Asus P5E3 Premium X48 DDR3 Motherboard

Board Layout & Features

Board Layout & Features
 
On the surface, the P5E3 Premium looks to have exactly the same layout as its elder brother the P5E3 Deluxe (and indeed a lot of the P5* series). However, a little birdie at Asus tells me that there's more to this board than meets the eye, so let's take a closer look.
 
 Asus P5E3 Premium Motherboard Asus P5E3 Premium Motherboard
 
Both the P5E3 Premium and Deluxe follow exactly the same black, orange, red, blue and white colour scheme, with the only recognisable difference between the boards being a change in colour for the Northbridge and Southbridge heatsink covers.
 
As per usual for Asus, the 8-Pin EPS-12v connector is located on the top-left of the board, keeping any cables trailing across the board to a minimum. Over on the right side of the board, the ATX connector sits just below the floppy disk connector and allows for easy routing of the PSU's ATX cable around the top of the motherboard without interfering with the CPU socket area.
 
The board features two PCI slots, three PCI-E x16 slots and one PCI-E x1 slot. In most scenario's you will have access to at least two PCI slots (or one PCI slot and one PCI-E x1 slot) for expansion cards. However when running any kind of Crossfire setup this will be reduced to only one PCI slot.
 
Asus P5E3 Premium I/O Ports Asus P5E3 Premium SATA/PATA
 
In terms of connectivity, the P5E3 Premium is fully loaded. The rear I/O panel features 8-channel audio, six USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, two WiFi antenna jacks and an IEE1394 port. At the bottom of the board you will also find six SATA ports, one legacy PATA port, one IEE1394 header and two USB 2.0 headers.
 
Asus P5E3 Premium Socket Area Asus P5E3 Premium Mosfets & Chokes
 
No expense has been spared on the 8-Phase VRM power circuitry; with Asus opting for low RDS (on) MOSFETs, Ferrite chokes and Japanese made conductive polymer capacitors. All of this should ensure extremely stable and clean voltage being provided to the CPU while also maintaining around 95% efficiency.
 
Clearance around the socket area is also very good despite the close proximity of three aluminium heatsinks. During our testing we were able to use several large CPU coolers including the Sycthe Infinity and various models from OCZ.
 
Asus P5E3 Premium 3-Phase DDR3 Asus P5E3 Premium Overvolt Jumpers
 
While most motherboards (including Asus' high-end ROG series) implement 2-phase power system for the memory modules, the image above-left shows that Asus have gone above and beyond the call of duty by installing a 3-phase solution on the P5E3 Premium. This should provide the DDR3 slots with rock solid, droop-free voltages essential for successful memory overclocks.
 
Over to the right of the DDR3 modules are two jumpers labelled OV_NB and OV_CPU. Disabled by default, these two jumpers open up a whole range of dangerous Northbridge and CPU voltages in the BIOS which would otherwise be hidden. While most users on air/water cooling will more than likely kill their hardware by using these options, the extreme cooling enthusiasts amongst us will probably be grinning from ear to ear.
 
Asus P5E3 Premium Power Asus P5E3 Premium Realtek
 
Just when you thought the power delivery orgy was over, Asus have also implemented a 2-phase system for the X48 Northbridge. While a lot of overclocking issues are often blamed on vdroop of the Memory and CPU, the stability of voltage supplied to the Northbridge often goes hand in hand with the boards ability to reach high FSB's.
 
Also seen in the images above is the Realtek RLT8110SC chip responsible for the on-board gigabit ethernet.
 
Asus P5E3 Premium Express Gate Asus P5E3 premium Southbridge
 
Asus P5E3 Premium Jmicron Asus P5E3 Premium Firewire
 
Sandwiched in between a PCI and PCI-E slot is Asus' latest invention, the "Express Gate". Essentially a USB stick hard wired to the motherboard, the Express Gate features bootable operating system that can be invoked during system startup. Some screen shots of the OS can be found on the next page.
 
As the X48 chipset doesn't provide native support for IDE, Asus have installed a JMicron JMB363 controller. The JMB363 connects to the PCI Express bus and provides support for a single PATA device and two SATA II devices. Similarly, support for IEE1394 (Firewire) is provided via Agere's FW3227 controller.
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Most Recent Comments

08-03-2008, 09:05:07

JN
"Asus gives their popular P5* series a makeover with a spangly new X48 chipset, but how does it hold up against its predecessors?"

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...120101900s.jpg

Asus P5E3 Premium review

08-03-2008, 09:51:54

Luigi
Wow nice overclocking, i read somewhere that x48 is just a die shrink of x38, is that true?

08-03-2008, 10:07:07

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Wow nice overclocking, i read somewhere that x48 is just a die shrink of x38, is that true?
Yeah, IIRC it's a shrink from 90nm to 65nm and obviously has support for 1600mhz FSB. other than that they are pretty much the same.

08-03-2008, 10:11:39

Luigi
yeah, thats pretty good as my x38 gets real toasty, i guess thats what aids overclocking the fact it runs cooler, as 680i boards were awful with stock but under water really rocked most of the time..

Nice review btw i look forward to a proper read later

08-03-2008, 10:20:20

ionicle
looks nice

performs well

asus have been listening to people and implimenting some good ideas into their motherboards it seems...

08-03-2008, 10:24:24

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
yeah, thats pretty good as my x38 gets real toasty, i guess thats what aids overclocking the fact it runs cooler, as 680i boards were awful with stock but under water really rocked most of the time..

Nice review btw i look forward to a proper read later
It does certainly help, and even with the stock Asus aluminium heatsinks/copper heatpipes I didn't find that the NB got hot in the slightest.

Apparently the 790i is a lot cooler than the 680/708i (according to the marketing dudes), but I'll be able to say for sure in a week or so

08-03-2008, 10:29:53

Luigi
Are OC3D getting one in? theyve been on show on cebit, which i spotted one in a hexus article, it looks like a heatsink about the same size as that on 780i, but hopefully your right and it is a lot cooler.

08-03-2008, 10:38:09

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Are OC3D getting one in? theyve been on show on cebit, which i spotted one in a hexus article, it looks like a heatsink about the same size as that on 780i, but hopefully your right and it is a lot cooler.
I've got one here at the moment. Been playing with it for a while but can't say anything really until the 18th when NDA is lifted

It IS better than the 780i tho....

08-03-2008, 10:41:55

Luigi
Well this is what nvidia have been working on am i right? then they realised ppl still wanted ddr2 so mashed up a 680i with the pci-e 2 chip...

08-03-2008, 12:13:29

ionicle
w00t! looking forward to that

i'm guessing you've got the review done, and will post it at 00:01 on the 18'th?

28-04-2008, 09:10:34

w3bbo
I am sorely tempted to get one of these. Either the P5E3 or the DFI x48lt...hmmmm.

Great review once again Jim.

28-04-2008, 10:13:06

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='webbo'
I am sorely tempted to get one of these. Either the P5E3 or the DFI x48lt...hmmmm.
Don't ask me to choose. I'm a sucker for lush motherboards. The P5E3 does have the edge of BIOS options/voltages tho...i'll give it that for sure!

28-04-2008, 13:19:34

Luigi
mm. and not that your subzero, but it has a very good coldbug (as in you can get to -100 i believe before it wont post..)

29-04-2008, 04:33:31

-VK-
It's been booted at -140 degrees C....

For all you LN2 Junkies out there!
Reply
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