Asus P5Q PRO Turbo review

Price when reviewed

The P5Q Pro Turbo is Asus’ newest Socket 775 motherboard – although it isn’t too dissimilar to Asus’ original P5Q, which garnered a five-star review in our last motherboard labs.

Asus P5Q PRO Turbo review

But, as you’ve probably guessed, this one’s aimed at the enthusiast market, and it brings a few new tricks to help speed freaks achieve maximum performance.

The first is support for heavily overclocked RAM. Although this particular board is a DDR2 design, it will run compatible DIMMs at speeds up to DDR2-1300 – more than twice the official JEDEC top speed for DDR2. The manual contains a handy list of modules certified to run at crazy speeds.

Then there’s Asus’ TurboV application, which lets you dynamically tweak your CPU frequency and voltage settings from within Windows. It’s a neat idea, and should save time when testing a processor’s limits. Note, however, that these settings aren’t persistent: reboot and your system will return to the settings specified by the BIOS.

The most novel feature is Turbo-Key. When the Turbo-Key application is running, your PC’s power button becomes a “turbo” button that applies a pre-selected TurboV profile. You can still hold it down to force a shutdown. You can thus leave your PC on low-power settings for day-to-day use, then kick into turbo mode for gaming or heavy calculations.

The Pro Turbo also brings ATI CrossFireX support, with two PCI-E x16 slots versus the basic P5Q’s one. You don’t get any more lanes – plug in two graphics cards and each slot will fall back to x8 mode – but it’s still a way to load up more GPU power.

From here on in, though, the formula’s largely unchanged from the original P5Q. You still get a lovely six USB ports on the backplate, plus headers for a further six. There’s FireWire, two PS/2 ports and four DIMM sockets accepting up to 16GB of RAM. All that’s missing is the floppy connector.

The Pro Turbo also keeps the P5Q’s eight-phase design, which should ensure that even overclocked quad-core CPUs get a stable flow of power.

But is it a worthwhile step up? It depends on how much use you’d make of its turbo features. At £92 exc VAT, it’s distinctly more pricey than the standard P5Q, now selling for £75 and still one of your more expensive Socket 775 options. The extra cost won’t perturb the sort of hobbyist who habitually invests in supercharged DIMMs and multiple graphics cards, but for more mainstream shoppers it’s a bit steep to move up “just in case”.

And while the Turbo-Key system is certainly a fun gimmick, it isn’t much more convenient than the software tweaking systems offered by many other motherboards – including the P5Q. It would have been nice to see onboard power and reset controls too.

Still, the target market should find plenty to like about the generously specified P5Q Deluxe, so on its own terms it’s a success. It isn’t for everyone, though.


Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsno


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)Intel
Processor socketLGA 775
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR2
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetIntel P45
South bridgeIntel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipsetN/A
Audio chipsetVIA HD Audio

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type8-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total4
Internal SATA connectors7
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors0
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total3

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)6
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0
Extra port backplane bracket ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?no
Motherboard onboard reset switch?no
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied4
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied0

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