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MOTHERBOARDS

VIA P4PB Ultra Review
By: Memphist0
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  • Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 30
    2004-07-26

    Table of Contents:
  • VIA P4PB Ultra Review
  • What's in the Box?
  • On-board Audio and Motherboard Layout
  • The BIOS
  • Benchmarks
  • Benchmarks Continued
  • Even More Benchmarks
  • Conclusion

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    VIA P4PB Ultra Review - Conclusion


    (Page 8 of 8 )

    The VIA P4PB Ultra and specifically the P4X400 chipset are much better than the previous Pentium IV offerings from VIA.  Add to that the features and accessories that come with the P4PB Ultra and you have a pretty decent motherboard package.  I have to admit the P4PB Ultra exceeded my expectations.  After dealing with motherboards based on the P4X266 and P4X333 chipsets VIA has gotten it right with the P4X400 chipset.  It is really a shame about the legal hassles VIA had with Intel and that mainstream motherboard manufacturers didn't pick up this chipset.  A company like ABIT or ASUS could have tweaked and optimized this chipset like they have done to others and give the Intel 845 chipsets a run for their money.  Unfortunately they didn't.

    The only problem I had while using the P4PB Ultra was the PROMISE lit RAID controller they chose does not seem to support using it as additional IDE headers.  No matter what options I chose I could not get anything to recognize I had plugged a hard drive into it.  Once I plugged two hard drives into it, the RAID functionality appeared but I wanted to use it as extra IDE connections like I've done on almost every motherboard I had before.  Also, I could not find any help on PROMISE's website about the chip VIA implemented on the P4PB Ultra.  It was a very frustrating experience.

    With the release of Intel 865 (Springdale) and 875 (Canterwood) chipsets the P4X400 chipset is going to have a short lifespan.  Hopefully, VIA can follow-up the successes of this chipset with a newer one that supports Dual Channel DDR and again compete with the new Intel's chipsets.

    Highs

    1. An amazing bundle of accessories and utilities

    2. Good performance at stock speeds

    3. More features than you can shake a stick at

    4. Good quality on-board sound

    5. Very stabile motherboard

    6. Overclocker friendly bios

    7. Well designed, laid out motherboard

    Lows

    1. Performance with memory running at 200 MHz (400 MHz DDR)

    2. Overclocked performance

    3. Deficient amount of voltage options

    4. RAID lite...see above

    Thanks to VIA Technologies, Inc. for providing this review sample. 

    Please feel free to email me or post in the Dev Hardware forums with any questions.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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