I finally finished installing my Asus P5E3 Premium. I finally made the switch to DDR3. I took a big risk in this not doing anything for my performance. I just wasn’t able to make the Q9450 stable at over 420MHz on the Maximus Formula and suspected this was a chip limitation.
I didn’t have high hopes for the P5E3 in solving this issue. But, in fact, I gained 30MHz FSB on this board. 450MHz is rock solid while I have problems at 460 which I can’t seem to resolve. However, 450-460MHz is the sweet spot on the X48 because of latency and tRD etc so I’m happy to be here.
The serious limitation is the fact that I can’t use a 9x multiplier with this chip. 3600MHz is definitely respectable but I bet this could ramp up to 4GHz easy with a better multiplier. It makes the E8400 look better and better since it can hit insane speeds.
The question remains… is a really fast dual core better than a slightly fast quad core?
As for DDR3, it’s really nice not to have to worry about memory holding me back. I’m not sure it’s gaining a lot of real world performance. But overall I’m running about 5-6FPS higher in Crysis which makes it playable at the highest settings.
More info, pictures, and the new watercooling set up can be found here.
I’m not completely happy with the P5E3 Premium. It comes with 802.11n and I wonder how much money I paid for that complete waste. Is Asus really that out of touch with their users? Anyone who’s going to blow that much money on an overclocking motherboard is probably using it for games. And if those are online games then you really don’t want to be using a wireless connection. The added latency and instability just isn’t worth it. Also, coming from the Maximus or Rampage formula with the POST code reader, the on board power/reset switches, the CMOS clear on the back panel, etc are all missing features on the P5E3 Premium.
But my biggest complaint is the lack of voltage and temperature reporting. This makes overclocking REALLY difficult since the board will over or undervolt any particular setting you make. If you’re considering upping something like PLL or Termination voltages you really need to know what they are set to at default. For example, on the Maximus the NB voltage defaulted to about 1.61V. If I didn’t know that then I would have considered the Auto to a 1.55v NB setting an overvoltage when in reality it would actually be adding less voltage to the mix.