18 Eylül 2007 Salı

Asus P2B 440BX motherboard

Worldwide praised, this motherboard has gathered all the honors on every website where it has been reviewed. Thus I'll will cover this review with some enthusiasm because I am a bit curious to find out if my evaluation of this motherboard goes along with my predecessors. I also want to mention that this card has been generously provided by SID Distribution Canada.
At first glance, I didn't find anything exceptional on this motherboard. Actually, even if the design is quite carefully implemented, I didn't find any major innovation. Except a function that allow to start the computer by simply using the space bar of the keyboard and a system that detect opening of the casing. But nothing that can really make the difference compared to other similar motherboard.

The layout of the various components is good and is well made. The possibility of expansion is good but rather limited in my opinion because there is only 3 memory banks available. Provided with 4 PCI slots, 3 ISA slots, one AGP port and 3 memory banks. This motherboard offer to it owner enough possibilities for a high-end usage. The only glitch that I found is that some jumpers are located between slots which become no more accessible once the slots are used.
A picture of this motherboard is presented right below so that you can have a look by yourself on the layout.

Even if this is a new board, it doesn't offer any Jumper-less functionality and still uses jumpers to configure the frequency of the processor and the bus. Thanks to the jumpers it is possible to use unusual multipliers factors from 2.0x to 8.0x by .5x steps. Moreover, the frequency of the bus can be selected from a wide scale, practically from 66mhz to 133mhz offering at the same time unconventional frequencies like 83mhz and 112mhz. Even if I said earlier that this card was a bit obsolete with it's jumper based system, this card still has to offer undeniable possibilities for overclocking fans. One thing to remember is that high frequencies of the bus can only be reached if 8ns or even 6ns SDRAM memory is used because 10ns memory components won't work correctly above 112mhz and not at all at 133mhz! As a conclusion, provided with a broad variety of functionality, jumpers gives the false impression of an old fashion motherboard and it would certainly benefit from the latest technology at this point in order to be a genuine advanced motherboard.
Finally, before talking about the tests, I'd like to say a word on the manual included with this motherboard. I have to confess that the writing deceived me. Some problems are presented and the rest lacks clarity and precision in the conception. We can noticed that some topics are missing and better some mistake can be pointed out. For instance, the jumper identified as JTPWR on the motherboard is not mentioned in the jumpers description section while another described under the name PWR.SW is referred as a jumper with 2 pins even though it is really part of a jumper group located in the connectors panel. Also the HD led is not mentioned at all in the manual even if it is present on the motherboard. There is no polarity indication on the pins so that I had to try different combinations before I could make it work! Same thing with the BIOS parameters where some tuning are not explained in the manual. Finally, the font used to write the manual is so small that I had to use a lens to magnify the text while I was reading it.

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