The P45 is obviously the successor to Intel's last mainstream chipset, the P35. The two chipsets that preceded the P45, the X38 and X48, were mainly intended for high performance motherboards, though Asus has used the chipset for some more tame boards like the P5E64 WS Professional workstation motherboard, which sports an X38, and the P5E64 WS Evolution, an X48 version of the same motherboard. Like the P35, the P45 seems like it will be a good platform for a wide range of boards, from economy to performance.
I recently reviewed the Gigabyte EP45-DQ6, Gigabyte's mainstream P45 motherboard. It appears to be a stable, reliable board, something that a mainstream motherboard should be. The P45 market is already getting a little crowded, with something for everyone.
Today I am looking at the Asus P5Q-E, one of Asus' three budget-minded P45 motherboards, this one supporting CrossfireX, with two x 8 slots, and one x 4 slot (the primary PCI-E slot is x 16 when a single video card is used). It also sports heatpipe chipset cooling, and other features we'd expect only on Asus boards costing much more, all with an energy-saving theme. How will this board stand up to the requirements of enthusiasts? Read on to see.
The P5Q-E comes in a box similar to most Asus economy boards, an unsleeved box smaller than their mainstream or gaming motherboards, in a shiny metallic blue motif. The box is covered front and back with features and specs.
Inside, the motherboard is separated from the bundle by a cardboard divider. The motherboard is on the bottom, in a static-free envelope.
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