Mobo Tsunami! 24 Boards with the 865/875P Chipset

Conclusion: Purchase Decision Not Dependent On Chipset, Continued

On the other hand, the dual DDR memory interface with 200 MHz (DDR400) is now already exhausted. In numerous boards, the voltage of the memory is already increased at the factory (at least 2.6 Volts, instead of 2.5) to guarantee decent signal quality and, consequently, stable operation. It is therefore clear that new, higher frequencies of 266 MHz (DDR533) can only be achieved in combination with a new design and DDR-II. In addition, our tests show that the operation of four one-sided DDR400 modules with maximum timing is not possible. This problem could possibly be remedied by two double-sized memory modules.

As new BIOS software is available at regular intervals, you should perform updates at your leisure via Windows XP and the Internet. Fiddling around with a DOS boot diskette and flash tool is absolutely out. The result is defective boot-ups - and what's the percentage of users who still know the DOS commands? If you want to stick to the conventional methods, then integrating the flash tool into the BIOS is the better choice.

An important issue is the noise generated by the system: this is minimized by an intelligent fan control. Out of all the test candidates, QDI has the best available solution, i.e., the CPU fan is switched off if the CPU load is too low. On the other hand, Elitegroup dispenses with a controller and allows the fan to work at a constantly high speed. Although Asus has integrated a similar control, it has turned out to be virtually useless. Aopen adopts a different strategy and measures the noise level by a microphone - the noise level being used as the input size of the control.

Why the standard equipment for an 875P motherboard does not include a Gigabit LAN via a CSA connection is a mystery to us. Without a CSA connection, the data flow of the network (PCI) places stress on the bus between the Southbridge and Northbridge, which is already limited anyway. Asus, Aopen and Epox (with wide-ranging equipment), for example, dispense with CSA connections and rely on cheap PCI chips instead. Asus even goes one step further: the meager pack of features for the board is no giveaway - a full set of features and identical performance is available from the competition for the same price.

Serial-ATA is currently on everyone's minds. The appropriate cables are provided, in addition to the connections and RAID functions on the boards. How about an optional bundle with two hard disks from the hard disk manufacturers? The user could save a bit of money at the same time and change to RAID-0. And where are the long overdue drives, such as CD/DVD recorders, that are now available for less than $30?

The often tiny labeling of connections without color-coding also deserves criticism. This essentially applies to the power LED and button, hard disk LED, reset button and speaker connection. Are users meant to crawl under the table with a flashlight and magnifying glass, with the danger of cutting their hands?

At this point, we want to touch on the question of cost-effectiveness, which is a crucial argument for many end customers when making a purchase. Asus' P4C800 Deluxe and Intel's 875PBZ cost $200 (both with 875P chipset), and Elitegroup's PF1 costs $160 are; in our view, these companies should reconsider their pricing policies. On the other hand, Gigabyte's GA-8KNXP (875P) for $210 and MSI's Neo 2 (865PE) for approximately $170 are model candidates.

Summary
  1. Motherboard Trends 2003: Consumers Are Spoilt For Choice
  2. Motherboard Trends 2003: Consumers Are Spoilt For Choice, Continued
  3. Overview Test Candidates: 24 Boards On The Test Bench
  4. Abit IC7-G: For Overclocking Fans, Continued
  5. Abit IC7-G: For Overclocking Fans, Continued
  6. Abit IS7: Bitter Price War With PAT
  7. Abit IS7: Bitter Price War With PAT, Continued
  8. Aopen AX4C Max 2: Mid-Range Product With A Few Minor Faults
  9. Aopen AX4C Max 2: Mid-Range Product With A Few Minor Faults, Continued
  10. Aopen AX4C Max 2: Mid-Range Product With A Few Minor Faults, Continued
  11. Aopen AX4C Max: Cooling Element With Possible Danger Of Burning
  12. Aopen AXSPE Max: Restrained Enthusiasm
  13. Asus P4C800 Deluxe: Sparse Selection Of Equipment At A High Price
  14. Asus P4C800 Deluxe: Sparse Selection Of Equipment At A High Price, Continued
  15. Asus P4C800 Deluxe: Sparse Selection Of Equipment At A High Price, Continued
  16. Asus P4C800-E Deluxe: Good Choice With CSA Support
  17. Asus P4P800 Deluxe: The Only One With Activated PAT
  18. Asus P4P800 Deluxe: The Only One With Activated PAT, Continued
  19. BIOStar P4TCA Pro: Good Basis With WLAN
  20. BIOStar P4TCA Pro: Good Basis With WLAN, Continued
  21. BIOStar P4TCA Pro: Good Basis With WLAN, Continued
  22. Chaintech 9CJS Zenith: The Features Giant
  23. Chaintech 9CJS Zenith: The Features Giant, Continued
  24. Chaintech 9CJS Zenith: The Features Giant, Continued
  25. DFI Pro 875 Lan Party: A Feast For The Eyes In The Dark
  26. DFI Pro 875 Lan Party: A Feast For The Eyes In The Dark, Continued
  27. Elitegroup PF1: Get The Price Down!
  28. Elitegroup PF1: Get The Price Down! Continued
  29. Epox PE-4PCA3+: Above Average
  30. Epox PE-4PCA3+: Above Average, Continued
  31. Epox PE-4PDA2+: Better Than Its Big Brother
  32. Epox PE-4PDA2+: Better Than Its Big Brother, Continued
  33. Gigabyte: Four Boards With 865 And 875 Chipset
  34. Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Ultra: Top Class At A Top Price
  35. Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Ultra: Top Class At A Top Price, Continued
  36. Gigabyte GA-8KNXP Ultra: Top Class At A Top Price, Continued
  37. Gigabyte GA-8KNXP: Credit Where Credit's Due
  38. Gigabyte GA-8KNXP: Credit Where Credit's Due, Continued
  39. Gigabyte GA-8PENXP: Is PAT Activated?
  40. Gigabyte GA-8PENXP: Is PAT Activated? Continued
  41. Gigabyte GA-8IG1000Pro: Low Cost At A Cutthroat Price
  42. Intel D875PBZ: Spartan, Slow, Expensive
  43. Intel D875PBZ: Spartan, Slow, Expensive, Continued
  44. Intel D865PERL: Potential For Fine Tuning
  45. Intel D865PERL: Potential For Fine Tuning, Continued
  46. MSI 875P Neo-FIS2R (MS-6758): At A High Level
  47. MSI 875P Neo-FIS2R (MS-6758): At A High Level, Continued
  48. MSI 865PE Neo 2-FIS2R (MS-6728): Fastest In The Comparative Test
  49. QDI P4I875PMA-6AFR: Innovation - ATX Becomes Micro-ATX!
  50. QDI P4I875PMA-6AFR: Innovation - ATX Becomes Micro-ATX! Continued
  51. Soltek SL-86SPE-L: Color Me Purple
  52. Soyo P4I875 Dragon 2: Mega Features With Weaknesses
  53. Soyo P4I875 Dragon 2: Mega Features With Weaknesses, Continued
  54. Equipment And Overview Of All Test Candidates
  55. Equipment And Overview Of All Test Candidates, Continued
  56. Equipment And Overview Of All Test Candidates, Continued
  57. Equipment And Overview Of All Test Candidates, Continued
  58. Equipment And Overview Of All Test Candidates, Continued
  59. Equipment And Overview Of All Test Candidates, Continued
  60. Test Setup And Details
  61. Benchmarks In Windows XP
  62. OpenGL Games: Quake 3 Arena
  63. DirectX 8 Games: Comanche 4 Demo
  64. DirectX 8 Engine: 3D Mark 2001 SE
  65. MP3 Audio Encoding: MP3 Maker Platinum 3.04
  66. Archiving: WinRAR 3.11
  67. CPU And Multimedia: SiSoft Sandra 2003 SP1
  68. Office Application: PC Mark 2002
  69. Application: SPEC Viewperf 7.1
  70. Conclusion: Purchase Decision Not Dependent On Chipset
  71. Conclusion: Purchase Decision Not Dependent On Chipset, Continued
  72. Awards: Gigabyte GA-8KNXP (Intel 875P) And MSI Neo 2 (Intel 865PE)
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