iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASRock P4I65GV – Mainboard Based on i865GV

ASRock, as always, directs its efforts only to the expansion of chipset features. However, the only non-standard issue in this ultra-budget model is the AGP slot (i865GV does not have an external graphic interface).

The company even decided to reduce the size of the mATX mainboard, and thus all the connectors are placed too close to each other hampering easy access. In particular, when the mainboard is installed into a case, access to jumpers may be hampered (short description of jumper functionality is provided on the PCB). The 2-phase switching voltage regulator of the processor incorporates five 3300 uF capacitors and four 1200 uF capacitors. The mainboard also contains voltage regulators for AGP (two 1000 uF capacitors) and memory (four 1000 uF capacitors).

At present the company manufactures just a single model based on i865GV for Socket 478 (the second model is implemented on a similar PCB but it contains Socket 775). This mainboard does not have lacking functional elements (just a pin header for a game-port on a bracket). Mainboard dimensions – 245x200 mm ("narrowed" mATX, six-screw mount, the fore PCB edge may sag). The Winbond W83627HF-AW chip is used to monitor:

  • CPU voltage, +3,3, +5 and +12 V
  • RPM of 2 fans
  • CPU and board temperatures (by the corresponding embedded sensors)

Onboard ports, sockets, and connectors

  • CPU socket (Socket 478; supports processors on Prescott core, including Celeron D)
  • 2 x DDR SDRAM DIMM (up to 2 GB DDR266/333/400)
  • AGI 8x slot (it actually corresponds to AGP 8x with a limitation on several video cards (Radeon 9550, 9600, 9600SE, 9600XT series) – on the logical level it is evidently a PCI slot)
  • 3 x PCI (one of them is combined with AMR)
  • AMR slot (the company offers a proprietary expansion card-modem for this slot)
  • Power connectors: standard ATX and 4-pin connector for 12 V
  • 1 x FDD
  • 2 x IDE (Parallel ATA) – all in the chipset
  • 2 x SATA (Serial ATA) – all in the chipset
  • Connector for a bracket with 2 additional USB (2.0) ports
  • Another connector for a bracket with 2 additional USB 2.0 ports, when connected it disables the two ports on the rear panel of the PCB.
  • Connector for the bracket with a COM port
  • 1 x CD/DVD audio connector
  • AUX-In connector
  • 1 x standard IrDA connector
  • Header for the bracket with additional Audio-Outs
  • 2 x fan connectors (both with RPM control)

Back panel (left to right, blockwise)

  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard, 1 LPT, 1 D-Sub (VGA)
  • 2 x USB
  • 2 x USB and 1 x RJ-45 (Fast Ethernet)
  • 2 x USB (can be disabled)
  • 3 x Audio (Mic-In, Line-In, Front)

Package Contents

  • Standard design box
  • Documentation: Short user's guide in 8 languages including Russian
  • Cables: 1 x SATA (with power adapter), 1 x ATA66/100/133, and an FDD cable
  • Rear panel bracket with a COM port
  • Back PCB panel bracket for corresponding connectors
  • CD with software:
    • mainboard drivers
    • user's guide in PDF format
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • PC-cillin 2002

Integrated Controllers

  • Audio, based on AC'97 C-Media CMI9739A codec (5.1 ch Audio) with front Audio I/O jacks
  • LAN, based on the Realtek RTL8101L chip supporting 10/100 Mbit/sec Base-T (Fast Ethernet)

The integrated audio quality was tested in 16bit, 44 kHz using the RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.2 test application and the Terratec DMX 6fire sound card:

FR passband ripple (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB:
+0.20, -0.64
Noise level , dB (A):
Dynamic range, dB (A):
THD, %:
Intermodulation distortions, %:
Channel crosstalk, dB:
Very good

General performance: Good (details). Integrated audio quality is on a decent level, you cannot expect more from a budget model with a cheap codec.

Proprietary technologies

  • U-COP (Universal CPU Overheating Protection) – CPU overheating protection, unnecessary for Intel processors (it is activated by indirect warnings instead of by a CPU sensor)
  • AGI (ASRock Graphics Interface) 8x – capacity to install an AGP-video card on a mainboard based on a chipset, which does not support the AGP bus
  • BFG (Boot Failure Guard) – automatic restoration of the last working BIOS configuration at a failed overclocking attempt.


Jumpers and switches Clear CMOS jumper  
System startup jumper (from PS/2 keyboard and USB)  
In BIOS v2.51 from AMI Memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, Precharge Delay, Burst Length
Memory frequency selection + Auto, DDR266, DDR333, DDR400
AGP bus setup -  
PCI bus setup -  
PCI frequency divider setup -  
PCI IRQ manual assignment -  
FSB frequency setup + 66-300 MHz at 1 MHz steps
CPU multiplier + x8–x255
CPU core voltage control -  
Memory voltage control -  
Chipset voltage control -  
AGP voltage control -  

We used BIOS 1.6, the latest available BIOS version at the time of our tests. Version 1.7 contains several bugfixes. The mentioned BIOS parameters are available in this version, but the viability of non-standard settings hasn't been tested. In fact, there are almost no settings.

The mainboard page on the official site of the manufacturer (Russian mirror)

Dmitry Majorov (destrax@ixbt.com)
19 August, 2004

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