The Next 'BX': 13 Motherboards For Pentium 4 With Intel's 845 Chipset and Socket mPGA478

Asus P4B

Board Revision: 1.01

BIOS Version: 1005 (Oct 17, 2001)

This board has an unpleasant characteristic: you cannot install Windows 2000 on another motherboard and then simply attach the system hard drive to the P4B - it won't work. The only way to get a working version of Windows 2000 is to install from scratch.

But besides that, this motherboard is a typical Asus model - it is fast and stable. There are six PCI slots, one CNR, AGP 4x with card lock, and three DIMM sockets. There's also the option to configure the CPU either in the BIOS or using DIP switches; the latter may be the better solution for OEMs who assemble systems and would like to prevent inexperienced users from changing the BIOS parameters.

An on-board AC97 sound system with three line-ins and one SP-DIF digital out makes the board multimedia-ready. All flat cable connectors have been accomodated at the top of the board, and, thus, are kept out of the way of full-sized PCI cards.