Asus P5E3 Premium: A Mean, Green Motherboard?

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Asus P5E3 Premium: A Mean, Green Motherboard?

August 17, 2008 by Lawrence Lee

Product Asus P5E3 Premium/WiFi-AP
Intel LGA775 motherboard
Manufacturer ASUSTeK
Street Price US$360~430

The Asus P5E3 Premium is Asus' flagship Intel motherboard and sells for around $400, which is enough to buy a whole computer system these days, albeit an economy model. Despite the ultra-high cost, PC gamers and enthusiasts drool over such products. Asus has thrown everything they have up their sleeves in making the P5E3 Premium the ultimate motherboard. The board is powered by Intel's X48 chipset, featuring PCI-E 2.0, CrossfireX capability and ultra-fast DDR3 memory support. It also has plenty of practical features including FireWire, gigabit ethernet, high definition audio, wireless draft-N, and versatile RAID options. In this board's endless feature list is something Asus calls EPU.


The P5E3 Premium ships in a sleak black box with a plastic handle.

EPU (aka Energy Processing Unit) is a built in IC controller that Asus claims can create up to 80.23% in CPU power savings. It accomplishes this by adjusting the CPU's power phases from 8 to 4 during low load, allowing for higher VRM efficiency. This chip was the center of a controversy between Asus and Gigabyte earlier this year after Gigabyte not only claimed their DES (Dynamic Energy Saver) technology was superior, but also made some disparaging remarks regarding Asus' claims. DES, as the name suggests, is more dynamic in nature, adjusting the power phases variably rather than just having two states. After several back-and-forths and the threat of a lawsuit, Gigabyte issued an apology in July, though still insisting DES is the better technology.


8-phase power is lowered to 4-phase during light load by the EPU chip, resulting in greater VRM efficiency.


Asus P5E3 Premium/WiFi-AP Specifications (from the product web page)
CPU
Intel Socket 775 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 CPU
Chipset X48
Intel ICH9R
Intel Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus
1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
Memory 4 x DIMM, 8 GB, DDR3 1800*/2000*/1600/1333/1066/800 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

* Overclocking speed
** For the X.M.P. support, CPUs with FSB 1333 or above are recommended.
*** Refer to www.asus.com or this user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors List).
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe x16 (blue @PCIe2.0 x16 mode, black @PCIe x4 or x1 mode) supports CrossFire Technology
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI
Storage Southbridge
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports Support RAID 0,1,5,10 Intel Matrix Storage Technology

JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
2 x 1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
Support RAID 0,1,JBOD
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllersMarvell 88E8056® PCIe Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2

Realtek RTL8110SC® PCI Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
Wireless LAN
ASUS WiFi-AP @n
- 300Mbps* IEEE 802.11n (Draft) and backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g / b
- Software Access Point mode

*300Mbps is IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Actual throughput will vary depending on the wireless environment and other parameters
Audio
ADI® AD1988B 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
AI Audio 2
Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
Support Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming
IEEE 1394
2 Agere® L-FW3227 1394a controller supports x 1394a ports (one at midboard; one at back panel)
USB
10 USB 2.0 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
ASUS AI Lifestyle ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Pure Copper Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Stack Cool 2
- ASUS Q-Fan 2
- ASUS Optional Fan for Water-cooling or Passive-Cooling only ASUS Power Saving Solution
- ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit)
- ASUS 3rd Generation 8-phase Power
- ASUS AI Nap

ASUS AI Lifestyle
- ASUS AI Direct Link
- ASUS Express Gate
- ASUS WiFi-AP @n

ASUS Crystal Sound
- ASUS Noise Filter
- ASUS AI Audio 2

ASUS EZ DIY
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS AI Slot Detector
Overclocking Features
Intelligent overclocking tools
- ASUS AI Booster Utility

Precision Tweaker
- vChipset (N.B.): 49-step voltage control
- vDIMM: 25-step DRAM voltage control 65 -step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.0125V increment 0.00625V - vFSB Termination: 16-step reference voltage control
- vCPU PLL: 65-step CPU PLL voltage control

SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 800MHz 1MHz increment
Memory tuning from 800MHz up to 3200MHz
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz 150MHz at 1MHz

Overclocking Protection
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features
Multi-language BIOS
ASUS MyLogo 3
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
2 x External SATA
1 x S/PDIF Out
1 x IEEE 1394a
2 x RJ45 port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
8 Channel Audio I/O
2 x WiFi-AP @n antenna jack
Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB connectors support additional 4 USB ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
6 x SATA connectors
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Chassis Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x COM connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
2 x4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
Power connector
24 Front panel audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD/AUX audio in
System Panel
BIOS
16 Mb Flash ROM
Award BIOS
PnP
DMI 2.0
WfM 2.0
SM BIOS 2.3
ACPI 2.0a
Multi-language BIOS
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Manageability
PXE WfM 2.0,DMI 2.0,WOL by PME,WOR by PME
Accessories
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
FDD cable
6 x Serial ATA cables
1 x 2-port Serial ATA power cable
ASUS Q-Shield
User's manual
ASUS WiFi-AP @n manual
3 in 1 Q-connector
1 x 2-port USB2.0 / 1-port IEEE1394 module
2 x Optional Fan for Water-Cooling or Passive-Cooling only
ASUS WiFi-AP @n omni-directional antenna
Support CD
ASUS WiFi-AP @n Wizard
Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS AI Suite
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Update
Image-Editing Suite
Form Factor

ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch (30.5 cm x 24.4 cm)



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