Conclusions and Final ThoughtsFeatures
The Asus P5E3 Deluxe motherboard based on Intel’s X38 chipset is a shining example of how motherboard vendors can still innovate in a world that many put off as stale and uninteresting. The chipset itself brings some new things to the table including support for DDR3 memory, 1333 MHz and future 1600 MHz CPUs, PCI Express 2.0 technology (a first for any chipset) as well as enough USB and SATA connections to appease just about everyone.
Other goodies like Intel’s Extreme Memory technology, which allows memory vendors like Corsair and OCZ to add information to their SPD and have the motherboard access it for easy overclocking, are included in the chipset but require some other component to be used. Another example is the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility that is a Windows-based software utility that allows BIOS modifications and overclocking, much like NVIDIA’s nTune application. Unfortunately, just like we saw in our Gigabyte X38-DQ6 motherboard review, the Asus P5E3 Deluxe BIOS doesn’t implement the hook necessary for it yet.
Asus added some goodies to the mix on their own starting with the very compelling use of solid state memory in ExpressGate. Allowing for users to nearly instant-on their systems with an integrated Linux OS located on the motherboard itself could truly be a big hit with enthusiasts, gamers and even the open-source crowd.
Let’s not forget the addition of two Gigabit Ethernet connections, two 802.11 b/g wireless networking connections, silent heatpipe cooling, three PCIe x16 slots and the entire array of audio connections. All of this adds up to a great set of features that very few motherboards can compete with putting the Asus P5E3 Deluxe in an elite class.
As we saw in the Gigabyte X38 motherboard review, the Intel X38 chipset itself doesn’t offer much improvement over the Intel P35 chipset in terms of raw performance. Even with the upgrade from DDR2 to DDR3 memory with Asus’ P5E3 Deluxe board, the only place we saw noticeable gains was in the synthetic memory tests. As I noted in our short performance segment, if you take the route of overclocking your DDR3 memory then you can actually get results that are notable and could affect system performance in noticeable ways.
But I don’t want to put a potentially negative spin on the Asus motherboard; the performance of the P5E3 Deluxe was on the same level as any other X38 or P35 motherboard we have tested and pairing it with a powerful Core 2 Duo processor will impress you.
Express Gate Embedded Linux
Not to over-hype this feature more than it deserves, but the fact remains that Asus has created something out of nothing here. What was once a Windows Vista ReadyBoost marketing nightmare was converted into an innovative use of solid state memory on a motherboard.
The ability to boot into a web browser in about 10-15 seconds from a cold boot could be a killer factor for those enthusiasts that value their time and are on the lookout for something interesting to play around with.
Pricing and Availability
The availability of the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi motherboard is still up in the air as we have yet to see it for sale. We have seen other X38 motherboards at places like Newegg and ZipZoomFly but sales have either been good or stock has been low because it’s hard to find them now. If we base the estimated pricing of the P5E3 Deluxe WiFi on similar motherboards you should expect to pay somewhere around $250. We’ll update this as we find changes online!
The Asus P5E3 Deluxe motherboard is a great X38 solution that utilizes DDR3 memory and has three PCI Express x16 slots, two of them PCI Express 2.0, to give you one of the fastest and most future-proof platforms on the market. By throwing in features like ExpressGate and integrated wireless connectivity, nearly all enthusiasts will find something (or things!) to love here.
And if you have any questions or comments about the article, or would like to see what others have to say about the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi, just click into our Asus motherboard forum to join in the discussion!
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