Intel’s P45 is due out next month, but the boards are already rolling in. Our first look is at ASUS’ P5Q Deluxe, a DDR2 offering that’s feature-packed and comes in at a great price. Features include a layman’s RAID tool, updated Splashtop, lots of connectivity, a great layout and more.
Intel’s P45 chipset isn’t yet available on the market, but I think there is a reason to get excited… and I’m not sure if it should be for the obvious one. P45 is a solid chipset from what we can see, but we’ll know more once we get to stress another offering. Gigabyte’s board should have been here already, so really, we should be testing it in the days to come. Then we will be better able to get a good feel for what P45 offers.
What’s to be excited over is what the motherboard manufacturers are doing. When Intel releases a new chipset, especially lately, it doesn’t seem that too much changes except for some numbers… numbers that aren’t that much more impressive in the end. What is good is the increased power efficiency.
The decrease in power draw that we saw on the previous page is a rather big deal. 33W is a big deal, especially when you use your computer often. That could very well mean a few bucks saved on your power bill each month. It all adds up.
ASUS made the P5Q interesting because of the added features, such as the Drive Xpert. Granted, it’s a simple RAID feature, but it’s made extremely easy to deal with, making it an attractive option for those who hate dealing RAID.
It’s also great to see the Splashtop desktop updated, although again, it’s usefulness will be limited. I firmly believe it has its use, but it’s not something I’d personally use all that often… primarily because I never shut down my main PC. You might be in a different situation, however.
I found overclocking to be a little disappointing, but 475MHz isn’t horrible (460MHz with the QX9650). Plus, this is a motherboard that’s supposed to be released at around the $220 price point, so I feel what it does offer, makes the board a very appealing choice.
It’s argued that nothing that exciting is happening in the hardware industry lately, and in most cases, that’s absolutely true. But while things might not be blowing us off our feet, technology is constantly improving, and it all adds up. This P5Q is to retail for just over $200, but is truly packed in terms of features and performance. The board doesn’t give us a reason to upgrade, but for a new build, you really do get a lot for your money.
This is the first P45 board I’ve laid my grubby hands on, but I’m impressed, therefore I’ll award it an Editor’s Choice award, based on everything we’ve looked at and the tentative price. As it stands, this is the board I’d choose to use in my personal machine, which says a lot. I don’t need insane overclocks, but I do appreciate a nice feature-set and a well-designed board.
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