Motherboards - Published on Sunday, 14 September 2008 20:03 Written by Gustav Gager, Jonas Forsell
ASUS has set us up with its P5Q Deluxe. The card we tested earlier was the DDR3 version (P5Q3). Now it is time for the DDR2 version to show what it can do.
The design differences between the various cards are almost negligible and difference in performance very small. Therefore, motherboard manufacturer push extra hard on the unique functions of their specific motherboards, even ASUS. You can tell that ASUS has been working hard to get that little extra to the customers who pick their cards. Some of the features are clearly interesting for us enthusiasts, while other functions are better suited for the experienced.
Special features was the topic. After throwing a quick glance at the box you get a pretty clear overview of the features Asus wants you to look closer at. First we have a feature Asus calls EPU 6 Engine. EPU (Energy Processing Unit) is a small chip that regulates the voltages in realtime to save power.
Furthermore, we have, what Asus calls "True 16-phase Power." It is the world's first 16 phase voltage regulation on a motherboard. This will provide more stable voltages, higher efficiency and lower temperatures around the CPU socket. This should also be good for overclocking. We have heard from ASUS that this design should be able to squeeze out a current of more than 100A.
ASUS' card has another interesting feature that they call Express Gate. According to the advertisements and text in the box, so you should be able to surf the Web, run MSN, read mail and the like, without Windows or even a harddrive and do this in just 5 seconds from the push of the button. This is possible through a small flash memory that sits on the motherboard and contains its own operating system. You reach it through a splashscreen coming up as soon as you start your computer. You can choose to go into the BIOS, start your regular operating system or start Expressgate. This is done through a graphical menu that supports mouse. Once in Expressgate there are a variety of features, including a graphical user interface for how to set up a RAID. This guide or "GUI", is what ASUS referes to as Drive Xpert. The menu for Expressgate can, of course, be turned off in the BIOS if you want to.
We move on and see what is included in the box.
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