The ASUS P4B is one of the first i845 boards out to use the full 1/6/1 (AGP/PCI/Riser) configuration. With the current rate of expansion requirements expanding, it's nice to see a manufacturer with the user in mind. Being that it is an Intel based board, we see the CNR slot appear. It is somewhat inferior to the ACR developed by VIA Technologies (mostly because of the amount of devices supported by the CNR), and it would be nice to see Intel adopt this new slot into its next line of ICH chips.
One of the gripes of this board is the AGP slot, though it is not ASUS' fault. Intel has designed its new P4 chipsets around the basis of supporting 1.5V AGP cards only, thus eliminating about 90% of the older AGP 2x video cards that people still use. If you even attempt to install an AGP 2x card into this board and power it up, you will fry the Intel i845 MCH and the video card; not a good thing.
Driving the P4B is the new i845 PC133 SDRAM chipset from Intel. This is Intel's first real-world affordable P4 solution. This new baby from Intel incorporates all the good features of the i850 but with one major difference; NO RDRAM. Utilizing the PC133 memory standard, the i845 can support up to 3GB of PC133 SDRAM. While this does cripple the board with a low 1.06GB/s memory bandwidth, it sure does beat paying high prices for RDRAM.
ASUS Smart Motherboard
ASUS is one of the first motherboard manufactures to offer a P4 motherboard where you DON'T have to have an ATX 2.03 Power supply. The board is supplied with the 12v AUX connector for users with a 2.03 ATX PSU, but if you are the customer looking for a P4 but not going overboard on upgrading memory and PSU, then this board is for you. ASUS has added a 4-pin molex connector (identical to the ones used for the HDD/CD power plugs) next to the ATX power connector. This allows you to plug in a HDD/CD power connector to the motherboard and there you go, P4 without the ATX 2.03 PSU. Well done ASUS!
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