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Consistency is a hard thing to come by in this industry, but year after year, Intel has managed to deliver excellent mid-range core logic chipsets. Since its launch last spring, the P35 Express has been the best bang-for-your-buck Core 2 chipset on the market—a position inherited from its P965 predecessor, which was the LGA775 platform of choice in its day. The P965's crown, of course, was a hand-me-down from the Intel 915P chipset that came before it, which in turn, well, you get the picture.

Intel's mid-range chipsets are perhaps the very definition of the sweet spot; they offer nearly all the performance of the company's high-end chipsets and comparable features at a fraction of the cost. Trickle-down is a wonderful thing indeed, and its value hasn't been lost on motherboard makers, which tend to eagerly snap up Intel's latest mid-range chipsets and deploy them across a wide range of different products. We've seen the latest P35 Express featured in stripped-down budget boards selling for less than $100, enthusiast-oriented offerings draped in indulgent excess that cost $200 and up, and all points in between.

Given the impressive flexibility and consistent quality of Intel's mid-range chipsets, we've naturally been looking forward to the new P45 Express with bated breath. This successor to the P35 hasn't yet been formally announced, but we managed to get our hands on P45-based P5Q and P5Q3 Deluxe motherboards from Asus to run through the wringer. Read on to see if Intel's latest mid-range chipset lives up to its lineage...
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(15 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 5820K MSI X99A SLI PLUS EVGA GTX 1070 FTW 4x8GB G.Skill Ripjaws  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 Pro Samsung 850 Evo Noctua NH-D15 Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2515H Happy Hacking Keyboard 2  EVGA Supernova 750 G2 Corsair 600Q 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G403 Steelseries QcK Mass M-Audio AV40 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 @ 3.7 HT Gigabyte X58A-UD3R VisionTek 4870x2 3x4GB's G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
500GB AAKS, 2x 640GB AAKS, 2x 1TB Samsung SH-S203B Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 245BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Happy Hacking Keyboard 2 Silverstone OP850 Antec 1200 [Three Nanoxia FX12] [Two San Ace 1011] Logitech G500 
Mouse Pad
Razer eXactMat 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i7 3615QM GT 650M 16GB DDR3 256GB SSD 
OS
OS X Mountain Lion 
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Rig
(15 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 5820K MSI X99A SLI PLUS EVGA GTX 1070 FTW 4x8GB G.Skill Ripjaws  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 Pro Samsung 850 Evo Noctua NH-D15 Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2515H Happy Hacking Keyboard 2  EVGA Supernova 750 G2 Corsair 600Q 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G403 Steelseries QcK Mass M-Audio AV40 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 @ 3.7 HT Gigabyte X58A-UD3R VisionTek 4870x2 3x4GB's G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
500GB AAKS, 2x 640GB AAKS, 2x 1TB Samsung SH-S203B Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Samsung 245BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Happy Hacking Keyboard 2 Silverstone OP850 Antec 1200 [Three Nanoxia FX12] [Two San Ace 1011] Logitech G500 
Mouse Pad
Razer eXactMat 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i7 3615QM GT 650M 16GB DDR3 256GB SSD 
OS
OS X Mountain Lion 
  hide details  
Reply