Asus have been using the same design on their motherboard boxes for a while now, the first thing you notice is the brightness of the box and straight away you can identify what mainboard it is. The top left corner shows an award Toms Hardware has awarded them (Ed. Note - maybe we will start seeing TweakTown logos on ASUS boxes in the future? :) ), just under that is a list of features making it easy for the buyer to know what they are getting. On the other end is the chipset name along with some brief information about it. The rear of the box gives the user a more detailed look at some of the features that are on offer including Serial ATA, AGP 8X, Dual Channel DDR and etc.
Once open, you find yourself going through the large amount of extra items on offer including: the user guide, quick setup guide (in 12 different languages), necessary IDE cables, game port and USB back plate, 2 X SATA cables, SPIDF in and out back plate, Firewire back plate and a copy of WinCinema including a range of programs from InterVideo.
Like most Asus mainboards, the layout is very clean, it doesn't offer any fancy colours like the Gigabyte competitor but in the end this makes no difference to performance, of course. The first thing you will notice when pulling the motherboard out of its box is the lack of active cooling on the northbridge, something that maybe should have been reconsidered by the ASUS design team. The P4G8X uses a 1/5/0 (AGP/PCI/Riser) slot combination like the Gigabyte motherboard. The good thing behind this is that because there are only five PCI slots, the AGP slot is lower and people with longer cards like GeForce TI4400 and TI4600 won't have to remove their card when it comes to inserting or removing RAM.
The 20 pin ATX connector is located in the top right corner of the mainboard keeping the large ATX cable out the way, the 4 pin connector is placed just to the right of the northbridge, the advantage of this board is if you don't have a PSU with the Pentium 4 plug, you can simply plug a normal 4 pin Molex connector into what Asus call the "EX Plug" which is located just under the 20 pin ATX connector. If you do use the normal 4 pin 12V connector, you may find it hanging over the processor fan disrupting cooling.
The FDD and IDE connectors are located just below the 20pin ATX connector, this is an excellent location if you have a full tower and you like to place your drives towards the top of your case, you shouldn't have a problem reaching them with the connectors being placed so high northwards on the motherboard. Overall the placement of the components are quite good and the only item you may find remotely annoying is the ATX12V located next to the northbridge as stated above.
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- Asus Granite Bay - Page 1 [Introduction]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 2 [Specifications]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 3 [Features]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 4 [Features Continued]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 5 [Benchmarks - Test Setup and Sandra 2003]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 6 [Benchmarks - Synthetic PC and 3D]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 7 [Benchmarks - OpenGL]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 8 [Overclocking Results]
- Asus Granite Bay - Page 9 [Conclusion]
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