Asus and Albatron 848P Motherboard Review

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Intel 848P Motherboard Review - Page 6

Albatron PX865PE Lite Pro vs. Asus P4P800S-E
Budget boards take a bite out of the market

by Robert Maloney
November 20th, 2003

We were pleasantly surprised by the performance levels that the I848P brought to the table.  While it lacks the dual DDR channels found on the more pricey motherboards, many other advancements remain, making it a prime choice for those looking to upgrade one piece at a time.  For example, you could take a 533MHz FSB P4 and the RAM from an existing I845-based system, perhaps add in a Radeon 9600 XT or GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, and you've got yourself a pretty powerful system for less than $300.

Albatron PX865PE Lite Pro - Albatron has come up with a viable option with the PX865PE Lite Pro.  The performance was head and tails above the 648FX board in our tests, although it didn't quite match up with the Asus P4P800S-E, another I848P board.  LAN and audio capabilities come on-board, but nothing else really stood out.  The inclusion of the ICH5 meant that we had to settle for a RAID-free system, although it could be argued that RAID configurations wouldn't normally be found in a budget system anyway.  The bundle contained just the basics, and actually lacked the I/O shield, an issue that we find hard to believe would actually save production costs.  BIOS options were plenty, however, and we encountered few issues when overclocking.   We're sitting on the edge with this board - it's got good performance for the price (currently about $80), but falls shy it some departments.  For now, we're giving it an 8 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.

Asus P4P800S-E - Much like our ratings for the Springdale Showdown review, we find little if anything to find fault with when reviewing the Asus P4P800S-E.  Performance was somewhat better than the PX865PE Lite Pro, and it simply outclassed the Gigabyte 8S648FX.  It follows the I865PE based Abit IS7-G in each benchmark, although the difference is not as great as one might expect.  The P4P800S-E comes without the Deluxe tag that the Springdale version has, yet some of the features are even better on this board.  The P4P800S-E has CSA Gigabit Ethernet and a WiFi-b LAN card is bundled in at no extra cost. It also has FireWire and RAID capabilities that the Albatron PX865PE Lite Pro doesn't.  Those on a budget couldn't ask for much more than this.  The voltage options in the BIOS were expansive, although we found that we had to back off the memory timings in order to get a good overclock, and even that wasn't as high as the one we reached with the PX865PE.  Still, Asus has done a great job with the P4P800S-E, and again gets a very high score from us.  It's a 9 on the HotHardware Heat Meter for the engineers at Asus. 



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