Articles: Mainboards

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Intel Pentium 4/Celeron
(800/533/400MHz FSB, Hyper-Threading, Socket 478)


Intel 848P

FSB frequencies

100-400MHz (with 1MHz increment)

Overclocking friendly functions

Adjustable Vcore, Vmem and Vagp
Independently adjustable PCI frequency


2 DDR DIMM slots for single-channel DDR400/DDR333/DDR266 SDRAM

AGP slot

AGP 8x

Expansion slots (PCI/ACR/CNR)


USB 2.0 ports

8 (4 – on the rear panel)

IEEE1394 ports



2 ATA-100 channels

Serial ATA-150

2 Serial ATA-150 channels (in ICH5, without RAID support)

Integrated IDE RAID controller


Integrated sound

Six-channel AC97 codec: Analog Devices AD1888

Integrated LAN

Realtek RTL8100C 10/100Mbps LAN

Additional features

ASUS WiFi slot


AMI BIOS 2.51a


ATX, 305x205 mm

Note that ASUS offers one more i848P-based mainboard, P4P800S-E, besides the P4P800S. Notwithstanding the similar-sounding names, the two products differ dramatically and use different PCBs. The P4P800S-E is an advanced and more expensive solution with Serial ATA RAID, IEEE 1394 and Gigabit Ethernet support. Considering the P4P800S-E is made on a different PCB, it has nothing in common with the mainboard we review today. As for the price, you can find ASUS P4P800S in shops for about $90-100.

The accessories coming with the ASUS P4P800S include:

  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • Two Serial ATA cables and one Serial ATA HDD power cable;
  • One black 80-pin Parallel ATA cable;
  • Black FDD cable;
  • Back panel bracket with two additional USB 2.0 ports;
  • User’s manual.

Although the accessories set doesn’t look too gorgeous, it is richer than one coming with the P4P800, for example. There’s everything necessary, including the Serial ATA HDD power cable and USB 2.0 bracket.

Closer Look

The ASUS P4P800S is positioned by the manufacturer as a budget solution for relatively modern processors; the number of onboard connectors is minimal. Thus, the mainboard’s features are mainly those of the i848P chipset. I would say that the ASUS P4P800S represents an example of minimalism art in comparison with the currently available mainboards with numerous onboard chips and “house” technologies. I don’t want this to sound deprecating, though. Because many users need just a simple, low-cost and reliable mainboard. That’s it.

The ASUS P4P800S doesn’t disappoint us as far as supported CPUs are concerned. It works with any Socket 478 processor from the Celeron and Pentium 4 families, with 400, 533 and 800MHz FSB, with or without Hyper-Threading technology. And that’s not all. Responding to Intel’s recent confessions about the heat dissipation of the upcoming Prescott processor and about the requirement for mainboards to comply with the new Prescott FMB 1.5 specification to support the new CPU, ASUS specifically declares the fact that the P4P800S is designed to be compatible with the future processors on the 90nm core. ASUS says they used a special three-phase CPU power supply circuit for that. Let’s see how new this solution actually is:

Left – the power supply circuit on ASUS P4P800S;
Right – the power supply circuit on a relatively old, i865PE-based, ASUS P4P800

Frankly speaking, I see no significant differences between the power circuits of the new ASUS P4P800S and the old ASUS P4P800. This may only mean that the owners of ASUS mainboards on i875/i865 chipsets don’t have to worry about problems with Prescott support.

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