iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Albatron PX845E Pro II (i845E) Mainboard

It's the second time we test a board from this company, and since the first time there are two things that have changed: a set of accessories which is richer now and a design of the package. 


  • PAckage: cardboard box laminated with plastic with a holographic effect; 
  • Documentation: user manual, guide for IDE RAID and instructions for overclocking a system based on this board - in English; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with 4 USB ports; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • BIOS version for the board; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • PC-Cillin 2002. 

Apart from traditional drawbacks (IDE RAID connectors are behind the PCI slots and audio-ins are in front of them, and difficult handling of memory modules when a video card is installed) the connectors for USB ports have not very convenient positions (between the first PCI slot and AGP). But it's not difficult to reach the jumper and switches when the board is already installed. Their 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 ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio inputs/outputs and for SPDIF; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20276 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 protocol; 
Thanks to the Winbond W83637HF-AW I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) readers for smart cards and Memory Stick flash cards. 

The following technologies are supported: BIOS Mirror (to restore contents of the Flash chip if the BIOS fails) and Voice Genie (informs on problems during the POST procedure). 

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

Non-unsoldered connectors: controller of the interface for flash card readers and its connectors, CNR slot. 

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

  • voltage of processor, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 3 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  
Switches for choosing a language of the Voice Genie function English, Chinese, Japanese, German
Switch for choosing a mode of the BIOS Mirror function  
Switch to enable AGP protection from video cards of 3.3 V  
BIOS based on the AWARDBIOS 6.00PG from Phoenix Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Active To Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge
Setup of memory frequency + DDR:CPU = x1.5, x2, x2.66, Auto
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + CPU:AGP(PCIx2) = Auto, x1.5, x2, x2.5 and AGP(PCIx2) = 66 MHz
Manual assignment of interrupts -  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-248 MHz in 1MHZ steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x24
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, 1.6 V

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - BIOS 1.02. 

This is an excellent motherboard at a moderate price; high quality, rich functions and wide overclocking and adjustment settings. It's a 3-in-1 device :). This manufacturer is quite young, but we can see that the engineers have decent experience in this field. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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