ASUS P5B Premium
- Reliable performance; added features, such as ScreenDUO, an array microphone and AI Remote, are useful; eSATA; supports CrossFire.
- It could use one more PCIe slot and one less PCI slot, the supplied ScreenDUO driver didn't work .
The ASUS P5B Premium has glut of features, performs well and is well built. If you're after a motherboard for a Vista-based Intel system, this is a great choice.
Price$ 379.00 (AUD)
Based on Intel's P965 chipset, the ASUS P5B Premium board suits any of the current generation Intel LGA775 socket-based CPUs and can also handle an ATI CrossFire dual graphics card configuration. It comes with some features that aren't found on most motherboards, performed reliably in our tests, and its installation was almost a no-brainer.
The P5B Premium is a solid foundation for any Windows Vista-based PC. We didn't even have to install chipset drivers after we installed the operating system; Vista recognised all of the board's components, save for the audio chip, which we had to install from the driver disc.
Physically, the board is well built and has a layout that's easy to work with. The spacing of the components allowed us to easily install our Core 2 Quad QX6700 CPU with a standard heat sink, 1GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM and a GeForce 7600GT-based graphics card. Along with a 150GB Western Digital Raptor hard drive, this configuration propelled the board to a score of 101 in WorldBench 6, which is a few points shy of what we were expecting.
In the Cdex encoding test, where we convert 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files, the board took 1min 49sec, which is an expected result for our configuration. Preset overclocking options are available in the BIOS, which allow the system to be overclocked dynamically (up to 20 per cent), but you can also manually adjust the front side bus speed and the clock ratio of the CPU. We overclocked the CPU to 3.3GHz, and the Cdex encoding time was reduced to 1min 35sec.
Heat sinks and a heat-pipe keep the chipsets cool, while the CPU fan is controlled by ASUS' Q-Fan 2 technology (it speeds it up when the processing load is high and slows it down during idle times). The board proved to be reliable throughout our tests and we didn't experience any instability problems during multiple 24-hour test periods. All of the board's added features - ScreenDUO, an array microphone and AI Remote - worked fine, but we had to install updated drivers for ScreenDuo to work. The ScreenDuo feature is something we haven't seen on other boards. It's a separate LCD screen that plugs into a USB port and can display system information, photos or text notes. It can also be used to control music through Windows Media Player. We found it useful for monitoring the CPU temperature and fan speed.
The Array microphone picked up a speaking voice at normal pitch clearly from about a metre away, which can be useful for talking online via Windows Live Messenger, for example. The AI Remote works via infrared and can be programmed to launch applications and control the playback of videos and music. It's a little fiddly (for example, the Windows Media Player window had to be active before the control functions would work for it), but useful.
The P5B comes with an abundance of USB and SATA ports (eight and six, respectively), two FireWire ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports and one eSATA port, but it only has one IDE port. It has three PCI slots, one PCI Express (PCIe) x16 slot, one full-size PCIe x4/x2 slot and one PCIe x1 slot. That's one PCI slot too many and one PCIe slot too few for our liking.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- FSP's wild new power supply is liquid-cooled and built for silence
- Some Radeon RX Vega graphics cards will be faster than the Frontier Edition
- Nvidia quietly launches the GeForce GT 1030, a Radeon RX 550 rival with a modest price
- AMD's first Radeon Vega graphics card isn't for you, and gamers may be waiting a while
- AMD's Ryzen Mobile chips are ready for liftoff, with the new Ryzen Pro not far behind
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- TPChange ManagerVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- CCCloud Engineer - Multiple roles - AWS/AzureVIC
- FTSenior .NET DevelopersSA
- FTBusiness Process ConsultantNSW
- CCDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTSenior Business Analyst l GROUP LIFE INSURANCE l SydneyVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- TPSenior Frontend DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- FTGraduate Technical ConsultantACT
- FTSenior Unix/Linux EngineerNSW
- CCSecurity Business AnalystNSW
- FTWeb Content WriterACT
- CCSenior Procurement SpecialistVIC
- TPMobile Application DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Process ModellerNSW
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- CCSeeking a Perl Developer for a 5-10 Day Project!NSW
- FTPractise Manager - SecurityVIC
- TPProject Manager - ProcurementQLD
- FTSenior System AdministratorNSW