Asus P5E3 Deluxe: Express Gate, BIOS and OC
As we mentioned earlier, the Asus P5E3 Deluxe features an embedded Linux-based operating system that’s available upon initial power-up. The feature is dubbed “Express Gate”, but it is based on the SplashTop platform technology developed by San Jose-based company DeviceVM.
When the P5E3 is first powered up, a menu is displayed that gives users the option to boot the OS, enter the system BIOS, power down the system, or launch the Express Gate applications. If you choose to boot the OS, enter the BIOS, or recycle power, the P5E3 Deluxe behaves just like any other motherboard. If you launch the Express Gate applications, which are comprised of a web browser and Skype at this time, the embedded Linux-based OS is launched from a ROM and seconds later it’s available for use. We found the Express Gate technology easy to use and quite handy. Say, for example, you need to download a driver or BIOS file and the hard drive-based OS isn’t functioning properly. With Express Gate you can now access the web and integrated peripherals even if the system’s full blown OS has a problem.
The Asus P5E3 Deluxe is equipped with a Phoenix/Award BIOS derivative that is very complete and relatively easy to navigate. From within the BIOS users have the ability to configure, enable or disable all of the board's integrated peripherals, and monitor voltages and clock speeds. The P5E3 also has a very complete set of memory timing options that offer excellent flexibility for fine tuning memory performance.
The Asus P5E3 Deluxe's standard BIOS menu screens don't reveal anything out of the ordinary, but they will give you a "feel" for the general layout and organization of the options. Each individual screen has a host of menus that tunnel deeper and deeper as the options get more complex.
Overall, other than the color scheme, they are very similar to the BIOS derivatives used on most other high-end motherboards today, but navigating through Asus' BIOS menus does take some getting used to if you've never experienced them before.
It's within the "Extreme Tweaker" section of the Asus P5E3 Deluxe's BIOS that most of the board's performance tuning options lie. From within the "Extreme Tweaker" section of the BIOS, users have the ability to alter clock frequencies and voltages for virtually every major on-board component. The CPU and PCI Express frequencies can be altered in 1MHz increments, and the CPU multiplier and memory ratio can also be manipulated manually. There are also extensive voltage options for the CPU, Memory, chipset, and PLL. And what's interesting is that the BIOS is designed to allow users to key in voltages and frequencies without having to tunnel into a menu option - simply highlight the CPU voltage, for example, punch in your desired voltage and you're done.
Asus P5E3 Deluxe FSB @ 515MHz
With all of the overclocking tools available on the P5E Deluxe, we had high expectations for its overclockability. Fortunately, we were not disappointed. To overclock the board, we dropped our CPU multiplier to 6, and lowered the memory speed as well. Then we raised the CPU voltage to 1.4v and gave the memory, chipset, and PLL all a .1v bump for good measure. All tests were conducted in an open-air environments with stock air-cooling. With these basic tweaks made via the board's BIOS we were able to hit a stable 515MHz FSB (2.06GHz quad-pumped). When equipped with the latest BIOS file available from Asus, the P5E3 Deluxe is able to acheive excellent front side bus overclocking results.