The audio section from this motherboard provides 7.1 audio, produced by the south bridge chip with the aid of an Analog Devices AD1988B codec, which provides a 92 dB signal-to-noise ratio for its inputs and 101 dB SNR for its outputs and a maximum sampling rate of 192 kHz for both inputs and outputs.
This board has one coaxial and one optical SPDIF output soldered directly on the motherboard, which is great as you can easily connect it to your home theater receiver.
Although X38 chipset provides 12 USB 2.0 ports, this motherboard has only 10 ports available, as two of them are used by the onboard 32 MB flash drive. This on-board flash drive, called ASAP (“Asus Accelerated Propeller”) by ASUS, was first introduced on “Vista Edition” motherboards by ASUS and it is built in order to improve the system performance through the ReadyBoost feature from Windows Vista. Oddly enough this feature isn’t listed on ASUS website or on the product manual, even though it is clearly available, as you can see in Figure 2.
This motherboard has six USB 2.0 ports soldered on its rear panel and it comes with an I/O bracket featuring two USB ports, so two of them are left over for the frontal USB ports from your case.
ASUS P5E3 [email protected] also has two FireWire ports controlled by an Agere L-FW3227 chip. One of the ports is located on the motherboard rear panel, and the other is available through an I/O bracket that comes with the board.
In Figure 3, you can see the motherboard rear panel with PS/2 keyboard connector, six USB 2.0 ports, coaxial and optical digital audio (SPDIF) outputs, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one FireWire port, two eSATA ports, complete set of 7.1 audio jacks and two antenna connectors for the on-board WiFi access point (more about this feature in the next page).
As you can see, this motherboard does not have a PS/2 mouse connector, so you have to use a USB mouse with this motherboard. This board also doesn’t have a parallel port and one serial port is available through an I/O bracket that doesn’t come with the product.