to start up the computer and wait for Windows to load. In addition to the Internet you can also view photos on your drives, chat on instant messenger or talk on Skype.
Enhanced Security Features:
ASUS has included the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) to help secure your system from prying eyes or having your data stolen. The TPM included is from Infineon and the module allows you to store your passwords and encrypt your data on your hard drives so that it cannot be read without your access keys and the TPM installed on the computer trying to read the data. Also, the BIOS must support the TPM for all of this to work in the first place. Sort of like a three step process of securing your information. Once activated in the BIOS you have to install the TPM software by Infineon and away you go with your secure data and encrypted passwords.