ASUS P5K-VM: Feature Set

Market Segment HTPC or SOHO - $119.99
CPU Interface Socket T (Socket 775)
CPU Support LGA775-based Pentium 4, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo/Extreme/Quad
Chipset Intel 8233GMH Northbridge and ICH9 Southbridge
Bus Speeds Auto, 200 ~ 800 in 1MHz increments
Memory Ratios: DDR2 Auto/Manual - 200FSB/667, 800; 266FSB/667, 800, 889, 1067; 333FSB/667, 800, 833, 1000, 1067, 1111, 1333
PCIe Speeds 100MHz~150MHz in 1MHz increments
Core Voltage Auto, 1.1500V to 1.6000V in 0.0125V increments
CPU Clock Multiplier Auto, 6x-12x in 1X increments if CPU is unlocked, downwards unlocked, Core 2 Duo
DRAM Voltage: DDR2 1.80V, 1.90V, 2.00V, 2.10V
DRAM Timing Control Auto, Manual - 9 DRAM Timing Options (tCL, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tRFC plus four)
DRAM Static Read Control Auto, Enable, Disabled
Transaction Booster Auto, Enable, Disabled
On-board Video GMA 3100, OpenGL 1.4, Shader 2.0 (DirectX 9.0c), 400 MHz clock, Four Pixel Pipelines, Vertex Shader 2.0 supported by software via CPU processing, max 2048x1536 resolution, Dynamic Video Memory Technology, Clear Video processing engine, MPEG-2 hardware decode acceleration.
GFX Memory Buffer Fixed - 128MB, 256MB, DVMT 4MB ~ 256MB
Memory Slots Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 8GB Total
Expansion Slots 1 - PCIe x16
1 - PCIe x4
1 - PCI Slot 2.3
Onboard SATA/RAID 4 SATA 3Gbps Ports - ICH9
Onboard IDE 1 ATA133/100/66 Port (2 drives) - JMicron JMB368
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 12 USB 2.0 Ports - 6 I/O Panel - 6 via Headers
Firewire 400 - VIA VT6308 - 2 ports - 1 I/O Panel, 1 via Header
Onboard LAN Marvell 88E8056 - PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC883 - 8-channel HD audio codec
Power Connectors ATX 24-pin, 4-pin ATX 12V
I/O Panel 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x D-Sub
1 x Parallel
1 x Coaxial S/PDIF out
1 x IEEE 1394
1 x Audio Panel
1 x RJ45
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
Fan Headers 3 - CPU/SYS/Chassis
Fan Control CPU Fan Control via BIOS or Software, Chassis/System Fans not controlled but monitored
CPU Fan Settings - Smart Fan Method - Optimal, Silent, Performance
BIOS Revision 401
Board Revision v1.00

The ASUS P5K-VM is one of the more expensive uATX boards on the market, but ASUS has a reputation of producing some of the best motherboard. The P5K-VM comes with a good set of features, including good performance, reasonable overclocking and tweaking options, Firewire, and a fair complement of expansion options. However, there is one rather major omission with the ASUS offering: there's no DVI or HDMI port. For a modern uATX design, this is a serious oversight. We can understand skipping HDMI, because not everyone needs a motherboard that can be used for HTPC purposes, but sticking with an analog VGA connector is completely unacceptable, especially on one of the more expensive uATX boards.

Of course, this isn't really ASUS' fault, as it's a problem with the G33 chipset. In order to implement DVI support, a separate SDVO chip is required, which would simply be an extra expense. G35 should address this shortcoming, but in the meantime the latest Intel IGP solution leaves quite a bit to be desired in the graphics department.

The BIOS offers fine-grained adjustments of FSB and PCIe speeds and a limited degree of CPU multiplier tweaking. Voltage adjustments are available for the CPU and RAM, which provides a good starting point for overclocking, but the lack of chipset and bus voltage tweaking means that overclocking will be limited relative to most enthusiast motherboards. However, relative to other uATX offerings the P5K-VM does provide a decent amount of tweaking. The G33 chipset supports the latest 1333FSB Intel CPUs, and ASUS also provides unofficial DDR2-1066 support. These are all good features to have, but without a digital video connection of some form we feel a discrete GPU is almost required. In that case, why even bother with an IGP chipset? ASUS could have used a P965 or P35 chipset and improved the other aspects of the board to create a better overall package.

Index ASUS P5K-VM: Board Layout and Features
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • sprockkets - Friday, September 28, 2007 - link

    Sad how an AMD 7050 board can be had for $80, $40 cheaper with the same features. It is the premium you pay for having dvi.

    Oddly enough too is that the Gigabyte board you quote doesn't use all solid caps yet the lower end board does. And of course, they didn't bother with solid caps on their new AMD boards period, cause "AMD is second tier."
  • tayhimself - Thursday, September 27, 2007 - link

    Preposterous!! Why do they even bother making this junk without DVI. More and more I find that I don't want a leet board that overclocks 100 Mhz higher but a stable board with the right features. -sigh-
  • 8steve8 - Thursday, September 27, 2007 - link

    and on top of it, these igp's are not suited well for gaming or videos,,, (the two applications where you may not notice the difference between a digital and analog interface), so they will be used for text/office work... an application where the discrepancies in the user-experience of analog vs digital interfaces with an LCD are undeniable.

    again, great article.,, but in the end, I sort of wonder why waste ur time exploring these boards when your time is better spent on solutions that deserve our money?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 27, 2007 - link

    I think both of those G33 + SDVO models launched long after Gary had started work on this uATX stuff. Good to see that some people are including the necessary chip, as uATX without DVI is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, testing some of this stuff takes a lot more time than we would like. We're working to address that, however.
  • jenli - Thursday, September 27, 2007 - link

    I would love to see a review of motherboards with igp
    that can be converted to raid servers by using the lone
    pcie 16x slot.

    Have fun,
  • CK804 - Thursday, September 27, 2007 - link

    I'm doing exactly what you mention with an Intel DG965RY. I have an Areca ARC-1210 fitted in there with 3 320GB WD Caviar SE16s in RAID 5.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now