Asus P5Q-EM G45 mATX motherboard

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A board's layout is important in several regards. The positioning of components can dictate compatibility with other products (third party heatsinks mainly) and also ease of installation. Poorly placed power connectors can also disrupt airflow and thus make the system more thermally challenging.


The PCB layout is pretty clean with all the major power and interface connectors on the edges. The CPU socket is clear of any obstructions and is a fair distance away from the top edge of the board, making it a prime candidate for third party cooling. The board has 6 SATA ports, a single IDE channel, a floppy connector, and 3 fan headers.

At an angle.

The most notable feature are the chipset heatsinks as their bright blue color and angled-fins stand out from the black PCB. The northbridge cooler is surprisingly modest, extending only 26mm up from the PCB surface. There is no cooling provided for the VRMs, but all the boards' capacitors are of the solid-state variety.

Back panel.

The rear I/O panel is well stocked with HDMI, DVI and S/PDIF ports, allowing for digital video and audio connectivity. There is also a FireWire port and eSATA is available via an included adapter bracket.

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