Articles: Mainboards

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Since the BIOS Setup in the ASUS P4P800S contains the same options as the BIOS of the ASUS P4P800 mainboard, there are options for enabling HyperPath technology (PAT). Namely, Performance Mode and Memory Acceleration Mode. If you set them into “Turbo” and “Enabled” respectively, you will gain about 5% in performance.

The BIOS features the undoubtedly useful CPU Parameter Recall technology, which allows resetting the FSB and memory timings in case of over-overclocking. To do this, you press the INS key on your keyboard when starting the system up. The BIOS Setup opens up then and you can correct all wrongly set parameters.

The BIOS Setup of the ASUS P4P800S mainboard inherited an annoying trait of the P4P800 BIOS with respect to memory timings. If the FSB frequency is 200MHz and you enable Performance Mode and Memory Acceleration Mode, the mainboard sets DRAM CAS# Latency into 2, independent of what you have chosen in the Setup. So, if you don’t happen to have overclocker’s memory modules with low latency, you’d better set the FSB frequency to 201MHz. In this case, all BIOS Setup settings work correctly.

The Hardware Monitoring page tells a lot of useful information about the system: CPU and system temperatures, rotation speeds of the fans, Vcore and PSU voltages (on main lines). Regrettably, Q-Fan technology is disabled in the BIOS Setup of the ASUS P4P800S mainboard.

In order to evaluate the overclockability of the ASUS P4P800S mainboard, I took an engineering sample of the Pentium 4 3.2GHz processor with an unlocked multiplier. To check the mainboard’s operability at high FSB clock-rates, I was smoothly reducing the CPU multiplier to 12x, while increasing the FSB frequency to 300MHz. It really worked:

This result is a solid proof of the ASUS P4P800S having a good overclocking potential. This mainboard can speed up the processor no worse than more expensive i875/i865-based products do. Thus, the ASUS P4P800S plus a Pentium 4 2.4C GHz processor may make an excellent inexpensive platform for further overclocking.

Testbed and Methods

Our today’s review is dedicated to checking out the performance level of an i848P-based mainboard, ASUS P4P800S. It’s interesting to know how this solution compares to dual-channel i875P- and i865PE-based mainboards. Moreover, we will compare the i848P to the previous single-channel Socket 478 chipset from Intel, i845PE.

The testbed was configured as follows:

  • Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz CPU;
  • ABIT IC7-MAX3 (i875P), ASUS P4P800 (i865PE), ASUS P4P800S (i848P), ASUS P4PE (i845PE) mainboards;
  • 2x256MB Corsair DDR400 SDRAM with 2-2-2-5 timings. The mainboards on dual-channel chipsets used the memory in the dual-channel mode;
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra graphics card, Detonator 45.23 driver;
  • Seagate Barracuda ATA IV HDD, 80GB.

The testbed ran in Windows XP SP1. The BIOSes of the mainboards were set to maximum performance.

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