iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






VIA P4PB Ultra P4X400 Based Mainboard

This is a very interesting board on the disgraced chipset, it's well equipped and has a lot of various controllers and tweaking/overclocking settings. 


  • Package of an original design with a handle; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English, brief installation manual in 10 languages; 
  • Cables: FDD, ATA66/100/133 (both are covered with red cambric to improve ventilation inside the case); 

  • Adapter for power supply units not complying with the ATX 2.03 standard; 

  • MS and SD Card Reader; 

  • Bracket with 4 USB ports; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • VIA FliteDeck (for system monitoring, overclocking and BIOS flashing from Windows). 

Some downsides on such tightly packed board are inevitable: audio-ins are in front of the PCI, the IDE RAID and USB are behind them, and an inserted video card and numerous connectors near the board's edge will lock the memory modules. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are not shown on the textolite. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 9 capacitors of 
3300 uF and 4 of 1500 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and C-Media CMI8738/PCI-6ch-MX chip supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio outputs and for SPDIF; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20276 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 protocol; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the  VIA VT6202 chip. 

Thanks to the Winbond W83L518D Smart I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) SD/MS Card Readers. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none.

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83627HF-AW chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, memory, +3.3, +5 and +-12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 10 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper to set a FSB frequency Auto/133 MHz
Jumper turning the audio controller on/off  
Jumper to select an audio controller CNR/Onboard
Jumper turning the external USB 2.0 controller on/off  
Jumper turning the IDE RAID on/off  
BIOS based on Award WorkstationBIOS 6.00PG from Phoenix Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Bank Interleave, Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, Active to CMD, Burst Length, Command Rate
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, DDR200, DDR266, DDR333, DDR400
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -  
Manual assignment of interrupts -  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x50
Changeable core voltage + from -0.1 to +0.1 in 0.025 V steps
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5-2.8 V in 0.1 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + 1.5-1.8 V in 0.1V steps

We used the BIOS of 1.09 as the latest available version. 

The board doesn't impress by its overclockability and speed which are on account of this chipset. But its has perfect accessories, functionality and price, that is why it must attract attention of potential buyers. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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