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Editor: Julio Franco

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ASUS P5K-E Features

The ASUS P5K Deluxe is a pricey motherboard at around $240 and many users will find some of the features such as the additional Gigabit LAN controller useless. Since this kind of feature do add to the overall cost and may not be of use to everyone, ASUS has released the P5K-E at around $155, placing it alongside the Abit board. However while the P5K-E maybe a cut down version of a much more expensive motherboard it still backs quite a punch.

When it comes to networking you still get a Gigabit LAN controller linked to the PCI Express bus. Once again for those that fail to get excited over wired solutions, you get ASUS' WiFi-AP Solo feature that allows users to create a complete wireless home network in either AP or wireless client mode. This feature can work even when the PC is in sleep mode. The P5K-E comes bundled with an external omni-directional antenna that can sit up on top of the computer case.

Storage wise the ASUS P5K-E features everything found on the Deluxe version. There are six SATA ports which are connected to the ICH9R southbridge chip supporting the Intel Matrix storage technology. Each port is capable of AHCI & RAID modes supporting RAID 0/1/5/10. ASUS has again included the JMicron JMB363 controller for an additional two SATA ports which are used to support external hard drives. These eSATA ports can be found on the I/O panel, but please note ASUS has not included any eSATA cables in the package.

The P5K-E supports a total of ten USB 2.0 ports, eight of which are supported right out of the box. The board also features support for two Firewire ports using an Agere FW322 1394a controller. While one of these Firewire ports can be found on a supplied expansion bracket the other is conveniently placed on the I/O panel. We found then that the P5K-E offers a broad range of connectivity and similarly to the Deluxe version, much of it is accessible from the I/O panel.

This affordable ASUS motherboard uses an ADI AD1988B audio solution. This is the most acclaimed audio codec ADI makes, featuring 10 DACs/6 ADCs, 3 stereo headphone ports, peripheral sensing, jack retasking and microphone array capture, along with S/PDIF in and out. The P5K-E is also a 8-phase design board.