Features Overview (continued)
ASUS Smartcard Memory Connectors
Along with all the other innovative features on this board, ASUS has added yet another; support for ASUS Smartmedia Memory Card Reader/Writer Unit. This feature was first seen on the ASUS CUSL2-C Black Pearl motherboard. The two slots shown above connect to the Smartcard reader (available separately from ASUS) to communicate with the onboard memory card reader. The reader supports CompactFlash and SmartMedia memory cards. These two medias are the most commonly used flash cards for digital cameras and PDA's.
Oh no! Not a good sign
Now this can't be good; a soldered-on BIOS chip! This was our major gripe with this board because if you flash the BIOS wrong, there is no way to do the hotflash fix. So be very careful when flashing the BIOS of this board.
Just like any other ASUS board, the P4B is designed for the OEM or the Overclocker. Supporting a 1x10 bank of dipswitches, you can set your multiplier and FSB by hardware rather than software. This feature is mostly for the OEM and system integrators as it only has a very limited FSB setting range. BIOS settings are where the true strengths come in to play. For those of you will unlocked CPU's, you can change your multiplier from 14x up to 23x; plenty of room there. FSB is adjustable to 200MHz in 1MHz increments. We got a max of 133Mhz out of this, but we didn't have a CPU that could take anymore FSB speeds than that, but still not a bad overclock. Vcore is adjustable from 1.45v up to 1.85v, and VIO is changeable from 3.3v to 3.5v.
One think i must say for Intel, they did get their socket layout very well designed. Using a large plastic retention mechanism for the mPGA 478, it is one of the best designs I have ever seen. Not only does the CPU have its own heat spreader, but the heatsink looks like something that would cool an industrial water pump. Intel has really gone full throttle in regards to keeping their P4 cool and the die crush free.
ASUS has included a couple of little extras for your expansion pleasure. Along with the standard 2-port USB bracket that is included with just about every ASUS motherboard, they have also included a SPDIF/Optical out expansion port for connection to digital audio media.