11-Way P45 Motherboard Shootout

P45R2000-WiFi Onboard Devices

ASRock P45R2000-WiFi (Revision 1.06)
Northbridge Intel P45 Express
Southbridge Intel ICH10R
Voltage Regulator Four Phases
BIOS 1.30 (07/18/2008)
333.3 MHz (FSB1333) 333.9 MHz (+0.17%)
Clock Generator ICS 9LPRS918JKLF
Connectors and Interfaces
Onboard 2x PCIe 2.0 x16 (Modes : One x16 or Two x8)
2x PCIe x1
3x PCI
2x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)
1x WiFi Card Header (Customized USB 2.0)
1x IEEE-1394 FireWire
1x Serial Port header
1x Floppy
1x Ultra ATA (2 drives)
6x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s
1x Front Panel Audio
1x CD-Audio In
1x S/P-DIF Out
1x Fan 4 pins (CPU)
1x Fan 3 pins (Chassis)
IO panel 2x PS2 (keyboard )
2x Digital Audio Out (S/P-DIF optical + coaxial)
1x IEEE-1394 FireWire
2x External SATA Pass-Through Connectors
2x RJ-45 Network
6x USB 2.0
6x Analog Audio (7.1 Channel + Mic-In + Line-In)
Mass Storage Controllers
Intel ICH10R 6x SATA 3.0Gb/s (RAID 0,1,5,10)
JMicron JMB368 PCI-E 1x Ultra ATA-133 (2-drives)
Network
2x Realtek RTL8111C PCI-E Dual Gigabit LAN Connections
Realtek RTL8187L USB 802.11g/b Wireless Network Interface
Audio
Realtek ALC890B Eight-Channel (7.1 Surround) Output
FireWire
VIA VT6308S PCI 2x IEEE-1394a (400 Mbit/s)

We prefer three internal USB 2.0 connectors to support six front-panel devices (ports, card readers, etc), but ASRock sacrifices two of its six ports to enable the Realtek WiFi controller. Those who don’t use the WiFi controller are able to reclaim not just the ports, but also the second PCI slot which is otherwise blocked by the WiFi antenna connection.

Six USB 2.0 connectors are adequate for most users, and some of us would gladly sacrifice a couple in order to support both the WiFi adapter and two extra front panel devices. Pass-through connections for eSATA devices require included cables to be routed internally for activation.

ASRock’s 802.11g wireless solution is a model that was previously retired by Asus, when Asus made the switch to Draft-N. ASRock has a good excuse for saving money here, since the later standard is still in the draft stage.

Two RTL8111C Gigabit Ethernet controllers use PCI Express to supply full bi-directional bandwidth.

The use of JMicon’s JMB368 is unique compared to competitors, as this PCI Express x1 part supports a single Parallel ATA (Ultra ATA 133) cable but no SATA or eSATA connections.

ASRock still uses the ALC890B codec, a part which can’t even be found on Realtek’s site. ASRock rates it at 110db signal-to-noise ratio, and our audio tests will show how it compares to lesser-rated parts.

We don’t often find FireWire on low-cost motherboards, but ASRock includes it regardless of other cost-saving measures.

Summary
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55 comments
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  • Where are the lower price P45 M/B ?
    Asus P5Q pro is out for €110 and P5Q deluxe for €165 the price difference is about 70$ in Greece.
    1
  • 51 pages... You won't be upset if I read just the last 3 pages right?
    5
  • I suppose I can get some good from having read this. Did you get paid by the word? Maybe next time you could just put together a complete features chart so that we can have some convenient comparison? You know, so someone could go to a chart and see at a glance which boards had eSATA or firewire, or 8 USB.
    1
  • I'd rather have the overabundance of information than a lack of information. Presentation could use a little refining (I.E. comparison charts and the likes), but having the relevant information available at least is a good thing.
    5
  • the introduction and specifics are nice, the comparision isn't. so, why don't you test with an 8500 or qx9650? 6850 are outdated... and a mobo handling a c2d doesn't mean it can handle a quad too, see P5K for example (it stinks when it comes to a q6600).
    1
  • procithe introduction and specifics are nice, the comparision isn't. so, why don't you test with an 8500 or qx9650? 6850 are outdated... and a mobo handling a c2d doesn't mean it can handle a quad too, see P5K for example (it stinks when it comes to a q6600).


    Tom's Hardware wants the performance of current articles to reflect that of recent articles, so a "standard test platform" was chosen a while ago. It will get updated, but probably not before the new socket becomes widely available.
    2
  • I would have liked to see something such as a P35 and an X48 as controls to help analyze the P45 Performance.

    In otherwords, What is the P45 Gaining me over the older P35.
    What would I gain by going to the X48. (Or Lose)
    3
  • zenmasterI would have liked to see something such as a P35 and an X48 as controls to help analyze the P45 Performance.In otherwords, What is the P45 Gaining me over the older P35.What would I gain by going to the X48. (Or Lose)

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-p45-chipset,1961.html
    0
  • The first 17 pages were filled with nothing but junk from ASUS. Do us a favor: don't even bother featuring or *MENTIONING* anything for any reason from a company that refuses to RMA 200-400 dollar brand new motherboards with anything other then used and usually broken junk. It destroyed my enthusiasm for the article.
    -6
  • nickchalkWhere are the lower price P45 M/B ?Asus P5Q pro is out for €110 and P5Q deluxe for €165 the price difference is about 70$ in Greece.


    the p5q PRo is a p43 board, i should know i have one
    -1
  • johnbilickiThe first 17 pages were filled with nothing but junk from ASUS. Do us a favor: don't even bother featuring or *MENTIONING* anything for any reason from a company that refuses to RMA 200-400 dollar brand new motherboards with anything other then used and usually broken junk. It destroyed my enthusiasm for the article.


    if you RMA through your Vendor then you get a new one, which BTW most big vendors dont even check to see whether the part is broken.

    also this article is good, way better than other recent articles especially mac orinated ones) what would be good though is a big summary table. also if the charts where updated.
    2
  • "the p5q PRo is a p43 board, i should know i have one"

    Funny, so do i and it's a p45.
    3
  • You forgot the EP45-DS3L. :( . Also why include cr@ppy brands (ie JetWay) any ways?
    1
  • johnbilickiThe first 17 pages were filled with nothing but junk from ASUS. Do us a favor: don't even bother featuring or *MENTIONING* anything for any reason from a company that refuses to RMA 200-400 dollar brand new motherboards with anything other then used and usually broken junk. It destroyed my enthusiasm for the article.


    Lies. The first two motherboards were from ASRock. The two companies are not the same, regardless of any ties they may have.
    1
  • nickchalkWhere are the lower price P45 M/B ?Asus P5Q pro is out for €110 and P5Q deluxe for €165 the price difference is about 70$ in Greece.


    There are low-priced P45's in there. The ECS only cost $110 US, which, given the weakness of US currency, is cheap.
    0
  • Shadow703793You forgot the EP45-DS3L. . Also why include cr@ppy brands (ie JetWay) any ways?


    NO motherboards were "Forgotten". Everyone got a chance to submit up to two motherboards, Gigabyte sent one. Jetway send one. Any of the other brands you disliked that were in the review, were there because everyone got an equal shot.
    1
  • johnbilickiThe first 17 pages were filled with nothing but junk from ASUS. Do us a favor: don't even bother featuring or *MENTIONING* anything for any reason from a company that refuses to RMA 200-400 dollar brand new motherboards with anything other then used and usually broken junk. It destroyed my enthusiasm for the article.


    At least you have a completely unbiased view of this...

    I haven't read through the entire article. I actually skipped to the Conclusion first to see what board was rated as best (frankly that's important to me). Unfortunately, I see the second best, third best, but I'm having a hard time identifiying what Tom's calls the 1st best. It is not clearly stated.
    1
  • that msi rocks ass. my next board.
    0
  • ASRock is a subsidiary of ASUS hence their RMA policies are likely to emulate that of ASUS.

    Don't give me a thumbs down for sticking up for consumer rights. Thumb my comments down if you LIKE getting used and often broken replacements for your $200+ brand new though malfunctioning/broken boards.

    Another problem ASUS seems to create is that it is usually the only company that builds motherboards for the GOOD AMD socket chipsets leaving us to wait for only a very select few (1~3 780A and nForce 4 true 16X SLI are examples) motherboard choices. This is *NO* different then how Dell used to use proprietary parts to lock you in. I LIKE choice and I expect ANY part regardless of it's price to have a NEW replacement for a RMA so long as it's covered under warranty.

    So long as they play politics this way and try to sucker people I will speak up for the less informed enthusiasts. Let's not forget Gigabyte busting ASUS *AND* having a couple articles featured on this very site about it earlier this year.

    My favorite is the Gigabyte board based on features. The article was interesting though what is with the inconsistencies? For example some motherboards have images of the IO panel while others do not. Still it was a good read.
    2
  • ^I will agree with you on that part but when it comes to good quality, performance and extra features I have never had a problem with Asus. I of course have been lucky enough to never have one break one me.
    0