Preview - ASUS P35 "Bearlake" Motherboards

Bearlake - The ASUS Way

Bearlake - The ASUS Way

Straight from the preview factory, we bring you another sneak peek at more upcoming Intel P35 chipset motherboards. This time, we have the ASUS P5K Deluxe and P5K3 Deluxe, two high-end boards that are set to provide power users with a little more 'oomph' in the features department than the Gigabyte and MSI offerings we've shown thus far. Like Gigabyte and MSI however, both ASUS boards showcased here are practically identical, but designed with different memory support; the P5K3 Deluxe is the DDR3 version and the P5K Deluxe, DDR2 only.

As you should know by now, the Intel P35 chipset will support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, so we're expecting most major manufacturers to launch dual versions of many of their boards with either DDR2, DDR3 or hybrid memory support. Since this will be a rather confusing time in the market, users should look carefully at what is being offered and plan your upgrades accordingly.

One of the most interesting observations that you'll notice looking at the ASUS P5K series is their rather modest designs. Sporting a non-complicated heat-pipe layout, the P5K/P5K3 Deluxe looks almost down to earth - or maybe we've become jaded with the radical coolers Gigabyte and MSI introduced with their P35 motherboards. What the P5K lacks in outward appeal however, they make up for in terms of features, so let's see what these two new boards have to offer.

P5K Deluxe and P5K3 Deluxe - The Differences

Bearlake - The ASUS Way

The ASUS P5K3 Deluxe motherboard is a DDR3 only board. ASUS claims to officially and natively support up to DDR3-1333 speeds on the board, which should be good news for enthusiasts.

Traditional ASUS Yellow and Black DIMM combination on the P5K Deluxe signifies DDR2 support.

While Orange is for DDR3 (P5K3 Deluxe). Notice how the DIMM slots are now located closer towards the center instead of more to the sides.

This is the chipset cooling solution on the P5K3 Deluxe, a less complicated heat-pipe system compared to the past two Gigabyte and MSI previews. However, they still form a wall around the CPU socket.

A different angle of view on the P5K3 Deluxe heat-pipe system. Notice ASUS tries to distance the heat-pipes and Northbridge to accommodate third-party CPU coolers.

The P5K Deluxe however, sports a slightly reduced cooling design. While we do not think its cooling capability will be noticeably reduced, this is ASUS' way of telling us that the P5K3 Deluxe is the real 'King of the Hill'.

Instead of a triple linked heat-pipe design, the P5K Deluxe will feature a standalone heatsink for its corner MOSFETs.

Regardless of cooling solutions, both the P5K Deluxe and P5K3 Deluxe will sport the same 8-phase PWM design and full solid capacitors.