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

XFX Mach4 845PE-ANT

Board Revision: 1.2B

BIOS Version: B10 (April 17, 2003)

XFX is a lesser known manufacturer and part of Pine based in Hong Kong. The 845PE-ANT motherboard is fitted with the Intel chipset that forms the first part of its name. Its features are well enough known by now.

The lack of a network option on the 845PE-ANT is a disadvantage; it simply is not available on this board. At least there is a sound system, which is based on the Realtek codec (ALC202A). Two DIMM sockets are not particularly generous, but should suffice in most cases. On the other hand, there are six PCI slots, which should make adding a network, FireWire or Serial ATA controller easy enough.

The positioning of the three power connectors is nicely done. Less impressive is the location of the floppy and IDE connectors. If all three cables are connected, you lose the ability to fitting long expansion cards in two of the PCI slots.

The board comes with nothing more than a short manual, the driver CD, and a set of cables. The brand is attractive, but not the product. For less, Shuttle offers a VIA board with a network controller, and Jetway has an 845PE board of equal specification that includes an onboard LAN at the same price.

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