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ASUS P5E64 WS Pro X38 Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Ronald Tibbetts - Edited by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P5E64 WS Pro X38 Motherboard
DDR3 Technology Summary
Intel X38 Specifications
Package and Contents
Board Layout and Features
Board Layout and Features Contd.
ASUS G.P. Diagnosis Card
ASUS Special Components
BIOS and Tweaking
Performance BIOS Settings
BIOS Tweaking Contd.
P5E64 WS PRO Testing
P5E64 Special Settings
Test Results: Part 1
Test Results: Part 2
Gaming Benchmarks
Systems Test and Power Usage
Final Thoughts and Conclusion


As predicted for this year, the dizzying high prices of DDR3 have finally dropped to within reason- even edging into that of DDR2's price point. The reason for such drastic price drops is that chip makers like Micron, Samsung, Hynix, and Qimonda are currently in full swing mass production of DDR3 DRAM - increasing supply and beating demand. This excess in inventory of DDR3 means a steady supply affordable and readily available chips that have helped to spur such rapid market adoption, evident with over fifty different motherboards currently on the market that support this memory standard.

Further DDR3 price drops are expected to continue into the fourth quarter and means many will be looking for quality motherboards suitable for high-speed DDR3. That being the case Benchmark Reviews thought it would be of interest to examine one of the more mature DDR3 based motherboard offerings on the market today; the ASUS P5E64 WS Professional Motherboard based on Intel's 3 series X38 Express Chipset with support for unheard of "Quad" graphics.


ASUS, as is their tradition, has created a unique motherboard in regards to the P5E64 WS Pro, with support for four (4) PCI-e x16 slots (two at x16 full-speed and two at x4 speed). While traditional motherboards built with Intel's 82-X38 Express Memory Controller Hub (MCH) allow for two full-speed PCI-e lanes at x16 directly from the MCH (an additional sixteen lanes compared to the P35 and 975X MCH) and only one x16 (x4) slot from the ICH9R Southbridge. The P5E64 WS Pro adds an additional PCI-e x16 (x4) slot courtesy of an integrated PCI-e bridge-chip for a total of four (4) PCI-e slots. Paired with the X38 Chipset's native support of DDR3 1333MHz and ASUS AI tools clear the way for some impressive overclocking.

Among the top of ASUS' lineup the ASUS P5E64 WS Pro Motherboard is built around Intel's X38 Express chipset. Termed a "workstation" board by ASUS, the P5E64 WS Pro features a base FSB of 667MHz, with native support for DDR3 SDRAM operating in Dual Channel mode at 1333MHz, and is CrossFireX ready with support for up to four (4) PCI Express (PCI-e) based x16 graphics cards - "Quad" CrossFireX. With so many features built into it the P5E64 WS Pro is blatantly a design intended for enthusiasts. However, its innovation and ease of use should make it appealing to even first time buyers.

ASUS establishes the P5E64 WS Pro as a "Workstation" motherboard by offering the following integrated features:

  • Support for LGA775 Intel Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo, including 1333/1066/800FSB and 45nm processors
  • Supports up to 8GB of dual channel DDR3 800, 1066 and 1333MHz FSB, using four 240-pin, 1.5V DDR3 DIMMs
  • Four (4) PCI Express x16 slots (Two Blue = x16, Two Black = x4)
  • G.P. Diagnosis Card (POST Code Readout) - Bundled
  • ASUS Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) card support
  • One PCI Express x1 slot
  • Two 32-bit v2.2 Master PCI bus slots (support 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface)
  • One IDE port via Marvell 88E8056 IC
  • Eight SATA 3Gbps ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 or JBOD
  • Two e-SATA via Marvell 88E8056 IC
  • ADI SoundMax ADI1988B High-Definition audio codec supporting 7.1 channel surround sound up to 32-bit/192KHz
  • Two Gigabit Ethernet, one PCI-Express provided by the Marvell 88E8056-NNC1 chipset and another over PCI provided by Marvell 88E8001
  • Twelve USB 2.0, six on the rear I/O, four internal via motherboard pin-out
  • VIA Fire IIM VT6308P/S 1394 Host Controller IEEE1394a Firewire IC supplying two ports (one on the rear I/O, one through motherboard pin-out)

About the company: ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated (ASUS)

Perhaps best known by enthusiasts for their motherboards, ASUS is a company recognized for high-quality and innovation in the consumer electronics industry. A leading provider of computer components and peripherals, ASUS offers an ever expanding product portfolio hoping to bring their level of expertise to a wide market.

From Wikipedia:

ASUS was founded in 1989 in Taiwan by TH Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Hsieh and MT Liao - all four were computer engineers from Acer. The current CEO and Chairman of ASUS, Jonney Shih, joined the company in 1994. According to the ASUS sales manager, Alexander Kim, the name ASUS originated from Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology. The first three letters of the word were dropped to give the resulting name a high position in alphabetical listings.

From the ASUS website:asus_logo_small.jpg

The philosophy of ASUS product development is to do the fundamentals well first before moving forward. Started with computer components such as motherboards, graphic cards, and optical storage devices, ASUS now has now over 16 product lines, including desktop barebone systems, servers, notebooks, handhelds, network devices, broadband communications, LCD monitors, TVs, wireless applications, and CPT (chassis, power supply and thermal) products.


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