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ASUS P4P800 Deluxe (Intel 865PE)
By CPU-zilla
Category : Mainboard
Published by Jimmy Tang on Tuesday, 29th July, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  

The Features

The AI Net feature is powered by the 3Com 3C940 Gigabit Ethernet solution. The 3Com controller resides in the 32-bit PCI bus and it offers users with 3Com's brand of Ethernet capabilities. For those who swear by the name of 3Com, the P4P800 Deluxe will truly appeal to them. Besides offering basic Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, the 3C940 is also capable of providing cable diagnostics using 3Com's Virtual Cable Tester (VCT) technology. Using Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR), the controller is able to report cable faults. Faults such as opened or shorted cables can be detected up to 1 meter of accuracy. Impedance mismatches, pair swaps, pair polarity problems and pair skew problems of up to 64ns could also be detected. Since requirements for Gigabit Ethernet is higher and definitely more sensitive to cable faults, we think the VCT feature is an extremely useful one.

The 3Com 3C940 PCI-based Gigabit LAN controller.

Next, we have the AI Audio feature which forms part of the Analog Devices AD1985 AC'97 codec. The AD1985 is a 6-channel 5.1 surround sound audio solution that's commonly used in most motherboard products. Featuring the latest SoundMAX 4 XL audio system, the AD1985 is also equipped with audio jack-sensing capabilities. Simply put, it is able to detect if you have plugged in the wrong audio jacks. This is an extremely useful feature especially when the user frequently switch between MIC input and rear audio output.

The Analog Devices AD1985 codec featuring SoundMAX 4 XL.

The AI Overclocking feature is the third component in the Ai technology. With the AI Overclocking feature, users are given a single overclocking option which automatically tune the various overclocking parameters. The option allows one to set overclocking from 5% to 30%, depending on the quality of your components. Obviously, setting the overclocking tuner to 30% would most likely be unstable. However, if you've taken the pains to get the best components for your PC, the overclocking tuner should give you a pretty good performance boost. Advanced users who prefer to tweak the options manually could disable this feature and have all the usual tweaking options available. The options available are :-

  • System bus setting :- 100MHz to 400MHz (in 1MHz steps)
  • CPU core voltage setting :- 1.4750V to 1.6000V (in 0.0125V steps), 1.7V
  • Memory speed setting :- 266, 333, 400MHz
  • PCI/AGP speed :- 33.33/66.66, 36.36/72.72, 40.0/80.0MHz
  • DDR voltage setting :- 2.55, 2.65, 2.75, 2.85V
  • AGP voltage setting :- 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8V

    In our overclocking tests using manual controls, we managed to increase the system bus speed to a whopping 300MHz. It was easy hitting that speed and we're pretty sure that most overclockers would have little problem hitting such speeds. At that FSB setting, a typical 2.4C processor will be running at 3.6GHz. What's important is that at that overclocked speed, the board was totally stable.

    The ASUS P4P800 Deluxe was stable even though its FSB was clocked to a whopping 1.2GHz.

    The last component in ASUS' Ai technology is the AI BIOS. The AI BIOS feature is made up of three different technologies, namely CrashFree BIOS 2, Q-Fan Technology and ASUS POST Reporter. These are not new to ASUS and they have been their key motherboard features for a long time already.

    Besides the four Ai components, the board is also equipped with a VIA VT6410 Ultra ATA-133 RAID controller. This is a fairly new hardware RAID controller and it's making one of its first appearance in the P4P800 Deluxe. We believe this is a rather low cost solution and it's for sure cheaper than those from Promise Technology. What's more, this baby will support RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD configurations. The wide RAID support range is enough to gain user's approval. However, it is less popular than most solutions and users might not be comfortable with its unproven track record.

    The lesser-known VIA VT6410 Ultra ATA-133 IDE RAID controller.

    The two IDE RAID ports are arranged in a rather unique fashion.

    In addition to IDE RAID, the board features an Intel ICH5R southbridge which supports an additional two Serial ATA ports. Since it's the 'R' version of the ICH5, you can use these ports in RAID 0 configuration.

    The two SATA RAID 0 ports powered by the ICH5R.

    Along with the VT6410, the board also comes equipped with a VIA VT6307 FireWire controller. It's a two-port 1394 controller which provides connectivity to digital video enthusiasts. One of the port is routed to the back I/O panel while another is placed on the motherboard as a header.

    The VIA VT6307 two-port 1394 controller.

    We found the layout of the board to be quite good. For example, a large area beside the AGP slot has been vacated so that users of any high-end AGP cards (such as the FX5900 Ultra) could afford cards with large cooling solutions. Besides that, the I/O deck is also equipped with all the common connectivities, including a coaxial S/PDIF output jack.

    There's ample space between the AGP slot and the first PCI slot.

    The rear I/O panel features all of the different connectivities that the board supports, including a coaxial S/PDIF output jack.
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