3Com Ethernet Onboard
While the ICH4 does support the Intel Pro100 Ethernet controller, Albatron has decided to go one step better. The ICH4 LAN controller is controlled by the CPU, thus relying on CPU cycles for access. This in the end reduces system resources when heavy LAN traffic passes through the system. Albatron has used a dedicated 3Com LAN controller chip which is a hardware based LAN controller, which does not rely on the CPU anywhere near as much as the Intel Pro100 controller.
Onboard sound "Off-board"
Albatron understands the needs of the value market and the enthusiasts. For the budget user, Albatron supplied a PCI sound card with the C-Media CMI8738 Audio controller onboard. This chip is known for good hardware PCI sound capabilities for a value price. For users who want a more powerful PCI sound system you can simply leave the card out and use an Audigy or your choice. This also allows you to use this card in another system that does not have a sound system already in place.
BIOS and Overclocking
Albatron are known for adding overclocking features to their boards, this one is no exception. Using a standard Award BIOS you will find the overclocking features under the Frequency/Voltage Control menu.
Here you have options for the FSB, Vcore, VDIMM, VAGP and Divider controls. First you have your FSB, you can set the FSB from 100MHz to 250MHz in 1Mhz increments, 200MHz is needed for the new 800FSB CPU, so you can go 50MHz faster with the 800FSB CPU. CPU voltage is adjustable from 1.3v up to 1.75v. This is quite acceptable for the Northwood classed processors, including the new Celerons. AGP voltage can be adjusted from 1.5v up to 1.8v, more than enough with today's video cards. DIMM voltage is adjustable from 2.5v up to 2.9v. 3.2v would have been nicer considering DRAM is being overclocked to run 800FSB on an I845PE board.
AGP/PCI dividers can be locked to 66/33MHz respectively or run at set dividers of the FSB. Locking them to 66/33 will increase your overclocking success as your PCI and AGP systems aren't being overclocked. DRAM frequency can be selected for 266/333MHz. When running 800FSB your DRAM is hitting over 400MHz, so high quality DDR-333 or DDR-400 is needed, no exceptions.
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