Magic-Pro MP-P6PE-1000 i865PE Motherboard Review
continue the downward slide there really has never been a better time to upgrade or buy computer
components for a new system. While high end devices are still
relatively expensive, mainstream products have never been less expensive; prices are so low
in fact that some peripherals seem almost
With the new mainstream Springdale (i865PE) Pentium 4 chipset on the market we're starting
to see the influx of new boards which always accompanies such a release. Of course
if you're looking for a new motherboard, determining which one to get can be a
Like the i845PE chipset before it, some might argue
that the difference between one i865PE based motherboard and the next is
virtually nil. In other words, i865PE-based motherboards all follow similar
design guidelines and so they tend to perform within a few percentages of each other under the same
circumstances. This doesn't take into account quality or reliability which can very
between manufacturers rather substantially.
So this begs the question; should you spend a bit more for a motherboard with
a lot of features or should you buy the least expensive option and to the
"extra's" when you need it?
In this review we are testing out the new Magic-Pro MP-P6PE-1000
motherboard which is based on the i865PE Springdale chipset. With a retail price of just $170 CDN ($125
US) by way of Canada Computers the MP-P6PE-1000 in the middle of the pack in terms of pricing. Luckily,
the P6PE-1000 does come with a few goodies.
The board has native Serial
ATA support (then again all i865 and i875P based motherboards do as well),
onboard 3Com 10/100 LAN and a 5.1 soundcard.
The Magic Pro P6PE-1000 supports 400/533/800 MHz FSB based Pentium 4
Northwood processors, and its four DIMM slots handle up to 4GB of
PC1600/2100/2700/3200 DDR RAM. However for those workstation users out there, keep in mind
that the i865PE chipset does not support ECC memory.
Ships with the following:
- 2x IDE ATA66/100 Cable
- FDD Cable
- Serial ATA Cable
- Serial ATA HDD Power Cable
- User Manual
4 Port USB Bracket|
From the Magic Pro boards we have on hand right now it
would seem that the company does a lot of OEM work with well known motherboard
makers. For example, it you're saying to yourself that the Magic Pro MP-P6PE-1000 looks a heck of a lot like the Albatron PX865PE Pro, you're actually
quite right. The boards are identical (prices are just about the same I might
add) and pealing back the Magic Pro sticker we even find "Albatron PX865PE
Pro" silk screened right on the PCB. So, what Magic Pro have called the
MP-P6PE-1000 is in actuality the Albatron PX856PE Pro. Well, at least we know the
build quality is good.
Overall the layout of the MP-P6PE-1000 is pretty good; the IDE and main ATX power connector are in
a great location to the right of the DIMM slots and the headers are well labeled.
All headers save one USB header are located at the bottom of the motherboard
which keeps the cables away from the other system devices.
Like most motherboards in the MP-P6PE-1000's class,
since most Serial ATA HDD's are not sold with the accompanying Serial ATA
power connector we were glad to see Magic-Pro included one with the
While we usually do not talk about user manuals but the one that
accompanies the MP-P6PE-1000 is very detailed and everything is explained in
laymens terms. First timers need not worry as this motherboard is very user
I must have talked about this a thousand times but the location of the
floppy drive connector is in the worst possible spot. Heck, we even had problems
attaching the floppy with our test system layout flat on the table!
I was extremely surprised to find that the Magic-Pro MP-P6PE-1000 did not
come with any driver CD or additional software. The absence of
the driver CD is unacceptable but I do understand that these type of things do
happen now and then so hopefully the test sample was a one off.
Probably my biggest qualms with the motherboard however is how close the
Northbridge heatsink is to the AGP slot. Those of you with after market videocard
coolers like the Zalman ZM80A-HP please note that heatsink will not work with
this motherboard as the Northbridge Heatsink gets in the way.
For those of you who are interested in learning about i865PE technology
please read our AOpen AX4SPE Max motherboard review.