P5E3 Premium (Cont'd)

This motherboard will also have two FireWire (IEEE1394) ports controlled by an Agere FW3227 chip, one located at the rear panel of the board and another available through a header located on the board.

The audio section of this motherboard will use an Analog Devices ADI1988B codec, producing 7.1 audio with 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 is perfect for the average user but users willing to professionally working capturing and editing analog audio (converting LP’s and tapes to CD or MP3, converting VHS to DVD, etc) will need to find a motherboard with a better input signal-to-noise ratio (at least 95 dB) or to install an add-on sound card.

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.

P5E Premium will have two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one controlled by a Marvell 88E8056 controller, which is connected to one PCI Express x1 bus, and the other controlled by a Realtek RTL8110SC controller, which is connected to the PCI bus.

In Figure 4, you can see the connectors that will be found on the rear of this motherboard: PS/2 keyboard, six USB 2.0 ports, coaxial and optical SPDIF outputs, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one FireWire port, two eSATA-300 ports, full 7.1 analog audio outputs and connectors for the omni-directional antennas that will come with the product.

If you pay close attention you will see that this motherboard doesn’t have a PS/2 mouse connector, so you will need to use a USB mouse with this board. It also doesn’t have serial or parallel ports on the rear panel, even though one serial port is available through a header on the motherboard and you will need to install an I/O bracket to use it.

ASUS P5E3 PremiumFigure 4: Rear panel.

This motherboard will use only solid aluminum capacitors, which is great to prevent the infamous capacitor leakage problem, and ferrite coils on the voltage regulator circuit, which provide a lower power loss compared to traditional iron coils.

ASUS P5E3 PremiumFigure 5: Ferrite coils and solid aluminum capacitors on the voltage regulator circuit.

P5E3 Premium will also feature ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit), which according to ASUS provides up to 58% power savings when the computer is idle and up to 7% when the computer is working on its maximum performance, and Express Gate, which allows you to browse the Internet without loading the operating system (this is accomplished by loading a Linux-based browser stored on the motherboard BIOS).

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.