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ASUS P4P800S-E Deluxe (Wireless Edition) i848P Mainboard

October 27, 2003



ASUSTeK often ignores niches chipsets are positioned for and develops cards with superior functionality and accessories. This model is no exception. The 848P chipset is positioned by Intel for the budget market, but ASUSTeK has made a board of the level a lot of top products would yield to. A good speed goes together with wide peripheral support, plus, this Wireless Edition supports the 802.11b (WiFi-b) through an expansion card. The card is separately reviewed.




The layout is not very handy because of a great number of he components installed. First of all, it's not easy to reach connectors placed along the left side, the audio-ins are placed in front of the PCI slots, the memory slots have too many connectors around them, and installation of a modern "two-storey" video card would lock the first PCI slot. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their description is provided on the PCB. The 3-phase switching voltage regulator incorporates 6 capacitors of 1500 uF and 4 of 1200 uF. There are also voltage regulators of the AGP bus (2 1000 uF and several less capacious ones) and of the memory (4 1000 uF). +5V Standby is indicated with a green LED. 




IDE RAID controller and its connectors didn't get included in the final design though the space for them is provided. There's some free space onboard because the board is based on the i865PE based model. ASUS offers two i848P based boards in all, but the simpler P4P800S model has a different PCB. The P4P800S-E Deluxe measures 305x245 mm (full-sized ATX, 9 fastening screws, all edges fixed). System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83627THF-A chip. It controls: 

  • CPU voltages, +3.3, +5 and +12 V;
  • rotation speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor), board (built-in sensor) and an external sensor connected to the board.

Ports & connectors onboard

  • CPU socket (Socket 478); 
  • 3 slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM (the chipset supports up to 2GB and 4 banks, i.e. if three modules are used, two of them must be single-bank modules); 
  • AGP slot (with a retention clip); 
  • 5 PCI slots (32bit, 33MHz); 
  • ASUS Wi-Fi (combines with the last PCI slot);
  • Standard power supply connectors (ATX, 4pin for 12V); 
  • FDD; 
  • 2 IDE slots (Parallel ATA) - on chipset; 
  • 2 Serial ATA slots - on chipset;
  • 2 Connectors for brackets of 2 USB (2.0) ports; 
  • Connector for a bracket with an additional COM port;
  • Connector for a bracket with a Game port;
  • Connector for a bracket with an additional FireWire port;
  • Connector for audio-out from CD/DVD drive; 
  • Connector for AUX-In;
  • Modem Audio-In Connector;
  • Connector for SMBus devices;
  • Connector for an external temperature sensor;
  • Case Open sensor;
  • Connectors for brackets with audio-outs and S/PDIF; 
  • 3 connectors for fans (with fan rotation control). 

Rear panel (left to right, units)




  • PS/2 ports for keyboard & mouse; 
  • 1 LPT, S/PDIF-Out (Coaxial), 1 COM;
  • 2 USB and 1 FireWire;
  • 2 USB and 1 RJ-45 (Ethernet);
  • 3 audio ports.

Accessories




  • Package of an unusual design (only for the Wireless Edition, the other boards have a box typical of the ASUS AI series);
  • Documentation: a user manual, installation guide for the WiFi-b card - in English; brief installation guide for the board in 12 languages;
  • Cables: 2 Serial ATA (with a power supply adapter), 2 ATA66/100/133, 1 ATA33 and FDD; all wide cables are black and ASUS logo marked;
  • Bracket with a COM port;
  • Bracket with 2 USB ports;
  • Bracket with a FireWire port;
  • WiFi-b expansion card with an antenna (for Wireless Edition only);




  • I/O Shield;
  • CD with:
    • drivers;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • PC-cillin 2002;
    • ASUS Live Update;
    • ASUS PCProbe;
    • ASUS Screensaver;
    • Winbond Voice Editor;
    • DirectX 8.1;
    • Software AP (for wireless access, for Wireless Edition only).

Integrated controllers

  • audio controller based on the Analog Devices AD1985 AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio I/Os and S/PDIF connector provided; 
  • network controller based on the Intel 82547EI (Kenai II CSA) chip with the support of 10/100/1000 Mbt/c Base-T (CSA Gigabit Ethernet);
  • FireWire based on the VIA VT6307 chip with the support of 2 ports.

Technologies

  • ASUS Multi-language BIOS 
  • ASUS EZ Flash (BIOS flashing without OS booting);
  • ASUS CrashFree BIOS 2 (automatic BIOS recovery from a diskette or boot CD even if data on the flash chip are corrupted);
  • ASUS POST Reporter (reports about booting problems, user can create his/her own warnings);
  • ASUS MyLogo2 (to display your images when the system boots);
  • ASUS Instant Music Lite (plays Audio CD without OS booting)
  • ASUS AI Overclocking (wide overclocking features plus 6 presets - Manual, Standard, 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%);
  • ASUS Q-Fan Technology (auto fan speed control);
  • ASUS AI Audio (warns if connectors are plugged incorrectly);
  • ASUS WiFi@Home (onboard connector (WiFi-b card supplied for the Wireless Edition) for PC connection to a wireless network of the respective standard).

Settings: 

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear the CMOS  
Jumper for starting up PC from USB keyboard  
Jumper for starting up PC from a PS/2 keyboard  
Jumper turning on/off SMBus 2.0 support  
BIOS based on AMI 2.51 Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, Precharge Delay, Burst Length, Memory Acceleration Mode
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, 266, 320, 400, 500, 533 MHz
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
AGP/PCI frequency setup + AGP(PCIx2) = Auto, 66,66, 72,73, 80 MHz
PCI IRQ manual assignment -  
FSB frequency setup + 100-400 MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU clock ratio + x8-x28
CPU voltage control + Auto, 1.55-1.95 V in 0.025V steps
DIMM voltage control + Auto, 2.55, 2.65, 2.75, 2.85 V
NB voltage control -  
AGP voltage control + Auto, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8 V

We used the BIOS 1002 as the latest available version. 

Performance

According to the preliminary tests this model is the fastest among all i848P based boards tested. But while it's far ahead of the outsiders, it just a little outscores the leaders in real applications and even falls behind some boards in some cases.
 

Test ASUS P4P800S-E ABIT IS7-V MSI 848P Neo-LS
7-Zip archiving, min:sec 6:31 6:56 6:49
MPEG4 encoding, min:sec 29:07 29:32 28:49
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Normal@1024x768x32), fps 197 188 195

 
Dmitry Mayorov  (destrax@ixbt.com)


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