|ASUS P5Q3 LGA775 Intel P45 ATX Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Mathew Williams|
|Monday, 23 February 2009|
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ASUS P5Q3 Final Thoughts
Throughout all of our benchmarking today, one thing is clear: the combination of the ASUS P5Q3 and a set of low latency DDR3 modules does offer a slight performance advantage over a P45/DDR2 based system. Once you account for variability and sources of error, though, it really is a slim lead. In fact, a set of high-bandwidth DDR2 modules could probably out perform some of the lower-end DDR3 kits out there. It's important to keep in mind, though, the results of our benchmarks should only be generalized to P45 based motherboards. Other chipsets may offer completely different performance dynamics, particularly with Intel Core 2 based CPU's as the memory controller is part of the chipset itself.
That said, another important consideration is performance per dollar. The recent Core i7 and Phenom II launched have driven DDR3 prices down, but DDR2 is still considered mainstream and tends to be sold for less. DDR3 based motherboards are generally more expensive as well. Our P45 based test systems, though, are fairly well match in price. The ASUS P5Q-E and Corsair DDR2 used in this review can be had for roughly $246, while the ASUS P5Q3 and OCZ DDR3 can be found for $276. Of course, these are all high-end components. If you're going with a budget system, DDR2 based platforms will almost be cheaper.
So, is it time to run out and upgrade your motherboard and RAM? If you're already have a decent Core 2 build with good DDR2 modules, my suggestion would be no. The performance increase just isn't enough. You'd be better off getting a new video card or upgrading your whole system to the new Core i7 platform. If, on the other hand, you're looking to build a new Core 2 system, a DDR3 based motherboard will offer slightly better performance. I'm tempted to say that it's also more future-proof, but with the market conditions in their current state, it's hard to say. If you do spring for DDR3, though, the ASUS P5Q3 is definitely a great motherboard.