Asus P4PE I845PE socket 478 DDR333


Thursday, October 17, 2002


Introduction

Today, we'll be reviewing the Asus P4PE which is the first mainboard that arrived to our lab to implement the most recent i845PE Pentium 4 chipset out of Intel -- one that is meant to support speeds of up to 3GHz CPUs and over. The P4PE's biggest selling point: is its support for DDR333 memory, meaning better performance, and greater memory bandwidth.

The fun doesn't end there though, because the ASUS P4PE also comes complete with an (optional) 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet controller, and full support for "Type B" 533MHz FSB Pentium 4 processors.

With Intel's "Hyperthreading" technology, multithreaded applications are even able to work more efficiently on single-CPU systems, and experience a 40% average increase in performance.

An optional Serial ATA controller is also optionally available.

In short, the Asus P4PE is literally bristling with features -- a list of which would be too long to list here.

So, if that whet's your curiosity, let's say we take a closer look at this board, and what it has to offer.

Characteristics of the ASUS P4PE
CPU

Socket 478 supports the Intel Pentium 4 processor

Chipset

Intel 82845PE & 82801DA

Form factor
ATX - 30.5cm X 22.86cm
Expansion
6 PCI - 1 AGP - 6 USB 2.0
Memory
3X 184-pin DIMM up to 2Gb DDR SDRAM 200/266/333Mhz
FSB
100Mhz to 200Mhz in steps of 1Mhz
Vcore adj.
1.5v to 1.85v in steps of 0.025 Volt
DDR Vadj. / AGP Vadj
DDR= 2.5v to 2.9v in steps of 0.10v, AGP= 1.5v 1.7v in steps of 0.10V

Audio chipset

ADI AD1980

Audio

The Asus P4PE's sound circuitry is based around an (optional) SoundMAX Analog Devices AD1980 sound-chip. The AD1980 supports Microsoft DirectX 8.0, DirectSound 3D, EAX, A3D, and even SPX ("Sound Protection eXtensions") and the Virtual Theater 5.1 environment -- all while allowing users to plug-in six speakers, including a subwoofer.

From a fidelity standpoint, the AD1980 is comparable to the C-Media CMI8738. It offers high-quality reproduction of sound, and can easily handle CD audio, MP3s, and 3D games.

Note that SPDIF connectors -- including RCA and optical ports -- are present on the motherboard, but only if the optional sound-card has been opted for.



Configuration

The ASUS P4PE has only a few jumpers, none of which are related to processor functionality. Thus, once the board has been installed, users need only drop into the BIOS to make any adjustments.

The "Advanced Chipset Setup" menu, for instance, allows the FSB to be set to a frequency ranging from 100MHz to 200MHz in 1MHz increments, with the option to allow the system to determine a proper frequency automatically.

The BIOS also provides users with the options to set the memory bus frequency to 266/333/255MHz, the AGP/PCI frequency, the Vcore voltage (1.5 to 1.85 volts), the DDR voltage (2.5 to 2.9 volts), and the AGP voltage (1.5 to 1.7 volts).

A number of memory timing settings can also be adjusted, with very little difficulty.

Index:

Next: Technical details.

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