Package and Accessories
Asus P5K mainboard is shipped in a simple box, without any carry-handles, transparent windows or foldable covers.
The supported technologies are listed on the bottom side of the box together with the mainboard photo and brief description of the mainboard features. Everything is pretty common, although the information on the front of the box was a bit surprising. Namely, they claim that Asus provides 75% faster memory speed than any other mainboard maker due to ASUS Super Memspeed Technology proving DDR2 1066 support. It strikes as too big of an advantage to be true, actually. However, there is proof on Asus web-site: they describe their testbed featuring Asus P5K mainboard, GeIL PC2-6400 DDR2-800 (GX21GB6400PDC) memory and Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 engineering sample working with 1333MHz bus and share the test results.
If you check out the results screenshot here, everything becomes clear. Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU worked almost at its nominal frequency of 3GHz, while the memory was pushed to 1372MHz due to the 1:2 divider. This is truly an achievement, far not every memory kit can do that. But don’t let the impressive marketing moves trick you with these high numbers. Our article called PC2-9200 and PC2-10000 SDRAM: Ultra High-Speed Memory from Corsair and OCZ shows very clearly that low-latency memory can perform at a competitive level with high-frequency memory that features relatively high latency. We performed out tests on an Nvidia nForce 680i SLI based mainboard with a CPU running at 266x400MHz FSB. It is possible that the use of Intel P35 Express chipset may speed things up a little bit, but still we should understand that 75% advantage may only be achieved in artificially created conditions, such as slowing down the low-frequency memory or at least preventing it from working at its full power.
From the overclocker standpoint, the reducing memory dividers would have been more interesting than the increasing ones. Low nominal frequency of the memory cannot discourage us: during overclocking it will increase proportionally with the FSB increase. However, weak memory wouldn’t be a limiting factor and it would have been much easier to overclock the CPU in the end. Unfortunately, as we will see in later in the part devoted to BIOS Setup features, Asus P5K mainboard doesn’t have any reducing memory dividers: the minimal one would be the synchronous 1:1.
As for the accessories that come bundled with Asus P5K mainboard, there is nothing unusual about them:
- CD disk with drivers and utilities;
- User’s manual;
- IDE cable;
- FDD cable;
- Two SATA cables and a power splitter for two SATA-devices;
- I/O Shield for the rear panel;
- Q-Connector set for the front panel.
This is the list of additional software on the included CD disk:
- Norton Internet Security 2007 (for Windows Vista);
- Norton Internet Security 2006 (for Windows XP);
- Corel Snapfire 11 SE;
- Intervideo DVD Copy 5 Trial;
- Acrobat Reader;
- DirectX 9.0c.
It is very pleasing that they resumed the good old tradition of including the whole bunch of useful and not very useful software with their products. Over the past few years all we have seen bundled with Asus mainboards were video editing tools and programs.