iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS P4P8X (i865P) Mainboard

The board unofficially supports FSB 800 MHz and Hyper Path (which is actually Intel's PAT). That is why this relatively inexpensive board has a very high performance level. However, Hyper Path can't be disabled (BIOS Setup has two options: Enable and Auto, but none of them disables HP). 

The flaws in the PCB design are not considerable: the audio-ins and some other connectors located along the left edge can make it difficult to connect cables, and a video card inserted locks memory modules. Also, it can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are not indicated 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 (1 1000 uF) and of the memory (4 of 1000 uF). 

The board measures 305x245 mm ("wide ATX", 9 screws fastens it). 

ASUS technologies supported: 

  • AI Audio (auto identification of devices connected to audio jacks);
  • AI Net (Gigabit network controller and Virtual Cable Tester utility for determining problems with the network cable);
  • CrashFree BIOS 2 (auto BIOS recovery from diskette or CD);
  • EZ Flash (BIOS update without the need to load DOS).

Connectors which are left space for: IDE RAID controller and its connectors, FireWire bus controller and its connectors. +5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with the green LED. System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83627THF-A chip. It controls: 

  • processor voltages, +3.3, +5 and +12 V;
  • rotation speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor), the board (2 built-in sensors) and external sensor connected to the board.

Ports & connectors onboard

  • Socket 478 with preinstalled CPU cooler holder;
  • 4 slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM (grouped in pairs, for the dual-channel mode pairs of the memory modules must be inserted into the slots of the same color);
  • AGP slot (not Pro, with a retention clip);
  • 5 slots (32bit, 33MHz);
  • Special slot for ASUS proprietary Wi-Fi cards;
  • Power supply connectors: standard ATX and 4pin for 12V;
  • FDD;
  • 2 IDE (Parallel ATA) - on chipset;
  • 2 Serial ATA - on chipset;
  • 2 connectors for bracket with 2 additional USB (2.0) ports each;
  • Connector for Game port;
  • Connector for second serial port (COM2);
  • Connector for audio-out from CD/DVD drive;
  • Connector for AUX-IN audio source;
  • Connector for modem audio cable;
  • Connector for SMBus devices;
  • Case open detection header;
  • 3 connectors for fans (all with rotation control).

Rear panel (left to right, in units)

  • PS/2 ports for keyboard & mouse;
  • COM port (1), LPT and S/PDIF-Out (coaxial);
  • 2 USB (2.0);
  • 2 USB (2.0) & 1 RJ-45 (Ethernet);
  • 3 audio connectors (Mic In, Line In, Speaker Out).


  • Package in the style of the new AI series;
  • Documentation: user manual in English, brief installation manual (in 12 languages);
  • Cables: 2 SATA (without power supply adapters), 1 ATA66/100/133 and FDD (all PATA are flat, black, with company's logo);
  • I/O Shield;
  • CD with software:
    • drivers;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • 3Deep;
    • PC-cillin 2002;
    • ASUS Live Update;
    • ASUS HotKey;
    • ASUS Logo;
    • ASUS PCProbe;
    • ASUS Screensaver;
    • Winbond Voice Editor;
    • DirectX 8.1.

Integrated controllers

  • audio controller based on the Analog Devices AD1985 AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio-outs and S/PDIF-Out connector provided;
  • network controller based on the 3COM Marvell 940-MV00, 10/100/1000 Base-T (Gigabit Ethernet) supported.


jumpers and switches Jumper to clear the CMOS  
Jumper for starting up PC from PS/2 keyboard  
Jumpers for starting up PC from USB keyboard/mouse  
BIOS based on AMI v2.51 Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge, Burst Length, Idle Timer, Refresh Rate, Memory Acceleration Mode
Setup of memory frequency + DDR266 at FSB 100 MHz; DDR266 and DDR333 at FSB 133MHz; DDR400 at FSB 200MHz
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
AGP/PCI frequency setup + AGP(PCIx2) = Auto, 66.66, 72.73 and 80 MHz
PCI IRQ manual assignment -  
FSB frequency setup + 100-400 MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU clock ratio + x8-x32
CPU voltage control + 1.475-1.6 V in 0.0125V 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 1008 as the latest available version. 


This is a well balanced product: it can't boast of the functionality typical of top models but it offers the highest speed and high-quality integrated components combined with nice proprietary technologies of the AI series. Besides, this model is relatively cheap, and ASUS has some more boards to offer, which are more expensive and have richer functions in combination with the same unsurpassed performance level. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)

Vladimir Rybnikov (puree@ixbt.com

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