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
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
on the HotHardware Heat Meter for the engineers at Asus.