ASUS P5K-SE – Features
The ASUS P5K-SE could be considered the runt of this pack featuring a less appealing design, a more limited list of features, while measuring just 19.3 centimeters wide. Priced at around $120 the ASUS P5K-SE looks a little overpriced sitting next to the Abit IP35-E. So what does the budget P5K-SE motherboard have for us? Well, other than the small and unusual board design, ASUS has managed to include a reasonable amount of features such as a single Gigabit LAN controller, 8-channel audio and eSATA. Interestingly while the board does only feature a 4-phase power design, ASUS has gone with high-quality conductive polymer capacitors.
Although the P5K-SE might not look the part it is a very well put together motherboard featuring a number of quality components. Audio is delivered by a Realtek ALC883 controller which is a budget option offering 8-channel support. So, the Abit IP35-E is equipped with a slightly better audio controller then. What the IP35-E does not have is eSATA support which can be found on the P5K-SE thanks to the inclusion of a Marvell 88SE6111 controller supporting a single SATA port.
The storage abilities of the P5K-SE have been compromised when compared to the P5K-E and P5K Deluxe boards as support for just four SATA ports exist without the option of RAID. This is due to the use of the ICH9 southbridge which is quite featureless when it comes to storage as Intel's Matrix storage technology is not included.
The ASUS P5K-SE features a 24-pin power connector along with a 4-pin 12v power connector and four DDR2 DIMM slots supporting up to 8GB of either DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 memory in dual-channel mode. For expansion the P5K-SE includes a single PCI Express x16 port along with three PCIe x1 ports and two standard PCI ports. This means Crossfire is not supported on this motherboard which shouldn't be an issue. Given how much it costs to purchase two Radeon graphics cards I am sure anyone considering this option will be prepared to spend more on the motherboard.