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Intel 915P Shootout : Biostar P4TGP 775
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Sunday, 30th January, 2005

Biostar P4TGP 775 (The Good)

The Biostar P4TGP 775 is a decently designed motherboard with some well thought of features. Primary IDE and floppy connectors are placed on the upper corner of the board, making them ideally positioned for easy access. Just like the Albatron PX915P Pro and ASUS P5GD2 Premium, the P4TGP 775 uses an ITE IT8212F Ultra ATA RAID controller to provide additional storage capabilities. Mainly targeted for additional hard disks, these two extra IDE controllers are placed at the bottom of the board. One of the things we liked about the board layout is that Biostar has gotten around the usual concern of cable clutter by appropriately spacing out the storage connectors.

Primary IDE and floppy connectors at the top right periphery.

ITE Ultra ATA RAID controller provides support for four additional IDE devices.

SATA and extra IDE connectors are spaced out to ease cable management.

The P4TGP 775 comes with seven expansion slots. Biostar was able to fit in three PCI, three PCI Express x1 and a PCI Express x16 all into one half of the board. Suprisingly, the P4TGP 775 does not look overly crowded and the spacing does not differ from boards with six slots. The very last PCI slot has an extension called an SLR slot, which is a proprietary Biostar interconnect for their bundled LAN/Router card. This brings us to the next feature of the P4TGP 775.

Expansion slots aplenty as the P4TGP 775 sports an equal amount of PCI and PCIe x1 slots.

This extension to the last PCI slot is Biostar's proprietary SLR slot for their bundled router card.

The board is equipped with a Realtek RTL8110S-32 PCI based Gigabit LAN controller. If you are wondering why there isn't any RJ45 LAN ports to be seen, Biostar has included a fully functional LAN/WAN router that comes in a form of an expansion card. While most manufacturers try to win you over with more Ethernet controllers than you can shake your fist at, the P4TGP 775 is the only board providing a complete home gateway solution. Using a Realtek RTL8650 chipset, the card acts as a LAN router and provides connectivity to three additional PCs. Although it uses Biostar's SLR slot, the RTL8650 operates with an embedded PCI host interface.

The P4TGP 775 uses a Realtek PCI Gigabit Ethernet chipset.

The P4TGP 775 comes with this 4-port LAN/WAN router. Ideal for wired broadband connections and will handle up to three PCs.

The motherboard also comes with FireWire support and Biostar integrates a VIA VT6307 controller for this purpose. VIA's VT6307 is a single chip solution with a built-in PHY that supports two IEEE 1394a ports. Audio is taken care of by C-Media's CMI9880 HD Audio CODEC. The CMI9880 fully supports Azalia audio specifications capable of 192kHz/24-bit sound with real-time Dolby Digital encoding. Optical S/PDIF-Out is provided but you will need to get your own bracket if you require S/PDIF-In.

VIA VT6307 IEEE 2-port 1394a controller.

C-Media CMI9880 HD Audio CODEC. 8-channel surround sound with Dolby Live capabilities.

The P4TGP 775 comes with a slightly better packaging than most of the better known brands. Besides the WAN/LAN router, Biostar has provided all four SATA cables and a pair of SATA power converters, something most manufacturers take for granted. The board is also packaged with full OEM versions of Norton Internet Security 2004 and Norton Ghost 2003. However, they do not provide any other additional brackets. If you would like to make use of all available headers for extra ports and features, you're on your own.

Application Pack CD includes full OEM versions of Norton Internet Security 2004 and Norton Ghost 2003.

Rear panel has all the standard connectors for onboard features sans LAN port, which is provided by the router card.

The following overclocking options are available for the Biostar P4TGP 775:-

  • FSB Settings: 200MHz to 255MHz
  • RAM Frequency: DDR333, DDR400, DDR533
  • CPU Voltage Settings: 1.250-1.600V (in 0.0125V steps)

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