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ASUS P5K-E vs. GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 vs. ABIT IP35 Pro

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February 27, 2008 6:53:21 PM

I am trying to decide between the following P35 motherboards:

Asus P5K-E ($140 at Newegg)
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 Revision 2.0 ($180 at Newegg)
Abit IP35 Pro ($175 at Newegg)

I have done lots of searching, and have found lots of threads comparing them and it basically seems like they are all great boards. Most of the threads are outdated though, so I was hoping to get some more opinions. I'll give as much information as I can that will help you help me make a decision.

I have already listed the prices, and if there is no real need to spend the extra ~$40 on the gigabyte or abit, then I won't. Here are my decision factors (in no particular order):

1) Overall manufacturer reputation, product quality, and popularity of brand. Things such as well written manuals, customer support that is easy to contact and helpful, well-built and long-lasting product quality. A large user base is nice so that if I run into problems, people on forums will be able to help with my specific product.

2) Frequency of product updates. I always like companies who keep up to date drivers and such.

3) How easy is it to get it working and get it up-to-date? How easy is overclocking? Overclocking is not a necessity, but I will probably end up wanting to do so.

4) Newbie friendly is a plus.

5) Future proof?

6) Here are some additional specs I plan on including in my build:

MSI Geforce 8800GT OC video card
Corsair XMS2 Ram
Core 2 Quad Q6600

I think I read some video cards are so long they cover the SATA connectors on the Asus board?

7) The Gigabyte and Abit have those cooling pipes. Do they really do anything?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
February 27, 2008 7:28:20 PM

1) cant really speak for Gigabyte or Abit, but ASUS boards i love, never had many issues customer support is good and they have extensive user forums to talk to other owners

2) now the P5K-e has been out for a while youll find there will be fewer updates but just recently they added 45nm cpu support with BIOS update so they are into updates.

3) havent overclocked yet but all the right options are there in the BIOS on the ASUS

4) i think all manufacturers try and make board noob friendly so dont think youll have issues there

5) future proof wise all three board basically have the same features so you are not winning of loosing by picking one over the other.
February 27, 2008 7:43:31 PM

Hi, I just got the stuff in my sig last week, and everything runs rock stable, ordered an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro for 20$ and my rigs is stable @ ~42C idle and ~80C @ full load, mind that everything is stock (no lapping, etc.).

As far as the overclocking goes, I got the thing up to 3.0Ghz (9X333) just to see if I could, the the stock HSF wasn't up to snuff so I put everything back @ stock, but in practice it works great.

Also you mentioned the heat pipes for the north/south bridge cooling, the 2 boards that come with them cost quite a bit more, but as they say, you get what you pay for, but in my case but HS are not too hot to the touch, but that's with a couple of case fans pushing air on the board. But they sure must help in some way since almost all high-end boards have them.

As for the SATA connectors on mine, I've got 4 devices populating the red SATA ports on the MB, and it doesn't conflict with my GFX card at all.

As far as the Bios updating goes, I always use the tried and tested and true method of the floppy disk, ans it worked great, but I upgraded just to have the latest since I was able to do everything with the original BIOS (0902 i think it was).

Hope this helps.
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February 27, 2008 8:15:55 PM

I was debating between the Asus p5k-e wifi and the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 Revision 2.0. I really wanted the p35-ds4 but could not justify the extra cost so I went with the p5k-e. I am very happy with this board and it was my first build. I do not regret my purchase.
February 27, 2008 9:58:47 PM

if you're gonna spend that much 140+ anyway... why not get a lower cost X38 board? especially since you said "future proofing"... From what I understand the X48 is hardly worth the wait because it's just a hyped up version of the X38... only significant difference is the FSB up to 1600, but you can get that from any recently released board...
February 28, 2008 5:49:14 PM

the IP35 Pro is $145 after MIR at Newegg & it's worth $5 over the Asus (it's imo a better mobo than the DS4 to start with).
February 28, 2008 8:28:15 PM

Glad to see that I am not the only one researching the exact same 3 boards. The Gigabyte board has some nasty heatsinks but I always hear that ASUS is more reliable, especially in the software department. I did also like the rear I/O placement on the Gigabyte but when it comes down to it, you only see it once or twice a year when plugging stuff in.

I am going to save the $30-40 and go with ASUS. I like the fact that the eSATA is on the back I/O panel even though I lose 2 USB in the tradeoff.

One look at ABIT's website and I was immediately turned off. If they can't find the time to work on their site then how are they going to find time to develop software support?
February 29, 2008 10:24:06 PM

I am considering the same boards! How about that? I am nearly done my build and just need PSU and video card.

I am wondering about the fit of a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU cooler (for Core 2 Quad Q6600) with those boards. Does it fit the same on any of those boards or is there a difference with any?

Second question: I read that early Asus P5K boards had the heat/power consumption problem (they produced more than other brands) and was wondering if it is still an issue or whether there was an improvement. Those are my main issues as the cost/price differences are around $50 with the Asus being cheapest, then the Gigabyte and the Abit the most expensive (this is for Canadian citizens/buyers).

I am also considering the Gigabyte EP35-DS3P as well. I would like the revision 2.1 boards since I read here there are less issues or problems with upgrading (processors).
March 4, 2008 11:39:10 AM

riehmc said:

One look at ABIT's website and I was immediately turned off. If they can't find the time to work on their site then how are they going to find time to develop software support?

which website (abit USA or abit Taiwan)?
I'm guessing abit USA but all the development is done by abit Taiwan so that's a non-sequitur.
I don't think that you can really judge a mobo manufacturer by their website - Asus website is horrendous & yet they are the biggest mobo manufacturer by far.
I don't find Gigabyte's website great either.
August 8, 2008 1:23:49 PM

I am not a fan of Asus. I had the P5B Deluxe Wifi Ap a few years ago which was a monstrosity.

I've had the Abit IP35 - Pro for a couple of days and although it's ok - it's not perfect. A number of times I had issues with it posting. I found that it was a problem with the RAM - I hadn't amended the bios to give 2.1v to the RAM. It still intermittently won't post though. I also don't like the fact that it doesn't have a boot option. The software that abit have developed to run with the board in windows is full of bugs and often stops responding. The board looks quite basically built (being fussy now.) The SATA's and IDE's are in an awkward location - although I can understand some people liking their position as they're tucked away once you get them in.

I have a good relationship with the supplier and they're going to replace it for me with the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4.

When you compare Technical specs the gigabyte has more about it and is more future proof. We shall see though! I could have made the wrong decission.
!