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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  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    So, then running 4 DIMMs of Corsair XMS LL Platinum 512 MB would be slower than just 2 DIMMs of that memory? Is it just PAT that is affected? I've heard that this board will slow the latency timings and drop out of dual-channel mode with 4 DIMMS. BTW, I heard this from a rich friend who bought a system from Falcon Northwest and asked them about using 4 DIMMs on this exact board. They said that it would slow the latency timings and drop out of dual-channel. Was this experienced during testing? Is it that Falcon Northwest doesn't know what they're talking about? Now I am very confused about this particular board. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    Asus SAYS the P4C800-E is compatible with Prescott, but without a Prescott chip to test with we can not give a definitive answer.

    We did in fact run several benchmarks comparing the old and new when we began the memory testing for our DDR500 review, but found no real difference in performance between the old and new with both running 1.010 BIOS. That is why we did not publish performance tests comparing the two, and we stated there was no performance difference in our update. We did find memory compatibility better on the "E" and also reported that as well.
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    I second the request for information about this board's compatibility with Prescott. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    Jesus Christ, how can Anandtech readers be so stupid. Both the old and new ASUS revision are based on the EXACT SAME CHIPSET! It would be ridiculous to compare them, they both use the 875P chipset, the only difference is a couple onboard features that make the newer revision a better overall board and value.

    Christ, READ the reviews for god sakes.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    I feel #3 had a very good point. Since it is a review which begins by comparing the old revision with the new one, not including both in the benchmarks was a mistake (assuming the figures are available).

    @#4: Telling everyone to go and compare the results from an older review is crazy; for the time it would take for them to be included, asking everyone who reads the review to go and read another simultaneously is stupid.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    #4
    Catch a clue. Go read the old review and compare them.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    So, why the heck did you not bench the old against the new. That is after all what all the bloody writing ia about. That should include a lan test. Get on it, do it. What a waste, waste, waste. Oh yea....what kind of memory can you use with the old revision?

    Useless information is everywhere.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    Outstanding review! What I'm missing though is information about the support for the Intel Prescott processor. Looking on the ASUS website and in the manual, it is stated that it is compatible but such claims have been made for other motherboards only to be withdrawn later. Is it compatible with FMB 1.5 and VIN 1.5 required for the Prescott?
    I'm also quite surprized that PAT is disabled if you have 4 DS dimms running at FSB bus speeds higher than 200Mhz. After reading "Searching for the Memory Holy Grail: Part 1", I had planned to go for 4 256MB Cosair TwinMX dimms instead of 2 512MB ones. I'm eagerly awaiting the answer you get from ASUS.
    Cheers,
    Manuel
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    Since this was an update to an earlier review, we did not cover features that would be discussed in a full review. However, I have tested AI overclocking on the P4C800-E and find it works very well.

    You set the desired overclock, and the boards adjusts all parameters for the most stable overclcoking performance. Overclocks up to 30% (around 1066 FSB) are possible using AI.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - link

    Would Like to know if you tested the much vaunted "Artificial Intelligence" overclocking ability of this board. This is something that mere mortals are very likely to use, rather than all the tinkering with FSB speeds and memory timing. Reply

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