The Iwill P4R533-N is a well planned out and designed board. Let's give you a closer look at the goods.
| || |
| Installation / Setup with the P4R533-N |
| A great layout |
Iwill certainly wasn't interested in skimping at the board level with the P4R533-N. They've incorporated a nice large heat sink on the i850E Northbridge chip. This is definitely something that is put to good use with the i850E and not just window dressing. Every i850 or i850E board we've had here in the HH Lab, exhibited a fair amount of heat under load, at the Northbridge chip. Also, Iwill's placement of the ATX power connector is perfect, at the edge of the board allowing cabling to be tucked away and not infringe on airflow around the CPU Cooler.
Iwill's choice of integrated audio technology was also top notch. A long time HotHardware favorite, the P4R533-N incorporates a C-Media 6 Channel Audio chip with full Direct Sound, A3D and EAX support with 3D positional audio effects. There is also a Realtek 10/100 Ethernet controller on the board and an RJ45 jack on it's I/O back-plate.
What was a bit of a disappointment, was the lack of a RAID controller on this board. We've become accustomed to integrated Highpoint or Promise ATA100 or ATA133 RAID controllers on these types of high end boards. However, what is more of a rarity is integrated Ethernet. So, where the absence of RAID is a mark against the P4R533-N, integrated LAN functionality balances things out in our book. Regardless, having both of these functions would be perfection. Finally, one more downside was that, although the P4R533-N has a connector for a smart card reader, the board does not include any reader hardware to take advantage of that port. Again, not a big item but with boards like the Soyo P4I Fire Dragon on the market, there is stiff competition out there with more bells and whistles.
| || |
| BIOS Setup of the P4R533-N |
| Configurable but a little short on options |
Once again, Iwill does a good job of giving the end user the ability to tweak things a bit in their BIOS. We would say they've done a "good" job but not great with the P4R533-N. There are a fair number of selectable FSB speeds and AGP/PCI divisors, all the way up to 160MHz and beyond. However, selectable FSB speeds in increments of 1MHz as well as selectable AGP and PCI divisors, have become fairly commonplace in high end boards from other manufacturers. Not the case the with P4R533-N.
On the up side however, Northwood users are treated to voltage settings up to 1.85V with this board. Often times, we've encounter more stable overclocks with settings between 1.75 and 1.85V on the new Northwoods. Speaking of which, let's show you how the P4R533-N from Iwill stood up to our overclocking tests.
| || |
| Overclocking the Iwill P4R533-N Motherboard |
| When you just can't get enough blinding speed |
What's not to love about overclocking. Most folks do it just for bragging rights, while others on a budget opt to buy less expensive hardware, such as the 1.6GHz Northwood Pentium 4 and push it to it's limits for maximum value. We have the luxury of using the CPU of our choice here at HotHardware, so we plugged in a 533MHz bus Pentium 4 2.4GHz Northwood and let it rip with our Kingston PC1066 memory. Here are the results.
Sandra CPU 2610MHz
Sandra MM 2610MHz
Sandra Memory 1160MHz
We were satisfied with the P4R533-N's ability to overclock. Taking a look at the Sandra Memory scores, it is obvious to see that although overclocked DDR SDRAM certainly holds its own, PC1066 RDRAM still rules the roost when overclocked. We'll have to see how the tables turn, if at all, when Intel brings forth Dual Channel DDR to the P4. As far as overclocking goes for the P4R533-N, although it can perform quite handily, we've had this particular CPU up to 150MHz FSB for a total of 2.7GHz and 1200MHz RDRAM speed, on other boards.
More Sandra 2002, Winstones, Comanche 4 and 3DMark