Based on Intel's P965 chipset, the ASUS P5B Premium board suits any of the current generation Intel LGA775 socket-based CPUs and can also handle an ATI CrossFire dual graphics card configuration. It comes with some features that aren't found on most motherboards, performed reliably in our tests, and its installation was almost a no-brainer.
The P5B Premium is a solid foundation for any Windows Vista-based PC. We didn't even have to install chipset drivers after we installed the operating system; Vista recognised all of the board's components, save for the audio chip, which we had to install from the driver disc.
Physically, the board is well built and has a layout that's easy to work with. The spacing of the components allowed us to easily install our Core 2 Quad QX6700 CPU with a standard heat sink, 1GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM and a GeForce 7600GT-based graphics card. Along with a 150GB Western Digital Raptor hard drive, this configuration propelled the board to a score of 101 in WorldBench 6, which is a few points shy of what we were expecting.
In the Cdex encoding test, where we convert 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files, the board took 1min 49sec, which is an expected result for our configuration. Preset overclocking options are available in the BIOS, which allow the system to be overclocked dynamically (up to 20 per cent), but you can also manually adjust the front side bus speed and the clock ratio of the CPU. We overclocked the CPU to 3.3GHz, and the Cdex encoding time was reduced to 1min 35sec.