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While the board that came included with the P3-P5G33 was physically identical
to the Asus P5K-VM, it had a different BIOS than the retail board.
specification page lists adjustable CPU frequency and voltage, and other
tweaks, but the BIOS we encountered was locked down, on par with the Intel
DG33TL we reviewed last year.
Memory timings, voltages, and CPU frequency were all off limits. The board
shipped with BIOS version 0202 and none of the options changed when we updated
to the latest version, 0301. It is very likely you can flash it with a retail
P5K-VM BIOS to unlock its functionality rather than the one provided
on the P3-P5G33 support page.
While we don't recommend overclocking in such a tight case, it would have
been nice to be able to undervolt the CPU to save power and reduce the
FAN CONTROL & MONITORING
As is common for most motherboards, the Asus P5K-VM is equipped with 3 fan
headers, one of which is PWM-capable. The CPU fan header can be controlled manually
with the Speed02 field by going into the Advanced menu and changing PWM mode
2 to "Manual PWM Control" and PWM type 2 to "PWM output."
SpeedFan was able to vary the Intel stock cooler's fan speed from 1000 up to
1900 RPM. Note that one of the 3-pin headers does not report fan speed at all.
Asus' PC Probe application corroborated most of SpeedFan's readings.
The CPU fan speed behavior with the Q-fan feature was not aggressive.
The system was placed horizontally with the auxiliary fan disabled, and
stressed using Prime95. The CPU temperature stabilized eventually well past
60°C, but the fan did not ramp up unless we stopped it for varying lengths
of time. We're not sure if it was reacting to the temperature, or simply overcompensating
because it believed the fan had stopped.
Measurement and Analysis Tools
Intel SpeedStep was enabled and Aero Glass, the Vista Sidebar, and the Superfetch
service were disabled during testing.
Main Test Procedure:
- The P5G33 was tested in various states: off, sleep, idle, during video playback,
and at full load using two instances of Prime95.
- System power consumption was measured at the AC outlet
using a Seasonic Power
- We also examined CPU usage during video playback to see how well the integrated
graphics handled different clips. The testing procedure is outlined on page
6 of our AMD 780g chipset
- The lab's ambient noise level was around 18~20 dBA,
and the ambient temperature was 21°C.
Problems Encountered During Testing
- Idle power consumption was unusually high due to the fact that
SpeedStep was not working. While it reduced the CPU's multiplier when
idle, the voltage remained the same according to CPU-Z.
- We were also unable
to put the system into Sleep mode. When we tried to did so, the fans continued
to spin after the screen blackened and upon reboot, the infamous Asus F1 overclocking
error was reported. We were unable to recover the session that had been suspended.
- PowerDVD would not play our Blu-ray
disc, citing a problem with the Intel display driver. We did manage to get around
it though, by using the latest version of AnyDVD
HD to break the disc's copy protection and reveal the disc's directory
structure. Once we did that, PowerDVD was capable of playing the individual
.m2ts files on the disc (or from the hard drive, once ripped). While many would
prefer to see the movie without the menu, splash screens, etc., it's not the
experience the film studios intended.
Cyberlink's Blu-ray Advisor diagnostic questioned whether compatibility
of the IGP adn display driver.
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