Asus P4T Pentium 4 i850 Motherboard - HotHardware

Asus P4T Pentium 4 i850 Motherboard

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Asus P4T Pentium 4 i850 Motherboard
Beyond Intel's Reference Design

By Dave Altavilla
12/19/00
 

The maturation process has begun with respect to Pentium 4 Motherboard offerings.  The first wave of product from various major manufacturers is beginning to hit the streets.  The designs are improving and with them the performance and configurations of the various models.  There is a long road ahead for the Pentium 4 and what we are seeing now in support hardware is still in its infancy.

This is our take on a new Pentium 4 motherboard from Asus, the P4T.  It is based on the only chipset currently available for the Pentium 4, that being the Intel i850.  The first board based on this chipset that we tested in our Pentium 4 Bench Test article,  was Intel's reference design D850GB board.  Things have definitely been improving for the i850 and in the following pages, we'll show you what Asus can do with this beast.

Specifications of The Asus P4T
Bandwidth with a smile...


 

Processor 
Intel Socket 423 Pentium® 4: 1.4GHz ~ 1.5GHz+ 
400MHz Intel® NetBurstTM Micro-Architecture System Bus 
Chipset 
Intel® 82850 Memory Controller Hub (MCH) 
Intel® 82801 I/O Controller Hub 2 (ICH2) 
Intel® 82802 AB Firmware Hub (FWH) 
Supports 4X AGP, PC800 RDRAM and UltraDMA/100 
FSB  400 MHz 
Memory 
4 x RIMM Sockets 
Dual Channel RDRAM Support: Max. 2GB PC800/PC600 ECC/non-ECC RDRAM Memory 
Max. Transfer Speed 3.2GB/s 
Expansion Slots 
1 x AGP Pro/AGP 4X 
5 x PCI 
IDE Ports 
2 x UltraDMA/100/66/33 
LAN (Optional) 
Chipset Integrated LAN Controller 
Special Features 
Power Loss Restart, ASUS® JumperFreeTM, CPU Throttle, SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection), Vcore & Vio Adjustable 
Back Panel I/O Ports 
2 x USB 
1 x Parallel 
2 x Serial 
1 x PS/2 Keyboard 
1 x PS/2 Mouse 
1 x RJ45 (Optional) 
Onboard I/O Interface 
One USB Header Supports 2 Additional USB Ports 
20-pin ASUS® Panel 
CPU /Main /PCI Fan 
ATX 12V Power Connectors 
BIOS 
4Mb Award® BIOS with PnP, ACPI, SM, BIOS2.3, Green, Boot Block, Trend® ChipAway Virus (TCAV) & Boot Block BIOS 
Industrial Standard PCI 2.2, USB 1.1 
Manageability 
WfM2.0, DMI2.0, WOL, WOR, Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus 
Accessories 
Driver CD 
Intel® LDCM 6.0 
ASUS® PC ProbeTM 
UltraDMA/100 & Floppy Cable 
2-Port USB Bracket 
2x C-RIMM Continuity Models 
CPU Retention
1 x Rubber Pad and 1 x Metal Baseboard
4 x Copper Captive Nuts and 4 x Washers
2 x Heatsink Support Bases, 2 x Retaining Clips, and 
1 x I/O Bracket
4 x Pan Head Screws
Board Size 
ATX Form Factor Size : 24.4cm x 30.5cm (9.6" x 12.0")

 

 

             

The AGP Pro Slot on the P4T (above left) is a feature that most folks will not be taking advantage for the time being.  However, the slot is AGP 2X/4X compatible with all the current cards on the market and gives you this expandability for the future.  Another interesting note was the pad location on the PCB with an etch marking of "Big Bro" in the middle of the footprint.  Could this be an add on feature to come?  Perhaps this is some sort of monitoring chip allowing system administrators to peer into your system like "Big Brother"?  Who knows... it's just a theory.  :)

     

 

The back panel I/O connectors are laid out a little differently than standard ATX designs of today.  The USB ports have been moved down from the rest of the block of connectors but Asus provides a back plate to mate up to your standard case.  In addition Asus provides a metal base plate with an insulating foam pad in between it and the motherboard.  This plate (bottom left) adapts the board to any standard ATX chassis with out the need to modify it to mate up with the P4 heat sink mounting brackets.  Additionally, the ATX power connector (top right) is conveniently located at the edge of the board and out of the way.  

Finally, the PLL Clock Generator on this board is an ICS9250 series.  These tend to be very stable clock sources but sometimes the granularity isn't there for FSB selections like other chips.  Speaking of the Front Side Bus, let's boot up and see what we can dial in here with the Asus P4T  
 

The P4T's BIOS, Setup and Overclocking

 

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