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PACKAGING & LAYOUT
The packaging is extravagantly glossy but a standard size. There are many accessories within.
The P5E-VM HDMI box shines like a freshly waxed sports car.
The package contents: Included among the standard accessories are
a HDMI to DVI adapter and a three block set of Q-connectors, which makes
hooking up a case's front panel, USB, and FireWire connections easy as
From the side. Clearance around the socket is excellent.
Overall, the P5E-VM HDMI is a beautiful looking board and it carries with itself
with a swagger that you just don't see in mATX boards. The use of copper (or copper-colored)
chipset heatsinks gives it a look of regality. The layout is efficient. Power and drive connectors are all on the edges, reducing clutter.
The use of short solid-state capacitors not only improves the reliability and
lifespan of the board, but also helps make the overall appearance cleaner and
more sophisticated. There is a 4-pin fan header in the top right corner labeled
CPU_FAN and two additional 3-pin headers are located between the northbridge
and the USB ports the higher one is dubbed CHA_FAN1 (even though there
is no CHA_FAN2) and the one below it PWR_FAN.
Generally systems that support two case fans will have one in the front and
one in the rear, so it would have been better for one of these headers to be
located on the right side for better accessibility. In addition, the PWR_FAN
header won't accommodate a 4-pin fan as there is a capacitor directly above
it. Our only other concern is the placement of the CMOS jumper it is
hidden away between the front panel connectors and the SATA ports. Inside the
majority of cases, the bottom of the board will almost touch the floor, making
this spot incredibly difficult to get to once it's been installed. There is
also a strange component just above the first PCI-E 1x slot perpendicular to
the rest of the board with two sets of pins soldered to the bard. In the manual
they are designated "ASM_2" and "ASM_1" no further
explanation is given.
A closer look at the chipset heatsinks. The northbridge heatsink stands
The northbridge heatsink is very long with lots of surface area, and plenty
of distance between the fins. The southbridge heatsink is similar but with an
odd tunnel design in the middle that serves little purpose unless air is directed
through it. Though it could use some improvement, it's still far better than
the standard black Asus southbridge cooler utilized over the years. Both heatsinks
are attached to the board with push-pins.
The back panel offers both VGA and HDMI connections (DVI can be used via the
included HDMI to DVI adapter), as well as analog and digital coaxial audio.
Both video outputs can be used simultaneously.
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