Albatron's PX875 Pro Motherboard
Power, Performance, and Good Looks

By: Jeff Bouton
February 5, 2004



Since the advent of Intel's i865 and i875 chipsets, the two have performed similarly, with a slight advantage going to the 875 and its PAT (Performance Acceleration Technology).  Soon after the release of the 865 however, motherboard manufacturers were able to implement the same technology with a simple BIOS update, showing that the i865 is merely a binned down i875 with more conservative timings.  Not long after this was discovered, Intel made it clear that it was not PAT "officially" and it could not be called PAT in any way.

After the initial dust settled, we all found that the i875 with PAT and the i865 with pseudo-PAT performed on the same level, with the latter product selling for a lot less.  Why then would anyone want an i875 based motherboard?  Because if it isn't PAT, there is no guarantee that it will work.  Where as PAT is a certified Intel technology that has been tested and qualified to work as advertised.

In our experience, both chipsets offer virtually the same performance and features.  But in the end, if you want a motherboard that officially supports PAT, you'll need an i875 based board.  So let's take a look at the latest of these boards to come our way, the Albatron PX875 Pro.  This motherboard has the muscle to power the best processor Intel has to offer and enough overclocking features to push it to its max.  Let's see what it has to offer and then we'll pit it against an i865PE board with "pseudo-PAT", other wise known as Abit's "Game Accelerator" technology and see if it is worth the extra cash.
 

Features of the Albatron PX875 Pro
Features and Functionality



Click to Enlarge

Processor
Socket 478 Intel Pentium 4 Processor (Northwood/Prescott)

FSB
400/533/800 MHz( FSB1.2G Hz + setting available by overclocking )

Chipset
North Bridge : Intel 875P
South Bridge : Intel ICH5
LAN Chip : 3Com 3C920
Audio Codec : Realtek ALC655
I/O Chip: Winbond Smart I/O W83627THF

Memory
4 * DDR Sockets:
DDR400/333/DDR266 ECC/NON-ECC DDR SDRAM up to 4GB
Note 1: If the FSB of your CPU is 400 MHz, the memory speed supports only DDR 266.
Note 2: If the FSB of your CPU is 533 MHz, the memory speed supports DDR 266/333
Note 3: If the FSB of your CPU is 800 MHz, the memory speed supports DDR 266/333/400

Expansion Slots
1 x AGP(3.0) 8X slot (1.5V only)
5 x PCI slots (PCI 2.3 compliant)

IDE Connectors
2 ATA100/66 Channels, up to 4 ATA 100 IDE devices

Onboard I/O Connectors
1 x Floppy Connector
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 header (6 ports by optional cable)
1 x CD_IN header
1 x S/PDIF in/out header (S/PDIF in/out cable optional)
1 x CPU fan header ( 1 fan rotation detection function )
2 x System fan headers ( 2 fan rotation detection function )
1 x 10 pin system panel header (Intel spec)
1 x 3 pin Power LED header
1 x Front audio header (Intel spec)
1 x IrDA header
1 x Case Open detection header

I/O via Back Panel
PS/2 keyboard/mouse, 2 x USB(2.0/1.1), RJ45,2 x Com(serial), 1 x Parallel, 1xLine-in/Line-out(Speaker Out)/MIC

Power
20-pin ATX power connector, 4-pin ATX 12V power connector

BIOS Feature
3Mb Flash EEPROM
Award BIOS with ACPI, DMI2.0, PnP, WfM2.0, Green Suspend to RAM (S3), Suspend to Disk (S4) Wake on keyboard/mouse, Wake on LAN/RTC Timer

Hardware Monitoring
3 FAN sensors, CPU/System voltages and temperature monitoring

Special Feature
Zero Jumper Design
Adjustable CPU frequency by 1 MHz increment, Adjustable Vcore, VAGP, VMemory for overclocking
Watch Dog Timer (auto-reset system when it can not handle overclock configurations)
AGP Protection (The AGP Protection can ensure the AGP card voltage to be 1.5V, to protect the mainboard and the AGP card )

Certifications
FCC, CE, BSMI

Form Factor
ATX (244mm x 305mm)


The Bundle:

The assorted hardware and other materials that accompanied the PX875 Pro were the standard fare.  We did find the User's Guide to be quite thorough and the quick installation guide equally informative.  Surprisingly, the driver's CD that came with the board was labeled "Intel 865", although they should work fine.  Nonetheless, it's best to get the latest drivers available from Intel's website before installing the board.


Click to Enlarge

The package also came with one SATA cable, 2 80-pin IDE cables and a floppy cable.  There was also a Molex to SATA power adapter provided to power a SATA hard drive.  Lastly, a USB D-Bracket was provided to connect to the boards USB headers, providing an additional 4 USB ports.

While not exceptional, the PX875 Pro's bundle was adequate for getting the board installed and connected without a hitch.  Next we'll take a closer look at the motherboard itself and see what it has to offer.
 

 

The Board and The BIOS