Introductions, Specs & Bundle
The computer industry has been in a state of flux for the past few years. As the market continues to grow and new technologies continue to evolve, manufacturers are becoming more creative with their products. One of the most successful of these new offerings is the mini-PC, which has given the industry a nice shot in the arm. While the mini-PC market has been become a staple for users who want to integrate custom multimedia systems into their home entertainment system, they are not the only choice. As the PC evolves, and becomes more of a central household component, some users will demand more expandability than what the current mini-PC can offer. This is resulting in full sized ATX motherboards being manufactured with qualities similar to their micro ATX counterparts, but with more features and more room for growth than the mini versions.
Today, we'll be taking a look at the P4R800-V Deluxe Motherboard from ASUS. This product aims to offer a rich multimedia experience in a full size product that can grow with the user's needs. To do this, ASUS opted to build the system around ATi's debut chipset, the Radeon 9100 IGP. Offering a complete multimedia solution is no easy task. Does the marriage between ASUS and ATi make for a winning combination? Let's take a look...
In typical ASUS fashion, the bundle that accompanied the P4R800-V Deluxe was as complete a bundle as you're going to find. A thorough Users Guide was included which covered hardware installation, BIOS configuration and installation and setup of accompanying software, in full detail. A Quick Setup Guide was also provided to give a simple reference for installing the board and all of its components. An installation CD came with all of the drivers necessary for a successful installation, as well as several additional utilities for updating and protecting the system. ASUS included their own ASUS PC Probe, ASUS MyLogo and ASUS LiveUpdate Utilities for easy troubleshooting, updating and personalization of the system. Probably the most impressive software title included was Intervideo's WinDVD Suite, which let's you play, compose and create DVDs. However, don't get any ideas about installing this software on another system, it will only install on systems running ASUS motherboards.
For connecting various drives to the motherboard, ASUS included a Floppy Drive Cable, an 80-Conductor IDE cable and two SATA cables. For powering SATA drives, a power adapter was provided that converts one Molex connection into two SATA power connectors. A 9-pin COM bracket connects to a header on the board to provide a serial connection, while another bracket provides an additional USB and Joystick port. A S/PDIF out bracket expands the on-board audio functionality by offering both an RCA and Optical S/PDIF connection. Rounding out the package was an I/O shield and a keyboard template that outlines keyboard functions of the Instant Music feature. Lastly, a case badge was included as well as several extra jumpers.
As usual, ASUS put together a complete bundle that compliments the board nicely while helping the user fully utilize all of the boards features and on-board components. Next we'll take some time to get better acquainted with the P4R800-V Deluxe motherboard and the BIOS that drives it.