I have to admit that the absence of articles on our site devoted to solutions based on the newest top core logic from Intel – X38 – is a serious omission. Ours labs have been desperately trying to get started on testing these products for over a month now. However, for a number of objective and subjective reasons we have yet failed to release any materials. For example, instead of this article destined to open a series of Intel X38 based mainboard reviews we were supposed to have an Asus P5E3 Deluxe mainboard review that has been sitting in our lab for a few weeks now. But although we have successfully used this board for our Intel Penryn tests (see our article called Second Iteration of Core Micro-Architecture: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 CPU Review), we are not ready yet to offer you a fully fledged review of its features and functionality.
The thing is that the Asus P5E3 Deluxe sample we have available suffers from the whole list of problems emerging during FSB and memory overclocking. Besides, the aggressively promoted Asus Express Gate function doesn’t work on our board at all. We have checked out almost a dozen of different beta BIOS’s by now, but still failed to get our board to run as flawlessly as an Asus product is supposed to. We have just received a new P5E3 Deluxe sample, so we will definitely resume our tests, and hopefully change our impression from working with this solution for the better.
In order to eliminate the unpleasantly long gap in our mainboard reviews we decided to take a close look at a few other solutions based on Intel X38 chipset. Our eyes stopped on another Asus mainboard – the P5E. There are two things that make this products stand out positively against the background of other Intel X38 based solutions. Firstly, it is a relatively inexpensive product that is currently selling for $220, which is not much at all for an Intel X38 board. Secondly, this mainboard works not with the new expensive DDR3 SDRAM, but supports the much wider spread DDR2 memory, even though officially Intel is very reluctant to admit the universality of their chipset memory controller. These peculiarities may make Asus P5E a pretty wide-spread solution, very demanded among computer enthusiasts. In fact there is only one thing missing for Asus P5E to become a very popular product: our absolute confidence that it will be able to offer better performance and overclockability than the impeccable solutions on Intel P35 chipset. Actually, this is exactly what our today’s article is about: search for Asus P5E’s advantages that will position this mainboard above existing alternatives on the mainstream core logic sets.
We would like to start our discussion of this Intel X38 based mainboard with a closer look at the actual chipset.