by September 17, 2001 0 comments

ASUS P4T-M motherboard
Price: Rs 12,500 (two year warranty)
Features: Micro-ATX form factor, Up to 2 GB RDRAM, ATA/100 support, three PCI slots, 4x AGP, onboard sound, optional FireWire and LAN ports
Pros: Good performance
Cons: None
Contact: Rashi Peripherals. Tel: 022-8260256-59, Fax: 8221012. 105, Unique House, Chakala Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400099


The latest ASUS P4 motherboard, based on the 850 chipset has a unique Micro-ATX form factor, the first we have seen in a P4 motherboard. However, its small size allows only three PCI slots, which may not be sufficient for a home user. The board doesn’t have the commonly-found CNR slot. But it does have a 4x AGP slot and four RIMM slots, which together can take in 2 GB of RDRAM. At least two of these RIMM slots must be occupied by RDRAM for the board to function. The motherboard also has support for ATA/100–the latest standard for hard

Installing the board is easy as all connectors are clearly marked, and ports color-coded. Also available are optional IEEE 1394 (FireWire) ports and a Realtek onboard LAN port, at an extra cost. Apart from these it comes with two IDE cables, an extra serial port cable, a metal mounting board with a special rubber pad, and the heat sink support bases with the retaining clips.

To check out its performance we used a P4 1.7 GHz processor together with 128 MB RDRAM, an Asus V7700 display card and a 7,200 rpm IBM hard drive. We compared the results with a Mercury 850 FSX and an original Intel P4 motherboard. In Business Winstone 2001, the board scored only 40.5, compared to 42 and 43 for Intel and Mercury. In Content Creation Winstone, (graphics performance), its 43.8 outscored the 41.4 of Mercury, though behind Intel’s 44.5. All the three scored identically in 3D graphics with 124 fps. We ran Quake III Arena at four different resolutions. In this test the Intel and Asus boards had equal frame rates, which were both ahead of Mercury.

Overall, the P4T-M fared well in our tests, except for a hiccup in Business Winstone. Although the board comes with a warranty of two years, it costs nearly Rs 4,500 more than the Mercury motherboard.

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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