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what is the difference between the asus p4c800, p4c800 deluxe, and the p4c800-e deluxe motherboards?????

and also - does w2000 support the serial ata (sata) boards, or do I have to use windows xp??
 

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what is the difference between the asus p4c800, p4c800 deluxe, and the p4c800-e deluxe motherboards?????
Here are the major differences:

Northbridge orientation:
The P4C800 and P4C800-E Deluxe have the Northbridge chip rotated 45 degrees, to make it parallel to the CPU carrier. This came up in reviews as a better arrangement because the tip of the NB heatsink was interfering with some kinds of aftermarket CPU coolers.

The P4C800 Deluxe still has it mounted like a diamond.


Southbridge version:
The P4C800 and P4C800 Deluxe both use the non-RAID ICH5 Southbridge chip. This means these models cannot use the Southbridge SATA ports to run RAID.

The P4C800-E Deluxe steps up to the ICH5R, which does support RAID.


Promise chip:
The P4C800 does not have the extra Promise chip to support up to 4 extra HDD's and RAID functions.

The P4C800 Deluxe and P4C800-E Deluxe both have this chip.


LAN:
The P4C800 and P4C800 Deluxe use a 3Com 3C940 Gigabit LAN chip attached to the PCI expansion bus. This puts LAN traffic on the PCI bus, where it has to share the bus with the Promise controller, Firewire chip, and any expansion cards you might add. A PCI Gigabit solution also artifically limits the LAN bandwidth, if you are trying to run 1000Mbps you can't reach that.

The P4C800-E Deluxe steps up to an Intel 82547Ei Gigabit LAN chip. This is a CSA chip so it runs off the Northbridge, a new and highly advanced setup which for the first time keeps LAN traffic off the PCI expansion bus. The CSA port has a 266MB/s bandwidth, which better fits Gigabit LAN's rated 250MB/s (for full duplex, that's 125 in plus 125 out).


BIOS and drivers:
Each mobo has its own version of the BIOS.
The P4C800-E Deluxe would need a different LAN driver than the others.
The P4C800 would not need any Promise drivers.


The solder problem:
The P4C800 Deluxe has suffered from a manufacturing design issue causing the flattening of a blob of solder underneath the large plastic CPU carrier heatsink bracket. The blob may belong there, but is not positioned well when combined with excessive heatsink clamp pressure. The flattening has caused shorts in some mobo's, producing a sudden solid failure to boot, or in some cases unexplained high CPU percent usage. The problem was reported here on page 3, and a picture of the blob may be loaded here.

The P4C800 and P4C800-E Deluxe do not seem to have this issue.


There may be other minor differences.

does w2000 support the serial ata (sata) boards?
The Promise SATA quickstart guide on the mobo install CD contains installation instructions specifically form win2000, so for these boards, with a Promise the answer would be Yes.

Additionally SATA hardware is architected for the differences to be transparent to the O/S, appearing as a normal IDE controller. You do still have to apply patches if your drive size exceeds 137GB, and I think it's a good idea to put those "Big Drive Enabler" patches on regardless, for future use.

Reportedly, Win2000 and XP both fully support all 6 chipset IDE devices, which includes SATA. So the ICH5x chipset devices don't need any special drivers.

Not so for older O/S's, which assumed no mobo chipset would ever have more than 4 IDE devices-- the usual 4 (pri/sec mast/slave) we are familiar with. So with those O/S's, on these mobo's you have to use the BIOS setup to choose what combination of 4 devices you want, and the choices are limited.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan

02Dec2003- Added note about solder problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
asus motherboard question

thank you clintfan

that is exactly what I needed to know.
 
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