iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Albatron PX845E (i845E) Mainboard

This is a junior model based on the i845E chipset and it has less unsoldered controllers and connectors as compared with the PX845E Pro II. Besides, it is covered with varnish containing silver, which must reduce heat-up of the board and magnetic pickups and make it more stable in operation. 

Accessory pack:  

  • Package laminated with plastic with a holographic effect; 
  • Documentation: user manual, poster with brief installation steps, manual for overclocking a system on this board - in English; 
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • BIOS versions for the board; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • PC-Cillin 2002. 

The layout is identical to the elder sibling: audio-ins are in front of the PCI, when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules, and it's not easy to connect the cable with additional USB ports to a connector located between the first PCI and AGP slots. It's not difficult to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its functions are shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 10 capacitors of 2200 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having a connector for front audio inputs/outputs. 

Thanks to the Winbond W83637HF-AW Smart I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) a Memory Stick Reader. 

+5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with the red LED. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: IDE RAID controller and its connectors, CNR slot, second Flash EEPROM chip, network controller and RJ45 connector, block of switches (because of that this model doesn't have protection from old video cards which can bring to damage in case of cards with 3.3 V power supply). 

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83627HF-AW chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm.  

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
BIOS based on the Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Active To Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge
Setup of memory frequency + DDR:CPU = 1.50x, 2.00x, 2.66x, Auto
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + AGP(PCIx2) = Default and 66 MHz
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-248 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier -  
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-1.85 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + 1.5 and 1.6 V

We used the BIOS 1.03a as the latest available version. 

The board is meant mostly for entry-level computers given to its lower price and less functions (in comparison with the senior solutions), though its overclocking capabilities are also excellent. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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