Intel P965 Shoot-Out: Asus P5B-E vs. MSI P965 Platinum

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Asus P5B-E Box Front
ASUS P5B-E

The P5B-E motherboard supports Intel Core 2 processors. It features the Intel P965 chipset and supports DDR2 800MHz dual-channel memory.  With its 8 GB max capacity DDR2 800 dual channel memory system architecture, PCI-E X16 graphic card slot, six expansion slots (3 x PCI-E X1 + 3 x PCI), and nine ATA connectors (8 x SATA + 1 x PATA), it is an excellent option for a mid-range gaming platform, with extreme flexibility and room for a lot of power.  ASUS' exclusive innovative tools – AI NOS™, AI Gear and AI Nap – allow users to adjust operation speed according to their specific needs, creating a cool and stable platform that delivers extreme performance, minimum noise and maximum power saving.  The motherboard and its packaging comply with the European Union's Restriction on the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). This is in line with the ASUS vision of creating environment-friendly and recyclable products and packaging to safeguard consumers' health while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Box Back    Green    Box Features

ASUS P5B-E Specifications
Looks aren't everything

CPU

  • LGA775 socket for Intel Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Duo/Pentium Extreme/Pentium D/Pentium 4/Celeron D Processors
  • Intel Quad-Core CPU Ready
  • Compatible with Intel 05B/05A/06 processors
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology Ready

Chipset

  • Intel P965 
  • Intel ICH8R

Front Side Bus

  • 1066/800/533 MHz

Memory

  • 4 x DIMM, max. 8GB
  • DDR2 800 / 667 / 533 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory
  • Dual channel memory architecture

Expansion Slots

  • 2 x PCI-E x16 slots, support x16 SLI (blue)
  • 3 x PCI-E x1 slot
  • 3 x PCI 2.2 slots

Audio

  • ADI® 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
  • Support Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming and Jack-Retasking
  • Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
  • ASUS Noise Filter

Storage

ICH8R Southbridge

  • 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
  • Intel Matrix Storage Technology 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
  • 1 x Internal SATA 3.0 Gb/s port
  • 1 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
  • Support SATA RAID 0, 1 and JBOD (by 1x External SATA & 1x Internal SATA)

LAN

  • Attansic® L1 PCI-E Gigabit LAN controller

FireWire

  • VIA® VT6307 1394a controller supports 2xIEEE1394a ports (one at midboard; one at back panel)

Back Panel I/O Ports

  • 1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse port
  • 1x Parallel Port 
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) ports
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x IEEE1394a
  • 1x External SATA 
  • 8-Channel Audio I/O

 

 

Internal I/O Connectors

  • 7 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 4 x Fan connectors (1 x CPU, 1 x Power Supply, 2 x Chassisl)
  • 1 x IDE connector for two devices
  • 1 x FDD connector
  • 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors (support 6 ports)
  • 1 x Azalia Digital Header
  • 1 x S/PDIF output connector
  • 1 x Front Panel Audio connector
  • 1 x CD-audio In 
  • 1 x IEEE1394a connector
  • 1 x COM connector 
  • 1 x Chassis intrusion connector
  • 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 4-pin ATX 12V power connector

Accessories

  • 4 x SATA cables
  • 2 x SATA power cables for 4 devices
  • 1 x 2-port USB2.0 module
  • 1 x IDE cable
  • 1 x FDD cable
  • 1 x I/O Shield
  • 1 x ASUS Q-Connector Kit (USB, 1394, system panel)
  • User's manual
  • Driver/Utility CD

Software

  • Drivers
  • ASUS PC Probe II
  • ASUS Update
  • ASUS AI Suite
  • Anti-virus software (OEM Version)  

BIOS

  • 8 Mb Flash ROM, AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 2.0a, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3

Form Factor

  • ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9"(30.5cm x 22.9cm)

 

Special Features

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution

  • ASUS AI Gear
  • ASUS AI Nap
  • ASUS Q-Fan 2

ASUS Crystal Sound

  • ASUS Noise Filter

ASUS EZ DIY

  • ASUS Q-Connector
  • ASUS O.C. Profile
  • ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
  • ASUS EZ Flash 2

 Overclocking Protection 

  • ASUS C.P.R. (CPU Parameter Recall) 

Media    Cables   Q-Connector

Keeping with the relatively spartan outlook for the Asus P5B-E, the bundle is a bit on the short side.  A single User Guide with accompanying driver/utilities CD provides the necessary information and software used to get a system running, although a RAID setup will require a driver disk that is not included.  Four SATA cables and two SATA power cables (with two connections each) as well as single ribbon-type IDE and floppy cables provide the means to connect various drives.  A single bracket with two USB 2.0 ports and I/O shield are the only item installed on the backplane.  Something called the Q-Connector as well as two other headers are the only non-standard items present in the bundle.  The Q-connector is a handy little tool that creates a bridge between the front panel pins on the motherboard and the cables.  The other two headers are used for USB and FireWire connections, but they prove to be much less useful as their orientation is already set.

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