ASUS P5K Motherboard Review


A lot of bang for your buck with the ASUS P5K Motherboard

 

Well I did it. I decided that after Christmas I would upgrade my main computer. The reason I decided to upgrade? I received a 300 gig SATA II hard drive. My old ASUS P4B is about six years old. There is nothing wrong with the motherboard but it is at the end of it's upgrade path. I could upgrade the processor one more time to 3 GHz but why bother?

So I ordered a ASUS P5K motherboard. Ah but the story doesn't stop there. Another reason for upgrading the computer is I needed to write an E-Book on upgrading a computer. So I get to do both.ASUS Motherboars below manufactures cost!

For the most part this motherboard is top of the line, check the specifications for the complete run down. The benefits that sold me were the processor support for the Core 2 Quad up to 3.4 GHz.

I didn't buy that processor for my upgrade but if I wanted to go to a Quad at 3 GHZ (the fastest currently available) I could do so with out any problems. Would I have to upgrade my Operating System from 32 bit to 64 bit to accommodate the two more processors? Windows 2000 only supports two processors, how ever XP supports true multi-processors, upgrading to a Intel Q6600 (Quad processor) I did not have to upgrade to Windows 64 bit XP.   Although the ASUS P5K Motherboard touts that the 'Overclocking' facility built into the motherboard is the best I have yet to make it work reliably.

This could be due to the fact that I have 800 MHz FSB memory and not 1066 FSB memory, or that I have a 2.2 GHz processor. I went with this instead of the Asus P5LD2 R2.0 mainly because of the memory, four slots vs 2 slots.

You need USB ports? This board has six on the rear port panel and two more for the front panel if your case has the accommodation. Do you need Firewire? There is one on the rear panel and accommodation for two more either on the rear or front of the computer. You need a port for your SATA external hard drive, there are two ports.

This ASUS P5K Motherboard can handle up to 8 Gig of memory (four slots, single and dual channel capability), although XP and Vista 32 bit Operating Systems can only use 3 Gig, the 64 Bit versions will see all the memory you have installed.

It has 8 SATA interface ports, two are boot selectable, the other six can be used in a RAID configuration.

It has IDE support for two drives, hard drive or cd/dvd rom drives.

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Networking, this board has three network adapters, two wired (1 GBPS) and one WiFi at 54MBPS. With XP you can bridge the two 1 Gig adapters for faster though put, be aware that if your connection is to a 10 or 100 MBPS device then that is what you will get for through put. (GBPS = Giga Bit Per Second)

One more thing that bothers me, it probably is this way for all newer motherboards, is that the mouse is USB, the keyboard is PS/2. For normal everyday operation that is fine. The problem is I have an Omni View 4 Port Autoswitch that I have three computers connected to. Because the mouse is USB when I switch between computers with the switch I loose functionality on the mouse.

Overall I think this is a very good motherboard. It does have it's draw backs and things that as an older motherboard user I need to get familiar with, like the mouse. And the 'Overclocking' that I need to figure out how to do, I should be able to get the 2.2 GHz up to at least 2.6 if not more with out causing any damage to the processor or the motherboard.

ASUS P5K Motherboard specifications:

Processor & Chipset  
Processor Interface
1 x LGA Socket T
Processor Support
1 P4D to Core 2 Quad 2.2 GHz to 3.4GHz
Processor Class
Pentium 4D to Core 2 Quad
Front Side Bus
667/800/1066/1333 MHz
Featured Technologies
Hyper-Threading Technology
Chipset
Intel P35
Interfaces/Ports
Back-panel Interfaces
6 USB
1 Firewire
1 x 6-pin mini-DIN (PS/2) (keybaord)
Front-panel Interfaces
1 x Audio Connector
On-Board Interfaces
1 x Floppy
Physical Characteristics  
Form Factor
ATX
Dimensions
12" Width x 9.6" Depth
Warranty
Standard Warranty
3 Year(s) Limited
Memory
Total Memory Slots
4
Memory Slots
4 x 240-pin DIMM
667MHz DDR2-667/PC2-5300
Memory Technology
DDR2 SDRAM
Maximum Memory
8GB
I/O Expansions
Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x1
Controllers
Sound Controller
Analog Devices AD1988B 7.1-channel
Network Controller
1 x Marvell 88E8056 Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps PCI Express
WiFi-AP Solo: 54 Mbps
Serial ATA RAID Controller
JMicron JMB363 3Gbps

Support offerings for the ASUS P5K Motherboard:

Online support for manuals, bois upgrades, and device drivers. Three year warranty for most ASUS products. Because ASUS does do an exchange or repair of your mother board I would give their support a 9 out of 10.

Note:

I upgraded my main computer in October of 2008, and wrote this article in Dec of 2008. After a year this motherboard is still going strong with out any hardware or driver problems.

When Windows 7 came out I made my SSD a dual boot drive and installed the Windows 7 on the second partition. Both the 32 bit and 64 bit Operating Systems installed. The 32 bit had all the drivers necessary to run with out problems. How ever the 64 bit version needed drivers for the embedded network cards and the SATA controller. A work around for these problems was to use the Vista drivers that came on the ASUS driver disk.

In February of 2012 the processor was upgraded to an Intel Q8400, normal clock speed is 2.66 GHz, I am running it at 3.17 GHz, the temp is steady at 84* which is a little cooler than the first Intel Duo 2.4 GHz that I used.

01/26/13 After 5 years of punishment, (techs seem to do this for some reason) the motherboard is working great! Upgraded the memory to 8 GB (thinking of 16 GB...) a 120 GB SSD with multi boot for three Operating Systems and it still is running great, the best bang for my buck in a long time.

02/14/14 After 6 years I broke down and reinstalled the two Windows XP and Windows 7 installations in multi boot configuration for this motherboard. All the drivers installed as expected. The reason for installing all the Operating systems again is I want to have a fresh install with out all the other things I have done to the older installations, once completed I did a Automatic Update because on 8 April, 2014 Microsoft says they will no longer support XP. That means no more updates to keep the security and software such as .NET current. The new installation required 188 service packs after updating the installations with Service Pack 3 first! I will say that support for the ASUS P5K Motherboard was on MS site in that the latest NIC drivers were available along with the latest NVIDIA drivers for my new GTx-650 Video card.

07/16/14 I upgraded the processor from the Q8400 to a Q9550 2.8 GHz Core 2 Quad with out any problems and currently have the processor overclocked at 3.5 GHz, the processor runs at fine with a temp of 83* F constant, the Q8400 will go into my server with the Gigabit motherboard, should speed that up also.

See this page to install a ASUS P5K Motherboard

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