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Conclusion: Fast, Stable And Expensive - Socket 423 Bites The Dust

Pricey Foundations: 9 Boards For The Pentium 4
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The heading says it all about the Intel 850 chipset and the test candidates: There isn't a more stable platform around. However, we ought to add that it's virtually impossible to overclock most of the boards. The only loophole that's left is to crank the multiplier to the CPU limit. At the same time, it ought to be said that the Socket 423 platform is an endangered species. Its successor, the Socket 478, is already available for purchase, and it has the advantage of supporting processors up to and beyond 3000 MHz.

The Socket 423 gives up the ghost at 2200 MHz. Anyone interested in a stable and astoundingly solid system, however, will find a board for the Socket 423 platform to be a good bet. In that case, the exorbitant prices demanded for RDRAM modules and the boards aren't the decisive factor. To those interested in the bottom line or in hunting down a bargain: stay away from the 850 boards.

Our practical experience has taught us that the more expensive board among the test candidates tends to be the best one: The Asus P4T.

The clock speed settings on the boards we tested indicate that the debate over factory-overclocked front side buses has not yet ended. Factory overclocking settings tend to make a mockery of the specs that you buy into with a system, although they have some obvious appeal. But, at what price to the user?

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