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Intel P35 Motherboards - Five In The Pit (Page 5)

By: Cameron Johnson from Aug 9, 2007 @ 23:00 CDT
Manufacturer: none


ASUS has been one of the biggest players in the motherboard realm, having boards to cover the low, mid-range and high-end market. The P5K-E comes in as part of the AI Lifestyle motherboard range. The board comes in the black casing seen with the ROG boards and most of ASUS's mid to high-end boards. The front has very little info.

The back has a lot of info on the board and its main features, and yes, there is a full colour photo of the board also shown. One of the biggest features we like to see on the packages is a full colour photo of the board, even better is to have a layout explaining the features as well.

ASUS's package is one of the best when it comes to software and documentation. There are two manuals that come with the board. The black one is for the board itself which explains all of the onboard features, BIOS and what not. The second manual is for the onboard USB wireless controller. Two CD's are also included, the black one comes with the drivers for Windows XP and Vista, and the second comes with a lot of extra goodies that ASUS now bundles with its boards.

The extra accessories aren't all that great with this board. You only get four SATA data cables, two power splitters, one IDE and one FDD cable. For the wireless unit an external antenna is included for reception of the wireless signal.

Now it's to ASUS's board. The PCB is a full ATX sized board on the black pearl design that has been used for their high-end boards. The layout is extremely clean, ASUS usually has one of the cleanest layouts available. The 24-pin power connector and FDD are located behind the memory slots, with the 4/8 pin power connector at the top left of the board behind the PS/2 ports. The IDE and SATA ports are located down near the southbridge.

The CPU layout is a lot clearer than that of the Gigabyte board, it has far less clutter around the CPU. Power to the CPU is given through an 8-phase voltage regulation system which is cooled by a heatsink and heat pipes that also play the role of cooling the northbridge at the same time.

The rear I/O on the ASUS board has changed a bit now. The audio system has two S/PDIF ports, one RCA and one Toslink. ASUS has given us two e.SATA ports on the back thanks to the JMicron chipset. The rest is pretty standard here.

To the slots on the board, ASUS has given a good layout. Two PCI-Express x16 slots are supplied in blue and black. The blue one runs off the northbridge at the full x16 speed, while the black one runs off the southbridge at x4 speed. Two PCI-Express x1 and three PCI slots make up the rest of the expansion slots.

To the additional controller you have a single JMicron chipset which runs the IDE port and the two e.SATA ports. For the Firewire capabilities, a Texas Instruments PCI based firewire chip is used. Lastly, there is a USB based Realtek wireless ontroller built onto the motherboard.

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