Intel X38 Express Chipset Debuts
The Asus P5E3 Deluxe was designed with power users in mind, and as such the board is loaded with integrated peripherals and sports an oversized cooling solution comprised of multiple copper heatsinks linked together via a complex heat-pipe system.
The area around the CPU socket on the P5E3 Deluxe is surrounded by copper heatsinks on all four sides. One of the heatsinks is mounted atop the Northbridge, while the other three are mounted to various components in the board’s voltage regulation circuitry and power array. This heatsink arrangement may pose a problem for some oversized aftermarket CPU coolers, so take note. There is also a fourth heatsink affixed to the ICH9R Southbridge on the P5E3 Deluxe. It, however, is a low-profile design that won’t interfere with any expansion cards.
Other than the board’s heatsink arrangement, the P5E3 Deluxe has a generally good layout. All of the boards various sockets, ports, and headers are color coded and easy to identify, and strategic connectors like the IDE port and four SATA ports are mounted to the board at a right angle to make them easier to access when a long, double-wide graphics card is installed. Power connectors are all situated around the edge of PCB, which prevents the thick power cabled from hindering air circulation over hot running components.
As you can see, the P5E3 Deluxe has a trio of PCI Express x16 slots, a pair of PCI Express x1 slots, and a single standard PCI slot. The blue PEG slots on the board both have a full 16 lanes of PCI Express connectivity, while the black slot is powered by only 4 lanes.
Thanks to the P5E3 Deluxe’s ICH9R Southbridge, the board supports multiple RAID modes and it had six internal SATA ports. There are another two eSATA ports in the board’s external I/O cluster, along with six USB 2.0 ports, analog and digital audio jacks, a PS/2 keyboard port, dual GigE LAN jacks, dual WiFi antenna jacks, and a single Firewire port. The P5E3 Deluxe’s audio support comes by way of an ADI1988 HD coded and Firewire by way of an Agere controller. Finally, an Ralink RT2770F chip powers the integrated 802.11n WiFi controller.
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