earned acclaim with the hardware enthusiast community for
building reliable motherboards that deliver
industry-standard performance. Their products often
feature value-added integrations, such as IDE RAID, USB 2.0
and C-Media?s six-channel audio processor (as opposed to the
software codec many manufacturers opt for).
Accordingly, ASUS boards often command a premium price.
The P4T533 is no exception, coming in at more than $300.
The price doesn?t tell the whole story however. Along
with the motherboard, you also get a 512MB module of RIMM
4200. Why does ASUS include memory with the board?
Perhaps it is because the fledgling 32-bit, RDRAM standard
based modules, are still nearly impossible to find.
seem as though Rambus has forsaken their prior naming
convention. RIMM 4200 operates at PC1066 frequencies
and is capable of transferring up to 4.2GB per second of
data. Apparently, RIMM 4200 sounds more compelling,
especially in light of the competing PC2100 and PC2700 DDR
standards, which are also named for their bandwidth
capabilities. Hey, if you can?t beat ?em, you may as
well join ?em, right?
Specifications of the ASUS P4T533 i850E
With the latest RIMM
Supports RIMM 4200/3200 (PC1066/800)
Supports ATA-133 IDE Hard Drive
EZ Flash BIOS
Promise IDE RAID
NEC USB 2.0
Integrated Audio (C-Media 6-channel)
Socket 478 for Intel Pentium 4 Northwood/Willamette
Support for dual-channel RDRAM
Supports 400/533MHz FSB
Two, 232-pin sockets
Maximum memory size up to 2GB
Supports 32-bit dual-channel RIMM
RAID On-Board Controller
Support ATA133 IDE RAID 0 or 1
The two IDE RAID connectors support hard drives
Note: only two hard disk drives will adopt RAID
One AGP 4X slot
Six PCI 2.2 32-bit Master PCI bus slots
An IDE controller on the Intel ICH2 chipset provides
IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA
66/100 operation modes
Can connect up to four IDE devices
C-Media 8738-MX six channel PCI controller
Direct Sound AC'97 Audio.
6-channel analog output.
1 Floppy port supports 2 FDD with 360K, 720K,
1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
2 Serial ports (COM A + COM B), 1 Parallel port
supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
1 USB 2.0 header for two additional ports
1 USB 1.1 header for twoadditional ports
S/PDIF in/out connector
Smart card connector
iPanel front panel connector
4x USB 2.0 ports
4x USB 1.1 ports
The mainboard BIOS provides Award "Plug & Play"
Flash BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and
expansion cards of the board automatically
ATX Form Factor.
is a list of the items that accompany the
3 - 40-pin 80 Conductor
UDMA 100/133 Ribbon Cable
1 - 40-pin 40 Conductor UDMA 66 Ribbon Cable
1 - Floppy Ribbon Cable
1 - ASUS P4T533 Support CD
1 - S/PDIF in/out module
1 - 2-port USB 2.0/ Game Port Module
1 - Bag of Jumpers
1 - User Guide
1 - I/O Shield
1 - CT-RIMM Continuity and Termination RIMM
4200 RDRAM Technology
32 Bit RDRAM on one
As we noted
earlier, RIMM 4200 RDRAM technology is essentially PC1066
memory but now instead of utilizing two 16 bit RDRAM
channels with a pair of modules, you have a single 32 bit
architecture on one module. Whereas standard PC1066
RIMMs need to be installed in pairs, a RIMM4200 module can
be installed in a single stick setup with a CT-RIMM
(Continuity and Termination RIMM). Most all
motherboard manufacturers that adopt RIMM 4200 technology,
will also bundle a CT-RIMM in with their boards, just as
standard C-RIMMs are bundled now.
Take a closer
look at the physical differences between PC1066 and RIMM4200
modules, as well as C-RIMMs and CT-RIMMs, below.
for full view
Again, as noted
earlier, RIMM4200 has the capability of offering 4.2GB/sec
of bandwidth in a single module at 1066MHz or 1.066GHz.
There are also RIMM3200 variants available, which are simply
32 bit PC800 based sticks that support 3.2GB/sec at 800MHz
speeds. This surely is a good play for RAMBUS, in
competition with Dual Channel DDR technologies, that will be
coming to the Pentium 4 line in the not so distant future.
Incorporating Dual Channel PC1066 RDRAM into a single 32 bit
module, is a cost and design complexity advantage for the
motherboard manufacturer. We're also aware that
1200MHz 32 bit RIMM technology is on the RAMBUS roadmap, as
well as RIMM9600, with a 64 bit interface and a whopping
9.6GB/sec of bandwidth. So, it seems RAMBUS certainly
has the architecture and the muscle moving forward with
RDRAM. However, cost is always an issue that plagues
the adoption of any new memory architecture and it will be
paramount that RAMBUS bring these new technologies to market
at a competitive price point, versus Dual Channel DDR.
So the real
kicker here is, what are the performance differences, if
any, versus PC1066 or 16 bit RDRAM architecture? Well,
theoretically there will be a small boost in performance due
to reduced latency of 32 bit internal memory interfaces,
versus narrow 16 bit standard RDRAM interfaces.
However, we'll prove out the whole theory for you here, with
real world benchmarks.
Installation / Setup
All you need to
complete the package
Once under the
hood, you'll quickly realize that the P4T533 has all the
trimmings bundled in with the motherboards itself. The
P4T533 bundle includes ATA-133 capabilities, as well as USB
2.0 connectivity. Accordingly, all of the necessary
drivers are included on the bundled setup CD. Intel?s
latest Application Accelerator (version 2.2) and chipset
update utility, are also provided.
known for including a comprehensive accessory package that
enables maximum utilization of each board?s features.
The P4T533 includes three, 80-pin IDE cables for use with
the primary IDE outputs, in addition to the two RAID
channels. An optional S/PDIF module facilitates
digital audio output and an extra USB connector gives the
P4T533 two extra USB 2.0-compliant ports. Since unused
RDRAM channels still need to be terminated, ASUS also
includes a Continuity and Termination RIMM (CT-RIMM) for the
second, unused slot.
BIOS, and Overclocking