Advantages Inexpenisve, good performance, lots of ports and slots
Disadvantages Ports a bit cluttered, no WiFi
|Ease of Installation|
|Value For Money|
Asus P4S800Asus have always done a pretty good job at making motherboards. Since my second computer I’ve gone for nothing but Asus when it came to choosing internal components for my home made machines. Looking for a new motherboard I came across this one – a motherboard based on one of the latest Intel chipsets 865PE.
This version of the motherboard is the basic stripped down one, with other more expensive versions of the card available, such as the Wireless and Deluxe editions. I honesty don’t see much point in paying more money for wireless that I don’t use and more ports and things since this has more than enough even for someone as demanding as myself.Design:
The main issue with this motherboard is its design. Don’t get me wrong – it looks good, not that it matters considering it’s going to be hidden away in your computer case, but the layout of the ports on the back, such as USB and Audio/Mic jacks is not the best. It’s very cluttered and often is a challenge to get to. My previous motherboard (also from Asus) had a similar issue and I had to make quite an effort to plug/unplug anything from the back. Other than that it’s done pretty well and everything on the actual board is color coded so that you can plug everything in quite easily, should you be upgrading or building your machine from scratch.
The slots on the motherboard are:
• Socket 478 (for Pentium 4 CPUs)
• 4 DDR SDRAM DIMM slots
• AGP 8x
• 5 PCI
• WiFi slot (not actually useful unless you buy the WiFi card from Asus for a lot of money)
• ATX power
• 2 IDE
• 2 SerialATA
• 2 USB 2.0 (for external wiring)
• COM port
• Game port
• Audio/mic jacks
• Fan controller ports
Everything here makes sense, the only two problems being that it is advertised as WiFi ready, yet the only thing it’s ready for is for you to splurge out another 50 quid for an Asus WiFi card. Another problem, if you are building your own machine is hooking up the USB ports externally, because the wiring is pretty complicated. Maybe that was more of a problem with my computer case than the actual motherboard though.
The motherboard comes with a standard set of manuals, cables and software CDs. The software included is:
• Asus Drivers
• Adobe Acrobat Reader;
• PC-Cillin 2002;
• ASUS AI Booster;
• ASUS Live Update;
• ASUS PCProbe;
• ASUS Screensaver;
• Winbond Voice Editor;
• Intervideo WinDVD;
• Intervideo WinDVD Creator;
• Intervideo WinRip;
• DirectX 8.1.
My only issue here was the fact that a lot of those software packages are a bit outdated now, but I guess you are getting them free so you can’t complain. The cables that come with it are pretty standard and you really won’t need to buy any more extra ones if you are building your own machine.
The motherboard performed very well. It was very easy to install and once I got all the drivers set up I didn’t have a single glitch. The audio card that comes with it is very good and I never felt the need to buy a third party one (like Creative Audigy). Asus software that comes with the motherboard boosts it’s performance and enables you to easily tweak with it and make changes. Overall I was very happy with it and with its reasonable price tag (I paid 50 pounds for it) and stellar performance I can recommend this card to anyone looking to get a Pentium 4 CPU.
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