Computex 2007 - Asus goes all out
Asus P5K3 Premium and the rest of the bunch
Asus P5K3 Premium - on-board DDR3 memory!
The other truly innovative motherboard solution from Asus was the upcoming P5K3 Premium board.
This board uses the P35 chipset from Intel, just as the Blitz motherboard does, and also supports DDR3-1333 memory speeds and 1333 MHz FSB CPUs. The real treat comes when you start to look at the area where memory modules would normally sit.
Asus has actually taken 2GB of Qimonda DDR3 memory chips and soldered them to the motherboard and is running it at 1333 MHz speeds. These memory chips are cooled using the same heat pipe system that the chipset and power management chips are cooled on.
There is without a doubt going to be some issues with this motherboard and its adoption. First, will users pay this much for a motherboard? Assuming that the board itself will cost $150 at least and adding another $400 on for memory (maybe that's a bit high), we are talking in the $500 range for this motherboard. Also, will Asus be able to price it low enough so that the constant price fluctuations on the memory side of the industry don't affect the price of the board? Also the issue of being able to upgrade your memory will be a concern to most: there are no expansion slots for extra memory; 2GB is what you get.
Once we get the full retail option in house we'll dive much deeper into the design on this board and what we think about the business side of this product.
Other Asus motherboards on display
There were a couple of other motherboards that caught my eye but weren't quite as exciting as these three mention previously.
First up is the Asus P5E3 WS Professional that will use the upcoming Intel X38 chipset and support PCI Express 2.0, full x16 PCIe bandwidth to two graphics card slots. No doubt Asus will also be making an "enthusiast" level motherboard based on this chipset but I wouldn't expect to see it before the late September launch of the X38 chipset.
The Asus P5K64 WS motherboard uses the Intel P35 chipset but is able to support three PCIe x16 cards so you could run three graphics cards on it; providing one of them was single slot.