Asus P3-P5G33 Barebone Slim PC

Complete|Mobile Systems
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NOISE RECORDINGS IN MP3 FORMAT

The recording begins with 10 seconds of "'silence" to let you hear the ambient sound of the room, followed by 10 seconds of the system with the extra case fan off, and the 10 seconds of the system with the case fan on.

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

This recording was made with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review. The microphone was one meter away from the product.

This recording is intended to let you hear how the reviewed item sounds in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. For best results, set your volume control so that the ambient noise is just barely audible. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

More details about how we make these recordings can be found in our short article: Audio Recording Methods Revised.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The P3-P5G33 would have been a far better product had it not included the problematic P5K-VM motherboard. Initially we disliked it only for its lack of DVI output, but the more we used it, the more ire it raised. EIST and Sleep mode are critical for keeping power consumption down, and Blu-ray is the future of entertainment as far as physical media goes. All three of these features being buggy or broken is unacceptable. We really hope it was simply a bad sample, and the problems we encountered are not common.

The included power supply was surprisingly quiet, and though it's far from an efficient power supply, it isn't completely terrible either. It's hard to criticize it too harshly considering the price of the overall bundle. An 80 Plus unit would have garnered much praise from us. Not only is it better for the environment, it's excellent for marketing.

We give high marks for the case's overall appearance and the tool-less installation scheme. The lack of ventilation is the only drawback. While there are plenty of escape paths for the warm air around the CPU, there are only two small areas on the front panel where cool air can be drawn in. When mounted horizontally, the underside of the case would have been perfect for a few intakes.

Overall, it's difficult to recommend the Asus P3-P5G33. The lack of DVI and HDMI, coupled with problematic Blu-ray playback makes it unsuitable for a home theater PC/extender. The lack of ventilating makes it undesirable for use with Intel's higher-powered chips, and it's too slim to fit a performance heatsink or anything but an entry-level, low-profile graphics card. It would make for a moderately quiet, small form factor, general use system, but beyond that we don't see a situation where it would be our first choice. It's a barebones system that is very easy on the eyes, but this is one case where the book simply doesn't live up to its cover.



PROS

* Aesthetically pleasing
* Fairly quiet power supply
* Ease of installation
* Good high definition playback



CONS

* Lack of ventilation
* Loud case fan
* Lacks DVI & HDMI output
* Bad graphics driver prevents proper Blu-ray playback
* SpeedStep & Sleep don't work
* PSU could be better

Our thanks to Asus for the product sample.

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Asus P5E-VM HDMI: A microATX C2D board for gamers?
Intel DG33TL G33 Express chipset mATX motherboard

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