One Tough Cookie: 10 Boards with Intel i875P Chipset: Part I

Asus P4C800 Deluxe: Minimalist Top Candidate, Continued

Asus P4C800 Deluxe : Minimalist Top Candidate, Continued

The field test showed that the compatibility of the RAM modules used is heavily dependent on the respective BIOS version. During the test phase, THG obtained a number of BIOS updates ; the RAM modules only ran perfectly with the 1007 Beta 002 version provided on May 9, 2003.

Corsair XMS3200V1.1 CL 2.0-2-2-5 (432.8)
Kingston KHX3500 CL 2.0-2-2-5 (432.2)
OCZ PC3200 CL 2.0-3-3-6 (409.5)
GeIL CL2-6-3-3 Ultra CL 2.0-3-3-5 (407.5)
Kingmax MPXB62D-68KX3 CL 2.5-3-3-5 (408.5)
takeMS mMS64D32000U-5 CL 2.0-3-3-6 (406.3)
Infineon HYS64D32300GU-5-B CL 2.0-3-3-6 (408.2)

The above table lists all the timings of the modules we used, which are reliably read out using a diagnostic tool. A measurement for the speed is the frame rate achieved in Quake III Demo 1 (640 x 480 x 16).

It’s easy to see that the Corsair and Kingston RAM modules achieve the highest performance. The board is recommended for fans of overclocking, as the CPU voltage can be adjusted up to a maximum of 1.95 volts and the RAM up to 2.85 volts. There’s also sufficient scope for the FSB timing. Also worth a mention are the country-specific Port-80 language output and the Silent Mode. The latter is tackled in a complicated manner, as the fan speed is divided in 1/16 steps.

A brief description of the accessories : sparse, with few give-aways. In addition to the obligatory IDE and Serial-ATA cables (in minimum length), there is a slot without color coding and the software PC Probe, which deserves attention. It wouldn’t hurt to have some power cables for the Serial-ATA hard drives, as they are expensive to buy separately. In the performance category, the Asus P4C800 Deluxe easily takes first place - the manufacturer is still the leader in this area - even without the small extra in FSB timing.

Laterally arranged IDE slot : not practical in every casing.

Non-functional : Instant Music BIOS CD player.

In a nutshell : Asus remains very expensive and, in view of the meager features (no CSA-LAN interface, no ICH5-RAID and hardly any accessories), only interesting for overclockers and die-hard fans of the brand. Anyone looking for better value would be better off with the established competition.

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