Albatron PX845PE Pro II Motherboard Review
Albatron have been
producing a lot of motherboards and videocards since they were created earlier this
year. In this relatively short
time, they have earned themselves a much
deserved reputation for high quality, overclockability, innovation. For example, if you consider how the Albatron GeForce4 Ti4200P
Turbo has taken the web by storm, winning
an award from us even, you can see that if this company keeps on the same
track they are going to go far.
To be realistic, motherboards just don't have as much
"sex appeal" as videocards, but Albatron have still managed to take home
a slew of awards from around the web for their boards. As we look at
the new PX845PE Pro II, it will be with a measure of expectation to see
if the previous trends are maintained.
Pro II is based on the very popular i845PE chipset and can run any Socket m478
400/533 MHz based Pentium 4. With three
DIMM slots the motherboard can support a maximum of 2GB worth of PC1600/2100/2700 DDR memory.
other motherboards in its class,
the Albatron PX845PE Pro II is very well equipped. It has two on board
Serial ATA ports, IDE RAID, Intel 10/100 LAN, dual bios's and of course
not enough for you, expanding the motherboard should be a fairly easy task with
the six PCI slots to choose from. There is a 4X AGP
(1.5V cards only) slot with a sliding lock to secure those precious videocards
too. The sliding lock that Albatron employs with their boards is much better
then those simple AGP tab locks on most other boards, and works well to keep the
card seated properly in situations where the case might be poorly made, or
bumped hard during transit.
PX845PE Pro II|
Ships with the following:
- 2x IDE ATA66/100 Cable
- FDD Cable
- Driver CD
- DIY Installation Guide
- RAID Manual
- RAID Driver Disk
- User Manual
- USB Cable
- Overclocking Guide
Style plays a key role in today's computer peripherals and the
PX845PE Pro II uses a nice blue PCB. Like the few other Albatron motherboards we've
seen in the past, the PX845PE Pro II is well laid out.
I really do like
seeing boards where the manufacturers place the IDE/floppy and main ATX power connectors to
the right of the DIMM slots. In that location, cables don't tend to get in
the way of other devices in the computer, or block ventilation intake
I'm always happy to see manufacturers do the little
things right. For instance, installing the front panel LED's is a snap thanks to
the well labelled connectors. If you want to clear the CMOS or want to install
the SPDIF header it's very simple because everything is labeled clearly. It's very easy
to access all three fan headers on the PX845PE Pro II - you'd be amazed at
how many motherboards in the past that we've tested that have these same headers
hidden, or in some odd location on the board.
While I have never had any problems flashing BIOS's
before, I have heard quite a number of horror stories. Albatron takes away
the risk of flashing BIOS's with their dual BIOS chips. If something were to
go wrong, the backup BIOS will load and you can just try
This is a
very nifty feature and I wish more other manufacturers would implement it
because peace of mind is very reassuring.
things in life though, the board is not perfect. Probably my biggest qualm with
the PX845PE Pro II is the location of the USB headers. Placed directly under the
slot, the USB header cables will have to run
in front of the videocard's HSF. With high performance videocards like the Radeon 9700 Pro generating
so much heat, you'd hate to obstruct the fan's air supply with cables.
The next few things are very minor, but they did "irk"
me a bit. The look and feel of the PX845PE Pro II is of
quality however I don't understand why Albatron keeps equipping their boards with AC'97
AC'97 is not really that good, almost all users
will end up purchasing a hardware based PCI soundcard if they want decent sound
and freed up system resources.
The placement of Serial ATA channel 1 is in a
bad location right next to PCI slot 4. You may not have an east time using longer PCI
card like even the SB Live! or TV Tuner cards in that slot. I guess I'm being
very picky however, because there are five other PCI's which aren't blocked.
Lastly is the "Voice Genie" is a neat concept, but the novelty wears off quickly,
and after it's just annoying.