The P5K is a motherboard supporting LGA775 socket CPUs ranging from Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme and Pentium 4 Extreme. Quite the range but I used this motherboard to build a Core 2 Duo (E6750) system featuring 4GB Corsair RAM, 500GB Seagate Barracuda 10,000 RPM HD, Samsung BlueRay R/RW, ATI Radeon HD 5970.
If you read my earlier reviews, I trust Seagate for my hard drives and likewise I trust Asus when it comes to motherboards. This product was sitting at the right price range and feature range for me to get it. The nomenclature (EPU at the end of the name) basically means that the Asus P5K has a variety of features for being energy efficient. It can throttle the amount of power that goes to the CPU, other onboard devices such as hard drives and fans in order to save power. This depends on the needs of the computer.
It also features 4 slots for RAM - some will say thats hardly worth commenting on, but its colour coordinated meaning that you know exactly how to pair the modules without forgetting or making a mistake.
The P5K/EPU comes with onboard LAN/ETHERNET as you would expect so not too much to talk about there, however it is also equipped with an excellent onboard HD Audio chip. The sound it produces is very good for gaming although it is onboard. Bass and volume output is more than adequate.
I found it easy to wire up with, place components and to get it started without needing to change any BIOS or configuration settings - perhaps I just found the perfect configuration, but I would like to think it is more to do with the BIOS being up to date. Usual inbox items include SATA wires, stickers, plate and the board in an anti static bag.
*MAKE SURE TO DISCHARGE any statci before you install*
The EPU model basically provides for great energy effcient features to throttle the power depending on the usuage and I think its a good model for those concious about energy and for those looking to find a cheaper reliable Core 2 supporting motherboard that works straight out of the box without BIOS tweaks. Would recommend it for mid range to high end systems.
* My Configuration
Antec Three Hundred Case
Intel Q6600 Quad Core Processor
4 GB Reaper X Memory
2 x 250gb hard drives
I read a large amount of reviews when trying to build my pc on a budget. Asus being a brand I trust and know produce good quality boards, I decided I must have one from their range. I viewed the Asus website which is a great source of information, listed a number of different models and their benefits and started hitting Google for the cheapest.
* The reasons I bought this board
1. This board is the EPU model, which has a number of energy efficient features including fine-tuning of power sent to various components including CPU. It also amends the speeds of the fans depending on performance and heat.
2. It has High Definition Audio which works superbly when watching films. A composite connector is provided on the back panel.
The other features are also extremely useful, but the above 2 features are what attracted me the most.
* In the box
Instructions, software/utilities, back plate, board, and stickers.
This was no different to any other board, everything from the case matched the connectors on the board. Spare USB connectors catered for the case and more... Fitting the ram was a bit tricky due to the big heat sinks on the modules, but nothing too time consuming.
The utilities provide me with a decent amount of information including energy saved, energy used over a chosen period of time. You can also allow the computer to go into standby called AI Nap, which leaves tasks running but reduces the electricity usage of the board overall.
I haven't reviewed the chipset etc... on this board as it's not really cutting edge, however the other features are what make this board a great purchase. If you're considering the environment and your electricity bills, this is a step in the right direction.
Intel P35/ICH9 chipset
Intel Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Pentium Extreme / Pentium D / Pentium 4 - processors
Dual-channel DDR2 1200(O.C.)/1066/800/667 MHz
ASUS EPU (energy processing unit)
ASUS 3rd generation 8-phase power design
Precision Tweaker 2