ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/[email protected] has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one controlled by a Marvell 88E8056 chip, which is connected to the south bridge chip through a PCI Express x1 bus, and the other controlled by a Realtek RTL8110SC chip, which is connected to the south bridge chip through the
PCI bus. Since the standard PCI bus has a maximum transfer rate of 132 MB/s – which translates to 1 Gbps – achieving 1 Gbps on this second port is very unlikely, as it would be working at the PCI maximum transfer rate.
The most different feature present on this motherboard is its 801.n WiFi access point. An integrated access point allows you to share your broadband internet connection (and also files and printers) with other computers around your office or home without the need of a wireless broadband router, so you can save some bucks (even though the cost of this access point is embedded on the motherboard cost, of course).
IEEE 802.11n specification allows networks running up to 300 Mbps, if you also have IEEE 802.11n cards on your other computers. If you don’t, the on-board access point will work at 802.11g (54 Mbps) or b (11 Mbps). Of course your internet speed will be limited by your broadband connection: if you have a 2 Mbps connection that will be the maximum transfer rate you will get on the internet. The 300 Mbps, 54 Mbps or 11 Mbps transfer rates will only be available for local file transfers – i.e., for transferring files from one computer to another. With more and more digital contents like movies being produced and saved on hard disk drives, the higher your network speed the better for transferring files between computers. Even though if you are really worried about speed you will probably build a cabled network using a Gigabit switch in order to achieve 1,000 Mbps when transferring files between your computers.
ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/[email protected] comes with two omni-directional antennas, as you can see in Figure 5. According to ASUS the operating ranges for its on-board access point are the following:
- IEEE 802.11n: 980 ft (300 m) outdoor or 330 ft (100 m) indoor.
- IEEE 802.11g: 200 ft (60 m) outdoor or 100 ft (30 m) indoor.
- IEEE 802.11b: 1000 ft (310 m) outdoor or 130 ft (40 m) indoor.