ASUS P5K-E WiFi vs. Gigabyte P35-DS4

Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 5 December 2007. Page 1 of 10. 3 Comments

While all of the rage recently has been around Intel's X38 Express Chipset (used on such motherboards as the P5E3 Deluxe and X38-DQ6), there is still plenty of life left in Intel's P35 "Bearlake" Chipset. The Intel P35 is only a few months older, but it contains most of the same features as the flagship X38 aside from the PCI Express 2.0 support and a Hardware Memory Prefetcher. We have previously reviewed Intel P35 motherboards such as the ASUS Blitz Extreme and Gigabyte P35-DS3P, but in this review, we are going back and looking at two more of these Intel Bearlake motherboards. At hand today we have the ASUS P5K-E WiFi and Gigabyte P35-DS4 motherboards, both of which are similar in many respects and use the P35 + ICH9R combination with DDR2 memory.

P5K-E Features:

· LGA-775 socket for Intel Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Pentium Extreme / Pentium D / Pentium 4 Processors
· Compatible with Intel 05B/05A/06 processors
· Support Intel next generation 45nm multi-core CPU

· Intel P35 / ICH9R with Intel Fast Memory Access Technology
· 1333/1066/800 MHz FSB

· 4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR2-1066/800/667 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory
· Dual channel memory architecture

Expansion Slots
· 2 x PCI-E x16 supports CrossFire Technology
· 2 x PCI-E x1
· 3 x PCI

· 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
· Supports RAID 0,1, 5 and 10
JMicron JMB363 PATA and SATA controller:
· 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
· 2 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
· Supports SATA RAID 0,1 and JBOD

· Gigabit LAN controllers, featuring AI NET2
· Marvell88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit LAN controllers

Wireless LAN
· ASUS WiFi-AP Solo
· 54 Mbps IEEE 802.11g and backwards compatible with 11 Mbps IEEE 802.11b

ADI AD1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC

· Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
· ASUS Noise Filter

IEEE 1394
· Agere FW322 1394a controller supports 2 x IEEE 1394a ports

· 10 x USB 2.0 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 6ports at back panel)

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
· ASUS AI Gear2
· ASUS 8-Phase Power Design
· ASUS Fanless Design: Heat-pipe solution
· ASUS Fanless Design: Stack Cool 2
· ASUS Q-Fan 2

ASUS Crystal Sound
· ASUS Noise Filter

· ASUS Q-Connector
· ASUS O.C. Profile
· ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
· ASUS EZ Flash 2
· ASUS AI Slot Detector

ASUS [email protected]
· ASUS WiFi-AP Solo

Form Factor
· ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.4cm)

P5K-E Contents:

The P5K-E WiFi was packaged similar to most other ASUS motherboards, with a cardboard divider separating the motherboard from all of the accessories. Included with the P5K-E WiFi-AP Solo were an ASUS Q-Connector Kit, two Serial ATA data cables, one 4-pin molex to SATA power adapter, I/O panel, 802.11 WiFi antenna, IDE ribbon cable, FDD ribbon cable, driver CD, and the motherboard's user manual. These accessories aren't nearly as elaborate as what was found with the ASUS Blitz Extreme, which is part of the Republic of Gamers series.

Included on the P5K-E driver CD is Linux drivers for the audio (for ALSA 1.0.12 and 1.0.13), LAN (sk98lin), RAID, and WiFi (RTL8187). Linux drivers on their product CD is nothing new for ASUS, but props go out to them as one of the manufacturers involved with and supporting the Linux community.

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