Our test setup is the same as what we had used in the recent Super Micro C2SBX+ review. This configuration included an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor, 2GB of OCZ DDR3-1333MHz memory, Seagate 160GB SATA 2.0 hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX 512MB graphics card, and a SilverStone Zeus ST75ZF power supply. On the software side was Ubuntu 8.04 LTS with the stock Linux 2.6.24 kernel and the NVIDIA 173.14.09 driver. As we have come to expect from motherboards using Intel's X48 Chipset, everything with the ASUS P5E3 Premium had worked with Linux, aside from the AzureWave AW-NA830 and needing to use ndiswrapper for this route. However, within SplashTop the wireless adapter is supported without needing to use this NDIS approach.
Like the other enthusiast-oriented motherboards from ASUS that we have reviewed at Phoronix, the P5E3 Premium had overclocked quite nicely. In our review of the Core 2 Duo E8400 we managed to push this 3GHz part to 4GHz on air-cooling with ease. When the processor was running at 4GHz, we had not hit a wall with the motherboard either, but are confident that this 45nm processor could be pushed even further with ample cooling. Testing of this motherboard under Linux was with Phoronix Test Suite 1.0.2 using the pcqs-motherboard suite. The tests consist of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars demo, Nexuiz, OpenArena, X-Plane, timed PHP compilation, timed Apache compilation, timed Gzip compression, LAME MP3 encoding, GnuPG encryption, IOzone write performance, OpenSSL RSA encryption, RAMspeed, and Sunflow Rendering System. The motherboards we used for comparison was the Gigabyte X48T-DQ6, Super Micro C2SBX+, and the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe. The Gigabyte and Super Micro motherboards were similarly based around the Intel X48 Chipset, while the P5E3 Deluxe uses the earlier X38 Chipset.