Asus P5E-VM HDMI: A microATX C2D board for gamers?

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December 10, 2007 by Lawrence Lee

Product Asus P5E-VM HDMI LGA775 motherboard
Manufacturer ASUSTeK
Street Price US$150?

When you think of micro-ATX mainboards, you think of small, unassuming boards with some basic features, good connectivity options, and little else: something for a simple office or multimedia machine. This notion is being challenged by Asus' latest offering, the P5E-VM HDMI. Aside from its size, it doesn't resemble a mATX board at all. Powered by Intel's latest G35 chipset, it includes features typically found on premium ATX boards including a BIOS with liberal frequency and voltage adjustments, and solid-state capacitors. It has the potential to be the most complete, well-rounded and fully featured mATX board that has ever entered our labs.

The featured-laden Asus P5E-VM HDMI is very promising.

Asus P5E-VM HDMI: Specifications (from the product web page)
CPU LGA775 socket for Intel® Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 Processors
Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A/06 processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU
*This motherboard supports FSB 1333/1066/800
Chipset Intel® G35 / ICH9R with Intel® Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus 1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz
4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR2 800 / 667 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI-E x16
2 x PCI-E x1
1 x PCI
VGA Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3500 integrated
Dual VGA output support: HDMI/DVI-D and RGB
Supports RGB with max. resolution 2048 x [email protected]
Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x [email protected]
Supports DVI with max. resolution 1920 x [email protected]
Maximum shared memory of 384 MB
Supports Microsoft® DirectX® 10, OpenGL® 2.0, Pixel Shader 4.0
*The DirectX® 10 driver will be provided by the chipset vendor later.
Storage Southbridge ICH9R:
- 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10
JMicron® JMB368 PATA and SATA controller
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
LAN Atheros L1 PCI-E Gigabit LAN controllers
PCIe Gb LAN controller
Audio Realtek ALC 883, 8-channel High-Definition Audio CODEC
- Support Jack-dectecting, Enumeration, Multi-streaming
- Coaxial S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
- ASUS Noise Filter
IEEE 1394 VIA VT6308P controller supports 2 x IEEE 1394a ports (one at midboard; one at back panel)
USB 12 x USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
ASUS AI Lifestyle Features ASUS AI Lifestyle Features:
- ASUS Splendid
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution:
- ASUS AI Gear 2
- ASUS Fanless Design
- ASUS Q-Fan 2
ASUS Crystal Sound:
- ASUS Noise Filter
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
Special Features ASUS MyLogo 3
Overclocking Features
Precision Tweaker 2:
- vDRAM: 33-step DRAM voltage control
- vChipset (N.B.): 24-step chipset voltage control
- vFSB: 16-step FSB voltage control
- vCPU PLL: 16-step CPU PLL voltage control
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125V increment
- FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 800MHz at 1MHz increment
- Memory tuning from 533MHz up to 1333MHz
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz up to150MHz at 1MHz increment
Overclocking Protection:
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x S/PDIF Out (Coaxial)
1 x D-sub Port
1 x HDMI/DVI port
1 x IEEE1394a
1 x RJ45 port
6x USB 2.0/1.1
8-channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors 3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
1 x COM connector
6 x SATA connectors
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Chassis Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x IEEE1394a connector
Front panel audio connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Header
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD audio in
24-pin ATX Power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
System Panel(Q-Connector)
BIOS 8 Mb Flash ROM, AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 2.0a, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Accessories UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
FDD cable
3 x Serial ATA cables
3 x Serial ATA power cable
1 x HDMI-to-DVI conversion adapter
I/O Shield
User's manual
3 in 1 Q-connector
Support Disc ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Multi-language MB installation guide
Form Factor uATX Form Factor, 9.6”x 9.6” (24.4cm x 24.4cm)

Going by specifications, the P5E-VM HDMI has just about everything. Off the top of our head we can only think of two things it does not include: eSATA and wireless networking. Asus also boasts a variety of overclocking features, which are almost always limited on mATX parts, so it's a pleasant surprise to see them. Compared to the GMA 3100 found on the G33 chipset, the GMA X3500 has many improvements, including better shader support and DirectX 10 compliance.

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