Big Business: 18 P4 boards In Price / Performance Face-Off

The Test Sample: Anything Goes!

There were only a few conditions for taking part in this test:

  • The board must be up-to-date. For us this means a proper interface, a usable chipset, and upgradeability within reason;
  • No restrictions on the form factor: ATX or MicroATX were permitted;
  • Integrated graphics qualified;
  • No conditions for the chipset were set;
  • The boards had to handle at least 533 MHz FSB speeds;
  • We needed to know the current price of the motherboards.

Read: no baiting and switching.

However, it turned out that many suppliers were reluctant to participate. Some would not provide us with any product, because they were worried that they would send the wrong board or that competitors would cheat in their pricing.

But even if several manufacturers are missing, we were still able to get 18 boards into our lab.

The Test Sample: Chipsets

A certain predominance of Intel chipsets can be seen: 13 of the 18 boards work with a chipset from this producer. A VIA chipset putters around on four boards and one manufacturer sent us a board with a SiS chipset.

Intel's current flagship, the 875P, is represented once. From the 865 product group, there is one each of the 865G (integrated graphics), the 865P and the 865PE. Two boards use the 845E, six the 845PE, and one the 845GL (integrated graphics). VIA's P4X400 appears three times, along with a board with P4M266 and integrated graphics. Last but not least, the current 648FX works on the lone SiS board.