are the type of person to keep changing the configuration on your motherboard by
way of FSB, voltage, multiplier etc. you certainly have alot of options, but they are pretty inconvenient considering that these
settings are modified with the use of 2 DIP switch boxes. Not only that, the
two boxes are located on completely different areas of the board. This certainly makes the job
cumbersome, leave aside having to look up the jumper table in the manual each
time you want to change it. Anyway, enough about that.
The best part is that I was
finally able to get the AMD up to 475MHz and load into Windows 98 subsequently
crashing. Turning up the voltage didn't help at all at this speed. I wasn't able
to do this previously on any other board. Yeah, it crashed but at least it got
that far. I really have to wonder how a board with such few capacitors can be so
stable. I guess that answer would lie with the engineers at Asus.
At speeds up to 450MHz, the system
ran flawlessly without it crashing through any of the tests. This includes a
112MHz FSB with a 4.0x multiplier and running the memory at 74MHz and 112MHz in
asynchronous and synchronous mode respectively. (see next para). With this
particular AMD used for testing, the overclocking characteristics remain pretty
much similar as any other board used in the past. The only advantage of the
P5S-B was at 475MHz where I was at least able to load the OS and crash.
There are plenty of choices available
to the overclocker. The board works in synchronous mode where the CPU and SDRAM
clock run at the same speed and in asynchronously mode where you can tune the
CPU and SDRAM to run at speeds different from one another. This comes in handy
when you may have 66MHz SDRAM and want to push the CPU clock higher than 66MHz.
As it is well known, most
integrated video solutions, aside from the few boards built with TNT2 chips, are
not targeted for the hardcore gamer. Sure, if you are playing Space Invaders,
you really have nothing to lose on this particular board. But for Quake 3
enthusiasts, I would certainly recommend that you check out some other option.
Even occasional gamers wouldn't really be too impressed with the integrated
graphic performance provided by the SiS 530. One can always use a PCI based TNT2
card but you are then compromising on future expandability as 3D solutions are
predominantly on the AGP platform with a few PCI exceptions. The support for
ATA/66 avoids the need to purchase an additional HDD controller card.
FSB speed options are plenty (up to 112MHz) unless you really
insist on having a 150MHz FSB. Under the "Super 7" platform, this board isn't
too shabby. In fact, aside from my primary complaint of the inconvenience with
DIP switches and on-board video support, I find this board as a good solution to
the problem of looking for a stable, good performing and low priced board backed
by a well known name like Asus.
Documentation is ample and
sufficient enough even for the novice user. Probably the biggest audience for
this board would be the office and home users looking for an overall cost
effective answer when shopping for a personal computer based on the Socket 7
platform. As for audio, this particular piece didn't include an on-board chip
but the option is there for a little extra cash. The same goes for display
cache. All in all, a well built board that could be better with the presence of
an AGP slot and perhaps having FSB, voltage and multiplier settings in the