iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS P4T533 (i850E) Mainboard

The board is similar to ASUS's models supporting 16bit memory - it's clear that the engineers implemented their early technical ideas. At the same time, the PCB is more functional as it provides more space for various controllers because now it's equipped with only two memory slots. 


  • Package of a standard design; 

  • Documentation: user manual in English, brief installation manual in 11 languages; 
    Cables: 1 ATA66/100/133, 1 ATA33 and FDD; 
    Bracket with 2 USB and a Game ports; 
    Bracket with SPDIF-In/Out connectors (Coaxial)
    Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
    C-RIMM modules; 
    Sticker showing connectors and switches; 
    CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • 3Deep; 
    • Power Player SE; 
    • VideoLive Mail; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • PC-cillin 2000; 
    • Winbond Voice Editor; 
    • ASUS Update; 
    • ASUS Hotkey; 
    • ASUS PCProbe; 
    • ASUS Screensaver; 
    • ASUS MyLogo. 

The layout is standard - its handling it not very convenient because of a great number of controllers. The audio-ins are in front of PCI slots, IDE Raid are behind them, and the power supply +12 V is tacked in between the CPU connector and AGP slot. It can be difficult to reach jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite. 
The 2-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 7 capacitors of 3300 uF and 4 of 1200 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the C-Media CMI8738/PCI-6ch-MX chip supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio outputs; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the NEC D720100AS1 chip
  • IDE Raid on Promise PDC20276 chip supporting Raid levels 0 and 1 on ATA133 protocol. 

Thanks to the Winbond ITE IT8708F-A I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) a smart card reader. 

The board incorporates 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 BIOS (for flashing new BIOS without loading the system from a diskette).  

  • ASUS POST Reporter (reports about problems during booting); 
  • ASUS MyLogo (for displaying your images while the system's booting); 
  • 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); 
  • ASUS EZ-Flash (for flashing new BIOS without loading the system from a diskette); 
  • ASUS Multi-Language BIOS. 

+5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is shown by the green LED; the red LED goes on when the memory bus is powered.  

Non-unsoldered connectors: flash card reader interface controller and the respective connectors; space for PHY controller and RJ45 connector. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ASUS ASB100-A Bach chip. What is controlled:  

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

There are 3 connectors for adjustable connection of fans.  

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 2 32bit RIMM RDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI /CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 4 USB 1.1 / 4 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm.  

Changeable settings: 

through jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper for setting the JumperFree mode Enable / Disable
Jumpers to choose a FSB frequency 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 133, 136, 140 and 145 MHz
Switches for setting processor's multiplier x12-x24
Jumper to enable/disable the USB 2.0 controller  
Jumper for starting up computer from USB keyboard  
Jumpers for starting up computer from PS/2 keyboard  
Jumper for choosing a mode of the Bass/Center channel Bass/Center / Center/Bass
Jumper for lifting up the CPU's voltage by 0.2V  
Jumper for setting the sound output device Buzzer/ Line Out
Jumper to enable/disable IDE Raid  
BIOS based on the 6.00 version from Award Setup of memory timings + RDRAM Turbo Mode
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, at FSB 100 MHz - PC2400 (?) and PC3200, at FSB 133 MHz - PC3200 and PC4200
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + AGP (PCIx2) = Auto, 67, 70, 72, 75, 76, 78, 82, 86, 88, 90, 96, 99, 100 and 105 MHz
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100 - 200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x50
Changeable core voltage + 1.5-1.9V, 0.025V step
Changeable memory voltage -  
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage -  

We used the BIOS 1003 beta 003 as the latest available version. This solution is very rich in functions and performs extremely well. Certainly, it's quite expensive today (because of the new memory type) but it's worth it. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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