The Intel P35 chipset may no longer be the top of the line, but it is still quite a competent chipset for users looking to build a system for a variety of uses. Whether it is for a desktop workstation, media center, or an overclocked gaming powerhouse, the capabilities and variety of configurations make the P35 quite an appealing solution. Even if you only consider ASUS
brand motherboards, there are presently about a dozen P35 motherboards to choose from, each with its own special twist designed to appeal to different users.
The motherboard provided for this review is the ASUS P5K PRO, an Intel P35 based motherboard set apart from the others by its 'green' energy saving design, and by what ASUS touts as "deluxe series features, mainstream price". Two key components to the energy saving design of this motherboard are ASUS' EPU (Energy Processing Unit) and their 3rd generation 8-phase power design. EPU digitally monitors the system and regulates the power supplied to correspond to high or low demand. During the review we will attempt to gauge ASUS' claims that it can increase efficiency by 50%, and that energy savings can be as high as 80.23% with this technology.
Instead of posting the complete list of features and specifications for the P5K PRO, please visit the following pages on the ASUS website for the most up-to-date features
. While we won't cover everything, here are some of the key items to consider regarding this motherboard:
» Supported Processors (LGA775): Intel Core2 Quad, Core2 Extreme, Core2 Duo, Pentium Extreme, Pentium D, Pentium 4 Processors
» Front Side Bus: 1333, 1066, 800 MHz
» Memory Standard: DDR2 1066, 800, 667 MHz
» Number of Memory Slots: 4
» Maximum Memory Supported: 8GB
» Expansion Slots:
» 2 x PCIe x16 (blue @ x16 mode, black @ x4 or x1 mode) supports CrossFire Technology
» 2 x PCIe x1
» 2 x PCI
» 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports (supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10)
» 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
» 12 x USB 2.0 ports (six at midboard, six at back panel)
» 2 x IEEE 1394a ports (one at midboard, one at back panel)
» 100% high-quality conductive polymer capacitors
The shiny blue box that the P5K PRO motherboard is sold in is shown below. On the front you get a few bits of information on features and specifications, as well as yet another impressive claim regarding power savings. We have already seen 50% and 80.23%, and here we are told that CPU power savings can reach 58.6% thanks to EPU.
The back of the box goes into more details on some of the board's key selling points, but the bulk of the information is regarding the 'green' goodies; EPU and the 8-phase power design.