The P4C800 Deluxe was one of the very first Canterwood (875P) boards for sale in computer markets. AnandTech’s Evan Lieb first took a look at it in his review on April 17th. Evan, like other reviewers of the original P4C800 Deluxe, found that the motherboard performed very well compared to other 875 motherboards, but a number of problems began to concern end-users.

First, many complained that Asus had produced the only high-end 875P motherboard without the ICH5R South Bridge that provided Intel support for SATA RAID. While Asus had provided SATA RAID with a Promise chipset, some were very upset that ICH5R was not present. Second, a major innovation by Intel in the 875/865 chipsets is CSA GigaLAN — a technique that removes LAN from the PCI bus and gives it a dedicated “Communication Bus” away from potential PCI bottlenecks. Asus used 3Com GigaLAN on the PCI bus on the P4C800 Deluxe. In fairness, the only CSA LAN available at the time of the 875 launch was from Intel, and it was very expensive compared to competing solutions.

There were also issues with overclocking options that were widely criticized by Computer Enthusiasts. The vCore (voltage adjustment for the CPU) was only adjustable to 1.6V when competitors offered a much wider adjustment range. There was also an overclocking “hole” between 166 and 200FSB that was a concern for those using the Intel 533FSB processors. Asus listened to these complaints, and eventually released a BIOS revision that fixed both of these complaints — making the P4C800 Deluxe a desirable board for both stock users and overclockers. However, the hardware issues and the lack of Intel SATA RAID and CSA LAN could not be fixed with a BIOS update, and kept many from buying the P4C800 Deluxe.

As promised by Asus, all of these issues are fixed with their update to the P4C800-E. Since these features change significantly the appeal of the P4C800 series, we believed it was time to update the review. This will not be a full review, but will concentrate on changes to this Asus top-of-the-line board, and a retest to bring benchmarks into line with our new hardware and software standards. The P4C800 Deluxe is still available, but is now being sold at a lower price than the new top-line P4C800-E.

Asus P4C800-E: Board Layout
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  • 0sparkie - Tuesday, September 2, 2003 - link

    I have just download the .pdf manual of the P4C800-E. The manual says that "If installing the ATi 9500 or 9700 Pro Series VGA cards, use only the card version PN xxx-xxxxx-30 or later, for optimum performance and overcloking stability (chapter 2.6.4)." As I have just bought a Gigabyte Radeon 9800Pro (GV-R98P128D) Version : PN109-A07500-00 {SN0322009623} I began to worry. Is it compatible? Will it be stable if I OC it? Shall I have the optimum perfomance of my VGA ? If anyone can answer this .... (thanks) Reply
  • amdecos - Tuesday, September 2, 2003 - link

    But what about the 512 vs 1 GB area? That is still expensive territory, especially if you want the higher speed DDR (>3500). Would 1 GB of 3200 DDR even out with 512K of 3500 DDR? Reply
  • Icewind - Tuesday, September 2, 2003 - link

    #17
    Only thing that justifies more then a Gig of memory would be music or video editing and or CAD/arcitechure or an absolute crap load of multitasking.
    Reply
  • amdecos - Tuesday, September 2, 2003 - link

    The test were based on 2x256 memory yes? Did you also look at 1GB (of 2 or 4 sticks)? Is there a real benefit to gaming by going to 1 GB or is this more a multi tasking benefit? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 2, 2003 - link

    The whole Prescott support situation is still very clouded.

    Some motherboards might support initial lower speed Prescotts up to 1.5 specs, but not necessarily support later Prescotts (still 478 socket though) which require 2.0 level specs.

    So, be careful what you buy. Even if Abit says they will support Prescott, it doesn't mean that the board in question will support all socket 478 Prescott CPU's up to and including the 3.8GHz model.

    Just so that you know...
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 1, 2003 - link

    #14 if you want maximum OC ability, do the Abit. If you want stability, get the ASUS. Im more for stability, so you know which one I chose and I couldn't be happier, my P4 just keeps going higher and higher the more I push the FSB Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 1, 2003 - link

    This board seems solid but i am looking at 2 boards that i want the asus P4C800-E and the abit ic7-max3. Wesley when will you do a review on the ic7-max3 board?? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 1, 2003 - link

    Awesome review, although I would be very interested in the PSU used in this review. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    I am thrilled that you are doing reviews for Anandtech now. You test and write for the enthusiast, and the overclocker in particular. This is just the direction that Anandtech needed to go to get me reading the articles again.
    Thanks a lot!
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    The Asus P4C800-E did NOT drop out of Dual-Channel running 4DS dimms faster than 800FSB. In that configuration, PAT was disabled, which made 4DS dimms about 1 to 2% slower than 2DS dimms. We still don't know if this is true with ALL 875P boards, i.e. an Intel issue, or if is an issue unique to Asus. 4 SS dimms run fine with PAT still working over 800FSB, as does any other configuration.

    Reply

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