At $349, you expect to find the very best component choices... 

 

What you get over previous ASUS P55 motherboard iterations is USB 3 and SATA 6G, both supplied by the current standard NEC and Marvell controllers. Unfortunately, ASUS have dropped their range of bundled plug-in soundcards for the ROG series and what we’re given instead is onboard audio using VIA’s VT2020 codec. It’s also a shame that we’re being passed a standard Marvell NIC, we were hoping ASUS would opt for one of the Intel models instead. The difference in performance is miniscule but the Intel drivers seem to be quite polished at present based upon what we've expereinced on our Biostar TPOWER I55.

For the M3E, ASUS’s focus seems to have shifted towards a higher quality VRM for CPU Vcore and also overclocking centric hardware features like the plug-in Bluetooth module supporting remote overclocking as well as ROG Connect (more on that lot later). We’re happy that ASUS have opted for higher quality VRM’s on their newer ROG boards rather than the ludicrously multiplexed solutions we've seen to date. That's the good part. The rest of ASUS's time seems to have been spent developing on-the-fly overclocking features and they've now  got no fewer than four different ways of achieving the same goal. While some of the methods ASUS use to allow remote overclocking and monitoring are good, we think more time/money should be spent on providing a high quality NIC or soundcard. We're sure it would have helped bolster the M3E's appeal to a 'wider' enthusiast audience.

What’s in the box?

Included with the board, you get the following:

  • 1 x ROG Connect Cable
  • 1 x SLI Connector
  • 1 x 3 Way SLI Connector
  • 1 x Optional Fan
  • 2 x SATA 6G Cables
  • 6 x SATA 3G Cables
  • 1 x USB 2.0 (two ports) + ESATA bracket
  • 1 x RC Bluetooth Card
  • 1 x I/O Shield
  • 1 x Q-Connector
  • 3 x Thermal Sensor Cables
  • Cable Ties
  • ROG Cable Labels
  • ROG Case Label

 

Software

ROG connect is the most notable addition to ASUS’s software bundle. A dedicated USB to SMBUS port is provided allowing users to plug in a Windows based laptop and control/monitor bus speeds, voltages/current, turn the board on/off and to flash BIOS if required. It’s very slick, although long-term appeal is very limited unless you are a benchmarking fanatic.

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t stop there; ASUS have also developed a plug-in Bluetooth module allowing on-the-fly adjustment of key voltages and BCLK. The list of supporting phones are as follows;

 

Again, it’s something that we’d see as more useful to someone who benchmarks competitively and wants to wring out every last MHz during various portions of a benchmark. You’ve also got ASUS’s Tubo-V to do most of what is needed on a 24/7 system when it comes to making changes to BIOS settings within the OS, so the remote utilities are not essential if you don’t have the hardware to make use of them.

 

BIOS

The BIOS is where ASUS are the market leaders right now. It’s easy to navigate and the overclocking section allows for novice and advanced users to tweak almost every setting available thanks to a simple input method for voltages and AUTO functions which give a good starting base (aside from the 0606 BIOS over-volting DRAM unnecessarily).

Fan control is first-class, a total of eight onboard headers are available, most can be controlled individually, while the Chassis fan headers are controlled as a group. You can also use the supplied thermal sensor cables to set up control thresholds for the three onboard OPT fan headers which is a nice touch. Each header can support a maximum current draw of up to two amps depending upon how many headers are populated - cumulative current draw is limited to 7 amps total at 12V when multiple fans are used.  Either way, there are more than enough options on tap to keep most users happy.

BIOS flashing is simple, a built in BIOS routine allows one to flash a new file from HDD or a USB pen drive easily enough. There are two onboard BIOS chips allowing for some redundancy if things go awry. Should both chips become corrupt and the board cannot post, there’s always the option of using ROG Connect to flash the BIOS remotely without having to power up the board first. Of course, that means you’ll need a working PC to do so, but it is better than shipping the board back for RMA.

 

 

Performance Summary and Overclocking Board Layout
POST A COMMENT

22 Comments

View All Comments

  • duploxxx - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    nice looking, nice features expensive board and really expensive knowing that the platform is dead early next year.

    what a waste
    Reply
  • miburns100 - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    Nice board, but way too expensive. Reply
  • jriofrio - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    Too expencive compare with alternatives... Reply
  • Micki57 - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    Super Nice of you to give this system to some lucky reader! Reply
  • DLeRium - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    You're promising a new X58 roundup - Yes quite honestly your first X58 roundup was a joke. It was really like a 4 mobo roundup of the motherboards that were available at launch. Tom's Hardware had like 4 roundups or something to cover the budget end and the enthusiast end.

    You also promised an in depth i7 overclocking guide. Really, there was nothing. The most you ever mentioned about overclocking was in those investigations into high vDIMM or whatever. And it's obvious most of those articles were really more like lab testing notes geared for those with systems ready to OC.... not the general reader.

    Also there was never a DDR3 roundup as you promised.

    So yes, let's hope you deliver on this one. I know there's been a gradual shift in the change where Anand likes smartphones and stuff, and don't we all, but there have been cell phone geeks from the beginning, and that's why there are places like Mobile Review, Howard Forums, GSM Arena, Phone Arena, etc. Let's stick to our core and get the cpu+motherboard+video card reviews down yeah?
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    It'll be pleasing for you to know that this X58 'round-up' is only going to be the refresh boards only. It's four boards.

    later
    Raja
    Reply
  • gasgas - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    If you’re in such a dire need of an i7 over clocking guide, you really should not be near a PC. It’s the easiest platform to overclock ever.

    Anandtech’s coverage of H55/H57 was unsurpassed in honesty. The very fact you mention Tom’s here shows the line is very fuzzy for you.

    Granted, things were promised in the past that did not get posted, but it looks like everything that’s been promised over the past 6 months has arrived. Maybe you should stick to cruising Tom’s instead of trolling here.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    You're awfully quick to rush to AT's defense and ignore every issue the original poster said. How does "H55/H57 was unsurpassed in honesty" refute any of his points?? Almost every AT article refers to an upcoming roundup that never appears. The quality of Toms articles are not as high as AT, but give them credit for much wider coverage of available parts than AT provides. Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    Fully respect what you guys are saying. We've been trying hard to stick with the articles we've promised this year and so far everything we've said was coming has been delivered. I shall re-iterate, don't expect anything huge on the X58 - there are four new boards we'll be comparing (they're high-end).

    later
    Raja
    Reply
  • thorgal73 - Monday, April 26, 2010 - link

    In support of Raja, I don't think any of you realise how much time goes into the review of one motherboard (they're generally the worst in my experience, followed by ram reviews), let alone four or more.
    As a reviewer, it's sometimes hard not to fall for the abundance of products different manufacturers offer you, which in the end gets you frustrated because of lack of time and lack of progress, further leading to long waiting times for the readers or even outdated products before you even get to publish the product review. In my opinion it is a virtue to stick to the stuff you can manage within a reasonable deadline.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now