Asus P5E3 Premium X48 DDR3 Motherboard

Introduction & Specifications

Introduction & Specification
Asus P5E3 Premium
Back in December '07 Overclock3D took a look at Asus' P5E3 Deluxe motherboard. Based around Intel's X38 chipset and with  DDR3 support, the board managed to impress us with it's great performance and excellent bundle. Therefore, when Asus contacted us a few weeks back and asked if we'd be interested in reviewing the P5E3 Premium, the first question to blurt out of our mouths was "Haven't we already done that?"
However, after a lot of explaining, Asus finally convinced us that there was a lot more to  the P5E3 Premium than a few minor changes to the motherboard and some extra accessories thrown in the box. For a start it was furnished with Intel's very latest X48 chipset and had some other nifty modifications to help increase its overclocking performance.
Obviously the X48 chipset is what a lot of enthusiasts have been waiting for. After all it was probably only a couple of weeks after the X38 was released that the X48 was announced, leaving a lot of people wondering if they should wait out a bit longer to get an extra ten X's on their future motherboard.
So, what does the X48 actually offer? Well the general consensus is that the X48 is just an X38 chipset speed-binned for use with the latest Intel CPU's that use a 1600mhz FSB. While this certainly holds a lot of truth, the X48 does bring a couple of new tricks to the table - mainly in the memory department. So let's quit the small talk and take a look at the specs of the board:
Intel Socket 775 Core™2 Quad/Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Duo/Pentium® Extreme/Pentium® D/Pentium® 4 Processors
Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A/06 processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm CPU

Intel X48
Intel ICH9R
Intel Fast Memory Access Technology

Front Side Bus
1600/1333/1066/800 MHz

4 x DIMM, Max. 8 GB, DDR3 1800*/2000*/1600/1333/1066/800 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* Overclocking speed
** For the X.M.P. support, CPUs with FSB 1333 or above are recommended.

Expansion Slots
3 x PCIe x16 (blue @PCIe2.0 x16 mode, black @PCIe x4 or x1 mode) supports CrossFire Technology
1 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI

6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports Support RAID Intel Matrix Storage Technology 0,1,5,10
JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
2 xExternal SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
Support RAID 0,1,JBOD

Dual Gigabit LAN controllers
Marvell 88E8056® PCIe Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
Realtek RTL8110SC® PCI Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2

Wireless LAN
- 300Mbps* IEEE 802.11n (Draft) and backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g / b
- Software Access Point mode
*300Mbps is IEEE 802.11n draft specification. Actual throughput will vary depending on the wireless environment and other parameters

ADI® AD1988B 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
Support Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming
AI Audio 2

IEEE 1394
Agere® L-FW3227 1394a controller supports 2 x 1394a ports (one at midboard; one at back panel)
10 USB 2.0 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 6ports at back panel)

ASUS AI Lifestyle Features
ASUS Power Saving Solution
- ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit)
- ASUS 3rd Generation 8-phase Power
ASUS AI Lifestyle
- ASUS Express Gate
- ASUS WiFi-AP @n
- ASUS AI Direct Link
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Pure Copper Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS Fanless Design: Stack Cool 2
- ASUS Q-Fan 2
- ASUS Optional Fan for Water-cooling or Passive-Cooling only
ASUS Crystal Sound
- ASUS Noise Filter
- ASUS AI Audio 2
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS AI Slot Detector

Overclocking Features
Intelligent overclocking tools
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
Precision Tweaker 2
- vDIMM: 65 -step DRAM voltage control
- vCore: Adjustable CPU voltage at 0.00625V increment
- vChipset (N.B.): 49-step voltage control
- vFSB Termination: 16-step reference voltage control
- vCPU PLL: 65-step CPU PLL voltage control
SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection)
- FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 800MHz 1MHz increment
- Memory tuning from 800MHz up to 3200MHz
- PCI Express frequency tuning from 100MHz 150MHz at 1MHz
Overclocking Protection
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Back Panel I/O Ports

1 x PS/2 Keyboard
2 x External SATA
1 x S/PDIF Out
1 x IEEE 1394a
2 x LAN(RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
8 -Channel Audio I/O
2 x WiFi-AP @n antenna jack

Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB connectors support additional 4 USB ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
6 x SATA connectors
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
1 x Chassis Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x COM connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
2 x4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
24 -pin ATX Power connector
Front panel audio connector
Chassis Intrusion connector
CD/AUX audio in
System Panel Connector
Asus are well known for packing their motherboards full of features, and with a specs list longer than a roll of Andrex the P5E3 Premium certainly isn't any different.
FSB 1600Starting with CPU and Memory support, the P5E3 supports all current LGA775 Intel chips along with the most recent 1600FSB 45nm parts. However, while the X48 chipset only natively supports DDR3-1600 memory, Asus have ramped up the unofficial support on the board to DDR3-2000 (memory permitting of course).
EPUNext up on the list is Asus' "little bit for the environment" - the Energy Processing Unit (or EPU for short). The EPU is an onboard, hardware-based power saving IC controller that digitally monitors and fine tunes your CPU's power supply in real-time, providing improved VRM efficiency under light and heavy loads. According to Asus, this can provide up to 58.6% CPU power savings - but only when Intel's on-chip energy saving "C1E" technology is disabled.
WiFiJust like on the previously reviewed P5E3 Deluxe, the P5E3 Premium also supports the latest 802.11n WiFi technology while also keeping backward compatibility for the older (and more widely used) 802.11g standard. Asus have also included two WiFi antenna's in the box -but we'll get on to that over the next few pages.
Now that we've got some of the lesser interesting features out of the way, let's move on and take a look the contents of the box, and more importantly - the board itself...
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Most Recent Comments

08-03-2008, 09:51:54

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

08-03-2008, 10:07:07

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.Quote

08-03-2008, 10:11:39

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 laterQuote

08-03-2008, 10:20:20

looks nice

performs well

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

08-03-2008, 10:24:24

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 Quote

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