iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS P4PE Black Pearl Mainboard (i845PE) 

This board differs from P4PE in design and accessory pack: this is again ASUS's stylish mainboard with a well-known name. The austere black-silvery design of the box and board (like in CUSL2-C Black Pearl) is replaced with the design of a piratical style. The box looks like a treasure box; users guides are like old maps showing a way to the treasures; the board and a flash drive supplied symbolize black and pink pearls. 


  • Package of a stylish design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English, and brief installation manual in 12 languages; 
  • Cables: FDD, ATA66/100/133 (both are covered with black cambric); 

  • Bracket with 2 USB and Game ports; 
  • Bracket with S/PDIF-Out connectors (TosLink and Coaxial); 
  • USB flash drive, 32 MB with a neck strap and a USB extender; 

  • Stickers for keyboard for Instant CD function; 

  • Bracket for the rear computer panel;
  • 2 CDs containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • 3Deep; 
    • PC-cillin 2002; 
    • ASUS Live Update; 
    • ASUS HotKey; 
    • ASUS Logo; 
    • ASUS PCProbe; 
    • ASUS Screensaver; 
    • Winbond Voice Editor; 
    • InterVideo WinDVD; 
    • InterVideo WinRip; 
    • InterVideo WinDVD Creator; 
    • InterVideo WinProducer. 

The layout is not that bad, except maybe the audio-ins which are placed in front of the PCI, and connectors along the left side. It's not difficult to reach jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite. 

The 2-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 5 capacitors of 1500 uF and 3 of 1200 uF. Also, there are voltage regulators for the AGP and memory buses. 

Integrated controllers: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset and Analog Devices AD1980 AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio inputs/outputs and SPDIF connectors provided; 
  • network controller based on Broadcom BCM4401KFB chip supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX. 


  • ASUS Multi-Language BIOS; 

  • ASUS POST Reporter (reports about problems during booting), 
    ASUS MyLogo2 (for displaying your images when the system boots), 
    ASUS EZ Plug (allows using a power unit which doesn't comply with the ATX 2.03 standard), 
    ASUS Q-Fan (auto fan speed control) and 
    ASUS EZ Flash (for flashing new BIOS versions directly from BIOS Setup) 
  • ASUS Instant Music (for audio CD playback without OS booting). 

+5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with the green LED. If a 3.3V card is inserted into the AGP slot the red LED will warn you that it's incompatible (it's impossible to turn on the computer even with the Power button). 

Non-unsoldered connectors: FireWire and IDE/SATA RAID controllers and their connectors. 

System monitoring is supported by ASUS ASB100-A Bach. It controls: 

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

There are 3 connectors for adjustable connection of fans. 

Brief board's characteristics: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x230 mm. 


jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper for starting up computer with a PS/2 keyboard  
BIOS based on Award v6.0 Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge Delay, Active Precharge Delay, Idle timer, Burst Length, Memory Turbo Mode
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, CPU:DRAM = 1:1, 4:5, 3:4
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + AGP(PCIx2) = 66.66-104.46 MHz in 0.4-0.6MHz steps
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x24
Changeable core voltage + 1.5-1.85 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + Default, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + Default, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 V

We used the BIOS 1002 as the latest available version. 

The model has a unique design and a good pack of accessories, but its functions are not so rich as in the basic version (P4PE). Its speed characteristics, overclocking potential and adjustability are still high. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

Article navigation:

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.