Performance Summary & Conclusion
Benchmark And Performance Summary:
ASUS P5K3 Deluxe :
Despite some minor layout issues, the P5K3 Deluxe is an excellent, well-rounded board that performs well and overclocks even better. The 535MHz FSB frequency we were able to achieve at standard voltage is very impressive and the P5K3's BIOS options were exceptional. We enjoyed the level of detail of the settings and we especially liked being able to choose the FSB northbridge strap if we wanted to.
While its overclocking prowess is indeed impressive, the P5K3 Deluxe also has a very nice feature set. The integrated Wi-Fi adapter in addition to the two onboard gigabit ethernet controllers means the P5K3 Deluxe is a formidable networking device that can easily act as the center of your network. We also really liked the P5K3's onboard I/O setup. We liked that ASUS decided to go with a legacy-free approach but still included a PS/2 port, since there are many users who have PS/2 keyboards that they absolutely refuse to part with. We also liked that ASUS was able to fit six USB ports on the I/O panel which means we're that much less dependent on the included USB headers, which may not be available if all the expansion slots are being used.
However, the P5K3 Deluxe isn't without faults and we found the position of the CMOS reset jumper as well as the onboard CD-In connector to be poorly placed and quite unusable when a double-height video card is installed in the first PCI-E x16 slot.
The P5K3 Deluxe is an excellent board and a great example of what the P35 Express chipset has to offer. Although it comes at the somewhat high price of $250, the price of admission is worth it if you're looking for a fully-featured companion for your brand new 1333MHz FSB Core 2 processor and sticks of DDR3 memory, or if you are upgrading from an older chipset and enjoy the piece of mind of knowing the P35 Express will be compatible with the upcoming next generation of Intel processors. If you're not quite ready to ditch your DDR2 memory yet but you want the benefits of the P35 Express chipset, you can look to the P5K Deluxe, which is essentually a DDR2 version of the P5K3 Deluxe.
One area where the P35T-DQ6 did have an issue was in regard to the oversized cooling system. While it looks very impressive, the cooling system is arguably too large and heavy. This creates some annoying issues during installation since the heatsinks are often so tall that when expansion cards are installed, it was very difficult to reach parts of the board to plug in cables and access jumpers. However, these issues are quite minor and pale in comparison to the board's many advantages.
The P35T-DQ6 offers virtually the same levels of performance and overclocking as the P5K3 Deluxe at a slightly lower price of $240. If you're not interested in the P5K3's extended networking capability or you simply prefer the piece of mind that the components of the 'Ultra Durable' variety can provide, the P35T-DQ6 makes for an excellent choice. Just like ASUS, Gigabyte offers a DDR2 version of many of their P35 Express based boards and the DDR2 version of the P35T-DQ6, the P35-DQ6, can be had for $5 less.