Asus P5Q-EM G45 mATX motherboard

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FINAL THOUGHTS

We found G35 chipset Asus P5E-VM HDMI to be an excellent motherboard with a quality, feature rich design. The P5Q-EM is essentially the same board, advanced one chipset generation. The two boards come with similar feature sets and even the layout is nearly identical. The chipset, heatsinks, and the inclusion of an eSATA adapter bracket are essentially the only changes from the P5E-VM to the P5Q-EM.

The X4500 IGP handles video playback with ease and efficiency. Even with a Core 2 Duo underclocked to only 1.2Ghz, it manages to get through our video test suite gracefully. Its 3D performance, like previous Intel incarnations, is severely lacking. It's not much of an improvement over X3500. However, given that the pricing of the P5Q-EM and P5E-VM are similar, there is no reason not to go with the newer model.

The Asus Fan Xpert utility deserves praise. It's one of the best fan control systems we've seen on any motherboard. It works precisely as intended, which makes it exceptional. With PWM fans becoming commonplace, a utility like Fan Xpert makes the task of fine-tuning for the best balance of quiet and cooling a breeze.

The power consumption of the board is substantially higher than the Intel mini-ITX G45 board, the DG45FC. That little G45 board reached record low idle power for an Intel board in our lab — a full 10W less than the G35 motherboards we tested. In contrast, the P5Q-EM delivers almost no improvement over the P5E-VM HDMI, so it's obvious that the G45 chipset wasn't the reason for the mITX DG45FC's power draw, but rather, the absence of other devices that draw power on bigger boards. Still, we have a step improvement in performance without paying for it with greater power consumption. The Asus P5Q-EM is a fine socket 775 mATX board suitable for just about any role short of extreme multi-videocard gaming.

PROS

* Efficient video playback
* Undervolts well
* Feature-set, connectivity
* Chipsets/VRMs runs cool
CONS

* Price
* Limited 3D performance

Our thanks to ASUSTeK for the Asus P5Q-EM sample.

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