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Pipe Dreams: Six P35-DDR3 Motherboards Compared

BIOS And Overclocking

We expect the P35 chipset to top 500 MHz bus clock (FSB2000) using the "right" processor and RAM, but Asus leaves extra room for insane settings of up to 800 MHz (FSB3200). The board doesn't provide manual selection of every memory ratio supported by its P35 chipset, but instead allows the users to select from 800, 889 or 1066 MHz data rates and automatically selects the closest "standard" ratio as front-side bus is increased.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
FSB Frequency200-800 MHz (1 MHz)
Clock Multiplier AdjustmentYes
DRAM Frequency800/889/1066 MHz Data Rate
PCIe Clock100-150 MHz (1 MHz)
CPU Vcore1.1000 - 1.7000 Volts (0.0125 Volts)
CPU FSB Voltage1.20 - 1.50 Volts (0.10 Volts)
Northbridge (MCH)1.25 - 1.70 Volts (0.15 Volts)
Southbridge (ICH)1.05/1.20 Volts
DRAM Voltage1.50 - 2.20 Volts (0.05 Volts)
CAS Latency Range
tCAS: 5-10; tRCD: 3-10; tRP: 3-10; tRAS: 9-24

As with most P35 chipset motherboards, a synchronous memory speed isn't usually selectable. Increasing the bus clock to 400 MHz (FSB1600) does bring up the synchronous option by selecting "800 MHz" memory data rate, but choosing this setting prevents the system from booting. This isn't a reduction in features since other boards do not allow a FSB to DRAM clock ratio below 5:6 to be chosen, but it is something to keep in mind during your overclocking attempts.

The maximum selectable CPU Core Voltage of 1.70V sounds insane when considering current processors, but Asus included support for LGA775 processors all the way back to 800 MHz LGA775 Pentium 4's. That crazy-sounding voltage limit could come in handy when overclocking an old Gallatin-core Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor.

The P35K3 Deluxe WiFi-AP pushed 3.45 GHz at 1.50 volts out of an early-revision Core 2 Duo E6700 known to reach 3.46 GHz at the same voltage. Dropping its multiplier to 6x allowed a 452 MHz bus clock, an impressive result given the processor's history.


Documentation & SoftwareMotherboard ManualWiFi/Access Point User GuideMotherboard Driver CD
Hardware1x 80-conductor Ultra ATA cable1x Floppy Cable6x SATA Data Cable1x Four-Pin to SATA Power Adapter (2-drives)1x WiFi Antenna1x Port Breakout Plate (2x USB, 1x IEEE-1394)1x I/O Panel Shield1x Chipset Cooling Fan1x Asus Q-Connector Kit1x Asus Case Badge

Specific to Asus' WiFi-AP motherboard support kits is the WiFi antenna. The P5K3 Deluxe WiFi-AP Edition also adds a supplemental chipset fan for use with passively cooled or water cooled processors.

Asus finally puts USB and IEEE-1394 FireWire breakout cables on the same plate rather than wasting an extra slot by using two plates. A full cable kit addresses almost every need, and Asus also simplifies front panel connection with its Q-Connector kit.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Dont get any biostar mobo, they all have capacitor problems in my experience.
  • Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R support up to 4GB DDR3 memory. However, could 8GBs 2x4GB DDR3 modules be used as long as it is within the top 1333 limit on the board?