Articles: Mainboards

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Taking into account that P45 will become the major mainstream chipset for LGA775 platform for at least a year from now, the mainboard manufacturers hurried to release several solutions on it with different features that would target different price segments. ASUS was no exception here. At this time they offer 9 mainboards on this chipset. Among them are: a Republic of Gamers mainboard, seven models supporting DDR2 SDRAM and our today’s hero - P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP @n designed to work with the today’s newest and fastest DDR3 SDRAM.

Besides DDR3 SDRAM support, this mainboard boasts the richest set of features in the entire P5Q family, including even the 802.11n wireless network support. The complete list of ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP @n specifications looks as follows:

Strange as it might seem, but the features of the new ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe has very little in common with the chipset characteristics. First of all, ASUS doesn’t hide the fact that this mainboard supports processors with 1600MHz bus and DDR3-2000 memory, although Intel never promised anything like that. However, there is nothing surprising about it: all contemporary mainboards from the leading vendors do indeed work with all contemporary Intel CPUs, which we have already proven multiple times. ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe is no exception, so you don’t need to worry that it will be incompatible with any of the currently existing Intel CPUs.

Another remarkable thing is three PCI Express x16 slots. However, don’t expect any wonders here: if you use two graphics cards, the first two slots will share 16 PCI Express 2.0 lanes. The third PCI Express x16 slot supports PCI Express x4 logical interface and is connected to the chipset South Bridge.

ASUS engineers equipped their P5Q3 Deluxe mainboard with a ton of additional controllers expanding the functionality of ICH10R South Bridge. They seem to have paid most attention to ATA and networking devices support.

Besides the standard 6 SATA ports provided by the chipset South Bridge and supporting RAID, NCQ and 3Gbps data transfer rate they put in two additional SATA ports implemented via Silicon Image SiI5723 controller. ASUS even announced that their mainboard supported Drive Xpert technology that allows using this controller without installing any drivers for it. However, this was also not enough, so they put in another ATA controller – Marvell 88SE6121. It implements Parallel ATA interface and eSATA port.

As for the networking features, the board has a few Gigabit ports provided by Marvell controllers and an additional WiFi USB adapter laid out on a special daughter card. It is based on Ralink 2700UD chip and supports the latest 802.11n wireless standard.

Networking and ATA controllers are not the only additional controllers on ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe. There is also an LSI chip bringing in a couple of Firewire ports and an eight-channel Analog Devices AD2000B codec that is very similar to AD1988B, typical of most ASUS mainboards.

ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe has one more unique feature: integrated Express Gate flash disk:

This SSD contains a “light” Linux-based operating system aka Splashtop. It can be loaded on system boot-up replacing the traditional OS on your hard drive. It takes not more than 5 seconds to activate, however together with preinstalled applications it gives the ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe user access to internet browser, picture gallery manager, IM or Skype client.

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