There's little doubt why the Intel P965 Express chipset
is so popular. On paper it stacks up well against Intel's high end 975X Express
chipset (no ECC memory support but desktop users don't care), it performs as
fast and it's cheaper overall. Intel hasn't given us something like this sweet
since the 865PE days.
With the upcoming broad release of Microsoft Vista, many
of you will have to upgrade or buy a new machine if you want to run Microsoft's
latest and greatest. The timing couldn't have turned out better as most major
architectural changes (aside from perhaps vidoecards) has been completed and
there will not be any major overhauls till the end of 2007.
The Asus P5B-E is one of the new generation of Intel P965
Express motherboards and its pretty sweet. With a retail price of $173 CDN ($151
US, £76 GBP), you get a mid level mainstream motherboard that's not overly
expensive and still comes with a decent amount of goodies.
The Asus P5B-E motherboard may be bland to look at but
it's what's inside that counts right? ;-) There's a decent amount of onboard
peripherals such as 7.1 channel Intel Azalia audio, IEEE 1394a, Gigabit LAN and
an additional Serial ATA II controller. If you feel the need to add devices, the
P5B-E has a lot of upgrade possibilities with three 32 bit PCI slots and three
PCI Express x1 slots.
Overall Asus did a good job with the lay out but it
should have placed the JMicron internal Serial ATA connector in a better
location. At the bottom left hand corner, it'll be very difficult to connect the
cable when the motherboard is installed into the case. Another thing Asus should
have included a second physical PCI Express x16 slot. The Intel P965 Express
supports ATi's CrossFire technology and having a second slot would greatly
increase the P5B-E's appeal.
Performance of the Asus P5B-E motherboard is a no
brainer, that means it's good. In all the tests that we ran the Asus P5B-E
consistently performed near the top, exactly what we'd expect from a motherboard
using the Intel P965 Express chipset. From workstation to gaming, the Asus P5B-E
will be able to keep you happy.
The Asus P5B-E motherboard did well in the overclocking
tests and we were able to take it from a standard 266 MHz FSB all the way up to
406 MHz FSB! That's definitely a very sweet overclock! Asus has put together a
very solid Intel P965 Express motherboard together in its P5B-E. It's not a
perfect motherboard, but then again it does offer some pretty good value. If
you've been looking to upgrade, now is a perfect time and the Asus P5B-E
motherboard is not a bad choice.
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as
- Albatron KI51PV-754 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review
- MSI P965 Platinum Intel Core 2 Duo Motherboard
- MSI 975X Platinum Motherboard Review
- Gigabyte GA-945PL-S3 945PL Express Motherboard
- Gigabyte GA-8I945GZME-RH 945GZ Express Motherboard