Motherboard: ASUS P4PE Review :: Package and Installation

11-27-2002 · Category: Motherboards

By Niso Levitas

Package Contents

  • ASUS P4PE Motherboard
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • User's Manual
  • 2x ATA 66/100/133 cables
  • 1x ATA 100 cable
  • 2x SATA cables
  • 2x Motherboard to Firewire bracket cables
  • Reference Card
  • Jumpers and connectors sticker
  • FDD cable
  • Bag of extra Jumpers
  • Driver CD
  • Bracket with SPDIF Digital Audio Option
  • Bracket with Game/MIDI and 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • Bracket with Firewire Ports

The package is impressive. You will find PCCilin Antivirus along with the utilities we mentioned earlier on the CD.

This is a long list. It is not easy to fill those chips, slots, ports and connectors on the motherboard. It is a motherboard design problem. If you can put them on the motherboard and don't make users suffer installing and maintaining their systems, you are successful.

Unfortunately the ergonomics design of this motherboard is not very good. Power cable sockets were in the front and 12V connector was behind CPU. There is an option if you don't have an ATX12V Power supply. You can hook up standard power plug instead of 12V connector but the placement could be better.

If system has two extra three pin fan connections, traditionally one would be at the bottom side of the motherboard for front fan connection and the second would be at the top back of the motherboard for extra fan for the back or PS Fan. Both were on the top front of the motherboard.

And there is the Keyboard/Mouse power on function. I find it very useful. It is called a desktop PC but most users hide it under desk and sometimes it is not easy to find that power button in the morning before coffee. Or you are too lazy like me. I like to turn on my PC by a key combination. Unfortunately this feature was disabled by a jumper on the motherboard as default. It would be nice to just enable it in the BIOS but you have to do both. Enable it in the BIOS and open the case and enable it by jumper. Why?

Internal CD and Auxiliary connectors were stuck between two slots and if you use those slots, it is not easy to hook those cables. If you install your AGP card first, you cannot install memory, or if you want to add more memory later, you have to uninstall your AGP card first.

Well, physical installation was not pleasant but the BIOS really rocks. The first screen welcomes you with a logo which you can change if you so desire.

You can change the CPU frequency by 1MHz steppings up to 200MHz. You can fix your PCI and AGP frequency when you overclock, which is great. Because when you overclock, you overclock your AGP and PCI bus too. The CPU and memory may handle overclocking but your video card or your add-on cards may cause instability. If you can fix the frequency for them, you can overclock much more.

And you may like to pump more voltage to your CPU, Memory, and AGP. In this BIOS you may increase your CPU voltage up to 1.850V by 0.025V steppings. You may set the AGP Voltage to 1,5/1.6/1.7. You may set the DDR Voltage to 2.5/2.6/2.7/2.9. I don't know where 2.8 went but there has to be a reason. By the way when you overclock too much and system doesn't start, BIOS reduces frequency automatically on next boot-up.

You may leave your DDR Memory type as auto or set it yourself to make sure. There were 266/333 and 355 options. I think 355 is for new overclocking memory sticks like Corsair XMS3500.

There is a detailed system health and monitoring systems along with a powerful utility you can find in the CD. The new thing is Q-Fan control. The BIOS can change the rotation of the CPU fan according to the heat. It may lower the rotation speed when system is idle and CPU is not hot. You may set the response time and speed ratio in the BIOS. If you like it cool and noisy you may disable it like me of course.