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Albatron PX915P4C Pro
478 PCI-e Motherboard
With the ever changing PC designs now a days its tuff to keep up without going broke and it seems at times the manufacturers forget that everyone cant afford to replace or buy a hole new PC every time some new technology hits the market. That where Albatron has made a huge effort to fill this void with their new socket 478 motherboard that support PCI-e. This product is one of the few on the market that will allow a person to save a little money on their PC by using the existing RAM and CPU and still utilize the latest Video architecture. As long as this unit works well I can see a huge cost advantage for the PC enthusiast without shelling out an extra few hundred dollars on a new 775 P4 or the 64 bit AMD.. Lets take a closer look and see how well the 478 socket performs with the PCI-e video..
Intel Pentium® Processor (Prescott)
Intel Pentium® Processor (Prescott)
North Bridge : Intel 915P (Grantsdale P)
4 * DDR Sockets:
1 x PCI Express x 16
IDE / SATA Connectors
1* ATA100 Channel, up to 2 ATA 100 IDE
Onboard I/O Connectors
1 x Floppy Connector
I/O via Back Panel
PS/2 keyboard/mouse, 4 x USB(2.0/1.1), 1 x
RJ45 , 1 x Com(serial), 1 x Parallel, 1xLine-in/Line-out(Speaker
24-pin ATX power connector, 4-pin ATX 12V
4Mb Flash EEPROM
3 FAN sensors, CPU/System voltages and
Zero Jumper Design
FCC, CE, BSMI
ATX (244mm x 305mm)
99.00 USD (newegg) great price for any PCI-e motherboard Purchase Link
Installing a motherboard can be a bit tricky if you have little practice so it is important to always take your time and read the manually. The Albatron 478 socket PCI-e board is very similar to main other product when discussing installation. Albatron provides all the essentials to complete this task including a few drive cables for all media types. There really isn’t a hole lot to get excited about on the installation so I am not going to get into writing a how to install a motherboard guide just note that we didn’t see anything out of the ordinary when installing the physical components on this system.
There is a second part of any installation and that is the drivers, or software. Albatron provides a product CD containing all the drivers needed to complete this install.
I cannot express how unique this product is and what a great upgrade advantage this board provides for the cost effective upgrade path. Let me elaborate a bit more. Not to long ago there was an influx of very stable 478 socket P4 into the market a large number of people purchased these CPU’s figuring they would be set for a while. Then wouldn’t you know it the 775 chipset was released. To make it more complicated Intel is talking about a new series of CPU’s to be released end of this year. So any person that purchased a nice 2.4 or 3 gig P4 478 socket PC might not want to buy a 775 just right yet but atr the same time the thought of upgrading the video architecture is intriguing especially if using an ATI AGP 9000 series or the 5000 series NVIDIA. This board fills that void and makes for a very cost effective solution and with the purchase of PCI-e card your are insured to find a future product that will be compatible with a new video card.. Lets talk a bit more about the cost.
Upgrade Path to new chipsets supporting PCI-e
775 Chipset motherboard or 64 bit AMD 100.00
CPU either chipset mid range 200.00
PCI-e Vid card mid range 150.00 – 250.00
If Intel New RAM DDR2 ECT 200.00 (AMD) still uses stock DDR
Total Min 450.00 Max. 750.00
Using Albatron 478 chipset for upgrade
P915 Intel 478 board 75.00
No Need for CPU Use old one 00.00
PCI-e Vid Card mid range 150.00 – 250.00
RAM not needed if you have existing DDR 00.00
Total Min 225.00 Max. 325.00
Please note this numbers will vary depending on what items you may chose to upgrade but in this situation it is easy to see why this is a nice solution. On the conservative side the cost is ˝ what it you be when changing to either newer chipsets. So the choice that must be thought about is Do you save money now and wait for the next chipset or spend a lot extra and let your old system collect dust.
The main reason we wanted to review this product was so we could see if this board performed well enough to warrant this upgrade. We are going to run this system with a P4 2.4 gig 478 Celeron D. This CPU is very comparable to many of the products of this chipset out in the market today. We ill be using 1 gig of Corsair XMS Pro PC3200 DDR and a PowerColor X800 256meg Pro PCI-e video card. What we are going to do is run a few gaming benchmarks along with some load test. For a higher end comparison we will look at an ABIT AN8 64 bit 3200+ 939 CPU using the same memory and video card. Now I understand that the 64 bit CPU should outperform but if the Celeron D can keep its numbers even close to the AMD then you can bet this is a great buy especially considering that the hole upgrade costs less then the CPU.. Lets take a closer look at our results.
~FutureMark Benchmarking Results~
System Configurations and Project Settings
System Test Suite
~CPU Test Suite~
~Memory Test Suite~
As you can see from the results above the 478 Intel Chip did not blow away either 64 Bit AMD CPU's but it did compete and when you consider the price difference between the three setup's you can see very clearly that the Albatron is a very wise choice if you are trying to save but at the same time be competitive... Some of our scores may vary from person to person but we did run these tests multiple times and took the average scores..
It appears that Albatron spent a bit of time when designing this product. It is well made the instructions are easy to read and fallow making the install and trouble shooting a snap. Albatron even went and provided a sticker diagram to place on the inside of the case to make for easy resets and tweaks without having to find the manual months after the install is complete. Everything on this board seems very well made and should perform very well in most situations. The cooling sinks for the bridges are a bit different then what I am a custom to the design is unique. I am not sure if this new style is there for looks or performance but either way it did catch my eye. The packaging is not anything to get to excited over but it is well made and should protect the board from any unwanted damage from shipping or the stock boy at you local PC shop. Any hoot I can’t see anything wrong physically with this product nor can I think of much to add. Nice overall design and good planning Albatron.
Great upgrade path.
Performance was excellent.
Documentation was easy to follow.
Install had no speed bumps.
Software is solid.
Only way to improve would add to cost making this a less viable cost effective upgrade path.
I am proud to award Albatron with our highest award for making a product to fit a market very few manufacturers seem to fill. This product is a great idea that works well too. Congratulations on winning our coveted "Editors Choice Trophy of Excellence" for a superb Intel based product that allows anyone to experience the newest video while saving some of the older equipment.
Rating: 6 out of 6
Reviewer: pr101j (Paul)
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