ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n

Environmentally aware, but also speedy

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 3
ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n
  • ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n
  • ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n
  • ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n

Pros

  • Reliable performer, can be easily underclocked to save energy, plenty of connectivity (including eSATA), 802.11n Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Splashtop doesn't really fit in with this board's overall image, but it's useful for getting online in a matter of seconds without booting into Windows

Bottom Line

There's plenty of features to explore on this board, and it's also a good performer. We like its 'six engine' utility, which allows you to easily underclock the board in order to save power, yet also to put it into turbo mode and get a little extra out of your CPU.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)
  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

  • HS-101 Deep Impact Bass Crystal Clear Voice Not... 25.99
  • HS-101 PC Headset With Deep Impact Bass 26.49
  • N900 Black Diamond (Avail: In Stock) 181.20
See all prices

There's much to like about the P5Q3 Deluxe, which is a motherboard that makes use of Intel's P45 chipset. It's a fully-featured board that's perfect for a mid-level or high-end system, but it runs DDR3 memory, which means you probably won't be able to use your existing RAM if you're planning an upgrade. However, DDR3 isn't too expensive these days.

The Intel P45 chipset gives this board the ability to run at front-side bus speeds up to 1600MHz, and it offers up to 32 PCI Express lanes. With three full-sized PCI Express slots (one x16 and two x8 slots) the board can be used for a CrossFire graphics configuration. The P45 is paired with Intel's I/O Controller Hub 10, which supplies the P5Q3 Deluxe with two more PCI Express x1 slots, two PCI slots, as well as six Serial ATA ports and 10 USB 2.0 ports.

We ran it with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 CPU, 2GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM, an ATI Radeon HD 2600XT graphics card and a Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drive. Set up proved to be a little tedious using the supplied CD-ROM and 'install all' option, as the CD is bootable; this meant we had to tell the BIOS not to boot from the CD-ROM. But once we were up and running, the board ran smoothly at the native speed of our CPU (3GHz) and even handled a bit of overclocking (up to 3.4GHz).

Using WorldBench 6, the board didn't crash at all while running the CPU at 3.4GHz; this overclocking improved its scores in the Photoshop and WinZip tests by 27sec and 22sec, respectively. In the Blender 3D test, a four-threaded 3-D rendering job took 32sec to complete at 3GHz and 28sec at 3.4GHz. These were expected results. The only test it couldn't run while overclocked was 3DMark06. Nevertheless, at 3GHz, 3DMark06 returned a fast score of 5217.

To overclock the board, we upped its front-side speed and the clock multiplier. You can also select the latency (referred to as the strap setting) of the chipset, depending on the front-side bus speed you choose. These are set values of 200, 266, 333 and 400, but there is also an auto setting. In our tests, we used a front-side bus speed of 340MHz and a clock multiplier of 10, as well as a strap setting of 400.

But as well as being able to supply fast bus speeds for your system, the P5Q3 Deluxe has also got one foot firmly planted in environmental consciousness. This is by way of its eco-friendly 'six engine' utility, which can save power by running the CPU and other system components at a rate below their default.

The 'six engine' utility runs in the background; its maximum power-saving setting reduces power consumption by up to 35 per cent compared to the default 'high' setting. Of course, this also means that performance is hindered, as the CPU is underclocked by 10 per cent. We measured this performance using Blender 3D to render a four-threaded job. At the 'high' setting, this took 34sec and our system consumed a maximum of 138W. At the 'max power saver' setting, the same job took 53sec and consumed a maximum of 102W.

Funnily enough, the 'six engine' utility also has a 'turbo' setting, which overclocks the CPU automatically by five per cent. It consumed about one Watt more than the 'high' setting and ran the Blender test in 30sec. If you don't want to get your hands dirty in the BIOS, this is a nice way to get some extra performance out of your CPU.

Another interesting feature of the board is its Splashtop interface, which is a Linux-based operating system that sits on a flash chip. You don't even need a hard drive to be connected to your PC in order to boot into Splashtop. Its inclusion on a board such as this one fits in with the overall theme of saving power; it's only really useful for when you just want to boot up your PC to browse the Web.

You can connect to a network without even purchasing any extra adapters, too, as the board ships with a built-in 802.11n wireless adapter. It picked up our wireless network without much fuss, and it even has a dual-antenna setup.

Other connectivity features include two Gigabit Ethernet ports (by way of Marvell controllers), 10 USB 2.0 ports, eight SATA ports (six via the P45 chipset and two via a Silicon Image controller), an External SATA port, an ADI AD2000B audio chip, and two FireWire ports.

The chipset's heat sink didn't get very warm during our tests (not nearly as warm as the nForce 750i SLI FTW ), and its copper piping and fins looks nice. We like the upright SATA ports, although two are also at right-angles — it's the best of both worlds really — and there are also dedicated buttons on the board for power and reset functions.

All up, this board is a great piece of work by ASUS. There is plenty to tinker with, and using its 'six engine' utility you can squeeze more power out of it reliably without getting your hands dirtied by the BIOS.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?