Deluxe Motherboard Review
many reasons why system integrators love motherboards built with nVIDIA's
nForce2 chipset as much as they do; it's an extremely powerful and totally
loaded core logic, and it boasts many features too. Until recently though, there
wasn't a Pentium 4 chipset that offered a similar level of versatility, that is
until ATi released their Radeon 9100 IGP Northbridge.
nVidia nForce2, the ATI Radeon 9100 IGP is no slouch when it comes to integrated
chipset performance, and easily puts Intel's integrated solution, the i865G to
shame on the graphics front. Definitely not too shabby for ATi's first stab at a
core logic chipset! The Radeon 9100 IGP is especially good for those of us who
are looking to build a lean machine. The integrated DX8 Radeon 9100 IGP is not
the fastest thing we've ever used, but it does deliver playable frame rates at
640x480 in most games. That's a feat that no other integrated videocard can
retail price of just $160 CDN ($119 US), the Asus P4R800-V Deluxe motherboard is nicely affordable, and
when you're ready to install that new videocard sometime in the future, the 8x
AGP port is ready to rock and roll. Until then, the Asus' integrated graphics
should serve quite capable.
|Ultra/133 IDE Cable, Floppy Drive Cable,
2x Serial ATA Cables, One Molex to two Serial ATA Power
Connectors, Motherboard Sticker, Quick Installation Guide,
Users Manual, USB/Game Port Bracket, Audio Bracket, COM2
Bracket, Jumpers, WinDVD Suite|
in the Asus deluxe package is 5.1 audio, IEEE 1394, Serial ATA RAID and Gigabit
LAN. In terms of expansion, you get five 32bit PCI slots which should be plenty.
The P4R800-V DLX is compatible with all Socket 478 Pentium 4 processors
including the new Prescott chips and the the four DIMM slots can use up to a
maximum of 4GB of PC2100/2700 memory and 2GB of PC3200 DDR RAM.
P4R800-V DLX uses the typical tan/brown coloured PCB which shouldn't be a
surprise, Asus has never been into coloured PCB's. The general layout of the
motherboard is very good, the main IDE and ATX power connector are to the right
of the DIMM slots. Because the floppy drive and third IDE connector are on the
lower half of the motherboard, Asus places them on their side which helps to
keep them out of the way.
The Asus P4R800-V Deluxe
does not have a PCI slot just below the AGP, a pretty good move considering
many videocard coolers now take up two PCI slots. Too bad there isn't a fan
header anywhere near that AGP slot for an after market fan.
P4R800-V DLX is well labelled so you probably won't have to refer to the manual
during installation, which is always nice. I love how almost all the
manufacturers now colour coordinate and label the positive values on the front
panel I/O. :-)
keep obstruction clear of the AGP/PCI devices, the Asus P4R800-V Deluxe has
all of its headers along the edge of the motherboard. The Radeon 9100IGP does
not produce a lot of heat, so the Asus P4R800-V Deluxe only uses
a medium-sized passive heatsink.
typically not a big fan of proprietary slots, but I don't mind the one found on
the bottom of this board for Asus' 802.11b wireless card. You see it's
specifically designed for the Asus WiFi-B Adapter (which runs though the USB
port) and it's actually readily available here by itself, which should mean you
can get it just about anywhere.