Albatron PX875P Pro - Page 8

..:: PX875P Conclusion ::..

Ahh, the most read page of the entire review, heh. Well, for those of you just looking to get the down low on the Albatron PX875P Pro, this is the section we like make a large conglomeration of our various conclusions throughout the review from the various sections. To start off, we’ll quickly cover system stability which was quite good. The only times we had any problems were under heavy overclocking whereas we’d just end up with a corrupted drive. I guess that cures the instability issues now doesn’t it? In all seriousness though, this board performed solidly at stock speeds and at a moderately overclocked speed as well.

The PX875P Pro’s package has strong points, as well as weak points. From a hardware item standpoint, we were a bit disappointed at the lack of some minor items such as a second SATA data / power cable set, as well as the rear I/O panel. These are minor items that won’t cause the end price to skyrocket, so I would’ve liked to see those included to make the PX875P Pro a better bang for the buck. The documentation that Albatron has included on the other hand is superb. All of the various inclusions that Albatron has chosen to make provide a well rounded and detailed look at the capabilities and layout of the PX875P Pro and will make even a first time builder’s life a little easier.

For our first experience with the design of an Albatron motherboard we were quite pleased. Aesthetically, we feel it needs a little work but to each his own as far as appearance goes. Layout wise, the only really disappointment we came across was the location of the floppy connector way on the bottom of the PCB. This has the potential to make those users with large cases lives a little rougher than they should be, and adds to the problem of blocking airflow into the case and over the processor. Due to the heat output of “Prescott” and the fact the PX875P Pro supports it, this issue of heat is ever more important. With this exception, we found the general layout of the PX875P Pro to be excellent, better than many that we have seen enter our hands as of late.

The PX875P Pro ships with a decent BIOS, excelling in some aspects, while in others it is a bit dry. We initially didn’t find many more advanced options for memory tweaks, although once we toyed with the options for controlling the P.A.T. mode, as well as setting our memory to “Turbo” 2.00X for the DRAM:CPU ratio, we found that all of these settings were merely hidden underneath others. The most disappointing aspect of the BIOS had to be the CPU voltage settings, or sever lack thereof. I was hoping for some better options, although given the fact this board can be used with the “Prescott” core Pentium 4 processor, it is understandable that Albatron would want to limit the VCore options to protect themselves. Albatron isn’t the first to do this, and somehow I doubt they’ll be the last. I was hoping for some actual undervoltage options as we have found a drop of .1V can yield a nearly 6-7C loss of load temperature with the right heatsink / conditions.

We saw that Albatron claims support of up to a 1.20GHz FSB, and we set out to determine if this was fact, or marketing. What did we find? We found that it was marketing, and that this board also has a love for hard drive corruption when overclocked too far. We were able to reach a roughly 1.00GHz FSB speed with maximum stability, which is enough for most users out there, but the 1.20GHz was a no go. Actually, anything about 1.04GHz or so was a no go…and corrupted our hard drive. Repeatedly. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a solid motherboard for overclocking, although this board allows for a good amount, I just don’t trust it enough to recommend it to the heavy OC crowd until Albatron can address the hard drive corruption issues.

Overall we were pleased with the first Albatron motherboard to enter our graces. We’ve been informed by Albatron that this motherboard will be running for a price in the $125 range, give or take a little between resellers. This price is quite good for what you get, although the few additional items we mentioned in the package portion of the review could only help the PX875P Pro become a more attractive buy for budget buyers and those looking for some bang for their buck. Performance was solid, and the PX875P Pro kept up nicely with the boards that we placed it against. It falls right in line with the rest of the i875P motherboard we have worked with as far as “Prescott” support goes. The PX875P Pro is a solid solution for any budget to mid-range consumer, but if you plan on overclocking to the max, beware the hard drive corruption issues.