Intel P35 Bearlake Motherboard And DDR3 Memory – Asus and Corsair

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All this technology, at the chip level, might be interesting but to many of you, we're sure the final product has even more appeal.  In the pages ahead, we'll provide performance data take from a new Asus P35 motherboard, dubbed the P5K3 Deluxe WiFi Edition.  We also have a set of test metrics for comparison, taken on a variant of the board that is built to support legacy DDR2 memory.  First let's look at one of the first motherboards on the market built to support DDR3 memory technology.

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Asus P5K3 Deluxe WiFi Edition

Asus P5K3 Deluxe 
Asus P35, DDR3 Ready 

CPUs Supported
- Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad
- Pentium Extreme / Pentium D / Pentium 4
Chipset:   P35 / ICH9R with Intel Fast Memory Access
System Bus:  1333 / 1066 / 800MHz
Memory:   4 x DIMM, max 8GB, DDR3 1333/1066/800MHz
Expansion Slots:   2 x PCI-E X16 (one X16 and one X4/X1 mode), 2xPCI-E X1, 3xPCI 2.2
Storage/Southbridge:   6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s ports, Intel Matrix RAID 0,1,5,10
Storage/JMicron:   1xUDMA133, 2xExternal SATA 3.0Gb/s - RAID 0,1
LAN:   Dual Gigabit LAN - Marvell 88E8056 PCI-E, Realtek RTL8187 PCI
Wireless LAN:  Asus WiFi-AP Solo - 54Mbps IEE802.11g
Audio:    ADI AD1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
USB:   10 x USB 2.0, 4 ports internal, 6 ports IO back panel
Firewire:   Agere FW322 1394a, 2 x IEEE 1394a, 1 internal, 1 back panel
 

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The P5K3 Deluxe is decked out in typical Asus flare.  Copper heat-pipes surround its socket area, providing passive cooling supported by optional clip-on turbine fans, for its Northbridge and a CPU power array.  The ICH9R Southbridge heatsink is also tapped into the cooling pipe assembly as well.  Asus brought out all six SATA ports from the ICH9R and even added an additional standard PATA port for optical drives, along with two external eSATA ports on the IO back-plate, courtesy of an additional JMicron controller.  Additionally, Asus saw fit to bring out six USB2.0 port on the back panel, a welcomed addition for sure, doing away with an ancient PS2 mouse port.  Also, as its full name suggests, the version of the board we tested came with Asus' integrated 54g WiFi NIC that can also turn your system into a WiFi Access Point.  This is an option on the P5K3 Deluxe series of boards and Asus will offer models without it as well.

In terms of slot configurations, this motherboard comes equipped with a pair of X16 PCI Express slots but don't let that fool you.  The second black colored slot is only enabled with a X4 PCI Express connection.  This is due to the fact that the P35 chipset only has 22 lanes of PCI Expres connectivity.  We will take one small issue with the PCB layout approach Asus took with this motherboard.  Move that clear CMOS jumper out from under the first PEG slot area, please.  Having to pull a graphics card to hard reset the CMOS is simply a drag.

Other than that small sniggle, the board really flies and is heavily geared to the tweaker and overclocker.  Since this is more of a platform showcase than anything else, we don't have our usual array of BIOS screen shots.  However, suffice it to say that you can tweak bus and memory speeds, latency settings, voltages, etc, to your hearts content and with lots of stability.  We'll get to our own overclocking efforts and results later on.

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