by May 1, 2005 0 comments

This high-end board is based on the Intel 925XE Express chipset, and has a pretty good features set. It supports a 1 GHz FSB, and DDR2 533 memory, which can be taken up to 4 GB. One feature worth mentioning is DOT, or Dynamic Overclocking Technology. This could be a boon for overclockers, as they can unlock their CPU ratio to overclock the CPU FSB and take the performance level even higher. Another noteworthy feature is SafeBIOS, which basically backs up the system BIOS in a safe place. So in case you mess up during a BIOS upgrade, you always have something to fall back to. The board has some good hardware features. These include a 16x PCI-Express slot for adding graphics boards, two X1 PCI-Express slots for other cards. There’s even a PCI-Express Gb LAN onboard, as well as a 10/100 Mbps LAN. It has up to 8 USB 2.0 connectors. Onboard SATA and PATA connectors are there, and both support RAID. It also has three FireWire connectors onboard. Plus, it has 7.1 Channel high definition audio onboard. We tested the board with a P4 3.6 GHz, 1 GB of DDR2 memory and an ATI Radeon X850 graphics card. Surprisingly, the board gave similar performance as MSI’s 915G Neo2 board, performing marginally better in Business and Multimedia Content Creation Winstone benchmarks; and a little lower in the Quake 3 Arena and 3Dmark 2003 benchmarks. 

The Bottom Line: It’s a good board for enthusiasts wanting to build a feature-rich machine. You can play around with its CPU clock ratio to take up the performance. By default, however, its performance was average. 

Binesh Kutty

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