ASUS has always been known for making high quality motherboards, they have taken the market by storm in all fields, from their early Socket-7 Boards (T2P4) which are still used today, to their latest and greatest PL297, a Pentium II LX board with AGP support. ASUS has continued to satisfy all travelers of the "market" by continuing to produce boards in these wonderful varieties, even after more attention has been shifted to more expensive and faster products. Among these, the ASUS TXP4-X motherboard, a TX based ATX wonder designed to allow the user to have all the quality and performance of other boards, while maintaining the ASUS mark of excellence...how well does ASUS meet this goal? Let's find out, first, the specs...


Motherboard Specifications

Socket Style: Socket 7
Chipset: i82430TX
Cache: 512KB
Form Factor: ATX
BUS Speeds: 50 / 55 / 60 / 66 / 75 / 83 MHz
Clock Multipliers: 1.5x / 2.0x / 2.5x / 3.0x / 3.5x
Voltages Supported: 2.1v / 2.5v / 2.8v / 2.9v / 3.2v / 3.3v / 3.52v
RAM Slots: 4 72pin SIMM Slots (EDO/FPM)
2 168pin DIMM Slots (SDRAM/EDO/FPM)
PCI/ISA Slots: 4 PCI Slots
4 ISA Slots (1 Shared / 4 Full Length)
BIOS: AWARD PnP BIOS
PCI EIDE Controller: Super I/O
2 EIDE Channels
1 FDD Channel
2 Serial /1 EPP

 


The Good

The T2P4-X, although rumored to be the elusive 100MHz bus speed "Rev4" ASUS board does not seem to support any bus speeds greater than 83MHz. Actually, the manual only states that it can be used up to speeds of 66MHz bus, however the 75 and 83.3MHz bus speed settings do exist and they are as follows:

75MHz Bus Speed
FS2

1-2

FS1

2-3

FS0

1-2

83MHz Bus Speed

1-2

1-2

2-3

After discovering those settings, the TXP4-X becomes much more of a motherboard and can finally be put up against the best of the best performance-wise. The TXP4-X is probably the closest thing to the "standard-TX" board you will ever come across, based on the ATX Form Factor, the TXP4-X features the now standard 4 PCI, 4 ISA, 2 DIMM and 4 SIMM slots making it an expandable board yet flexible to meet your needs. It supports all of the major voltages, including 2 special voltages, 2.1v and 2.5v for future processors. The 2.5v setting pretty much guarantees that you will be able to use the upcoming AMD K6/266 with the TXP4-X, however the 2.1v setting still remains a mystery to most people since no future processor has been rumored to use that setting. Regardless, the TXP4-X provides the user with the options and features found in most TX based motherboards today, however what really sets this board apart from the rest is the ASUS name.

When you buy an ASUS motherboard you aren't paying completely for the performance, or the features of the board, you are paying for the stability, quality and reliability of an ASUS motherboard and you should expect nothing less. As with other ASUS boards, the TXP4-X features the excellent users manual now standard with all ASUS boards. The manual includes much more than the necessary information pertaining to the motherboard, it contains detailed sketches, as well as photographs which can really aid the first time builder in assembling his or her first system.

The performance of the of the TXP4-X is quite astounding, at 262.5MHz with the Intel Pentium MMX not only did it perform reliably it produced the best Winstone 97 scores to appear on this page. Armed with the AMD K6, the TXP4-X rivaled the Shuttle HOT-569 and ABIT AX5, the two overall fastest TX based boards I have tested so far. In most cases this board is very stable, especially when using the 66MHz bus speed and even when using the 75MHz bus speed, however it does require a bit of tweaking to get it functional at those settings. Which leads us into the bad aspects of this seemingly perfect motherboard...

The Bad

The TXP4-X lifts you up, and then breaks you down, it is one roller coaster ride of a board. Although it works perfectly at the 75MHz bus speed, the 83MHz setting is a trick to operate. I don't recommend overclocking using the 83MHz bus speed setting if you absolutely must have a stable system, you can accomplish a successful overclock to a speed using the 83MHz bus speed setting, however it is a pain. That can be overlooked, since not all of us have peripherals which work perfectly at the 83MHz bus speed, this next shortcoming of the TXP4-X cannot be overlooked as easily though. The TXP4-X was originally designed to be a "cheaper" version of the TX97 series from ASUS, however I really wish ASUS had actually left some of the features of the TX97 series in when designing the TXP4-X. This board has absolutely NO unique features that sets it apart from the crowd, no special power management features (aside from those normally featured in ATX TX boards), no voltage monitoring features, and not even a single thermal monitoring function. Its a disappointment, if the TX97 series is anything like the TXP4-X I would strongly recommend you pick one of those up instead of this "imitation"

The Test

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