Alright so I got my new motherboard, my RAM, and my UPS.
I have two PC2700 RAM sticks. One stick is version 1.3, the other stick - the new one - is version 3.1. Even though they are different versions, they seem to run just fine. Given, without over clocking however. I have no use in over clocking.
My new Rig:
Intel P4 3.06ghz
Asus P4P800 deluxe bios 1.007
1024MB PC2700 RAM - Corsair XMS
ATI AIW 9700 pro
Santa Cruz sound card
2x 80GB RAID 0 on VIA controller on ICH5
Sony DRU-500AX DVD burner
Pioneer 16x dvd-rom
APC 650AV 400watt UPS - battery backup
Sisoft 2003 SP1 9.44 benchmarks of my new rig:
Dhrystone ALU: 9372
Whetstone FPU/SSE2: 2649/5965
Integer: iSSE2 14129 it/s
Float: iSSE2 22609 it/s
Int Buff iSSE2: 3352MB/s
Float Buff iSSE2: 3370MB/s
Keep in mind that’s all I changed was the motherboard and got another stick of 512MB to run in dual channel mode. Everything else is the same. My old board was the Abit IT7. I would do more benchmarks but I have nothing else to compare to the Abit board. I would do 3dmark2003 but I’m convinced that this benchmark is BS. It’s all about the dollar and that’s it.
Now The reviewers don't exactly tell you everything that comes in the box. So expect a little more.
Besides what you read you also get a few stickers. They are very cool. One sticker is a quick reference sticker that you place on the inside-cover of your case so you have quick reference. very cool. Another thing that not one review site mentions - at least I didn't see it, is that this board has instant music. I'm not exactly sure how that works though. What review sites also fail to mention is the com2 header located on the bottom of the motherboard. Also has 2 USB 2.0 headers and a fire wire header which the reviewers have mentioned.
The big thing everyone complains about is the heat sink on the north bridge. Many vendor sites should update the picture as the heat sink is parallel to the AGP port now. It no longer touches it.
What annoys me about the board - not a big deal though:
The header for the PSU is located across the motherboard by the IDE connectors. It would have been nice for Asus to put the headers on top instead of in the bottom right where you plug your IDE cables.
The one RAM slot closest to the CPU is quite an annoyance with my AIW 9700 pro card. I have to take out my video card in order to reseat that one memory stick. It is quite annoying. Asus could have moved the memory slots 1/4 of an inch higher towards the PSU!
When you boot up your computer you’ll experience several beeps. Unless you are experiencing any problems I would recommend that you just ignore these. It seems to be just Asus’s way of annoying the crap out of you. This board is beep happy. It’ll beep for just about everything including letting you know you got USB devices! I hope in Asus future BIOS updates that Asus includes a way to disable these unnecessary beeps.
These are very minor issues though so don't let these scare you.
What I liked about it:
The BIOS is rather innovative! I like it! It has a good feel to it! Pleasing to the eyes - and so much tweaking it will make any over clocker drool! It made my head spin though! The BIOS is absolutely complicated! I have no idea what half of what is in there means. But, to the over clocker, it looks like it might be paradise! The more complicated the more control you got.
You can tweak just about any voltage. It's over clocker friendly too. Even has built in over clocking settings for you! Then of course PAT. It is simple as going "right click->enable PAT". Of course not like that in the BIOS! Just a metaphor for how easy it is.
Stability - so far so good. I only ran into a couple minor issues. One would be when I set the RAM CAS settings to 2,3,3,7 - my sound card doesn't work. But it's fine when I set it to auto. And I crashed a program - my fault though and a windows error. Typical. Ran a few benchmarks and its running very good. Later I did set the CAS settings to 2,3,3,6 and it seems fine now. Very odd.
When I put everything together it just booted right up. Clean as a whistle. Installed windows without any problems. In fact really fast. Judging by the 3dmark 2001 scores - 23% faster. Which for just a motherboard upgrade is pretty good.
I like it. Asus is my new favorite from Abit! 4/5 I’ll give it! It would be 5/5 but those annoyances is just common sense and stupid mistakes from Asus that with better management could have designed it right. The design is rather messy and not fully thought out. Other than the messy layout I like it. I can deal with the messy design though.