Asus P5Q-EM G45 mATX motherboard

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With very effective third party heatsinks on the market, and many low power CPUs available, overclocking can improve performance without compromising the noise level of a silent PC.

A simple overclocking investigation was conducted with the CPU multiplier set to 6x and RAM to its lowest speed with an extra 0.3V. The CPU frequency was increased in increments of 5Mhz/10Mhz until the system failed a 5 minute run of Prime95 with ATITool 3DView running simultaneously or failed to boot or showed other signs of instability. We then maximized the multiplier and increased the CPU voltage to a stable level for our final overclock.

2.97Ghz: the maximum overclock on the P5Q-EM.

The highest stable FSB we achieved was 330Mhz for a maximum overclock of 2.97Ghz, or 24% above stock. At 335Mhz and above, ATITool would crash, indicating a problem with the IGP. Note that this result was obtained without adjusting the northbridge or other voltages, so it's possible the P5Q-EM can overclock further. These are simply the out-of-the-box results.


To test the cooling on the board, we lowered the CPU cooling fan's voltage to 6V to reduce the amount of top-down airflow the nearby components received. We then stressed the system with Prime95 and ATITool and whipped our our handy IR thermometer to check the results.

After about 20 minutes of load, the hottest point on the northbridge heatsink registered 58°C, while the southbridge heatsink read 47°C. The hottest MOSFETs around the CPU socket did not exceed 60°C — most of them were well below that. These results are quite good compared to previous boards, and especially surprsing given the size of the northbridge cooler, and the lack of VRM cooling.

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