Page 14 - Conclusion
To be honest I can be very short about the conclusion, but knowing myself I'll probably rant on another thousand words. There really isn't anything to dislike about this product. It's so good, extremely featurerich, fast and most of all stable. This is the mainboard that will be moved into my main rig, I honestly like it that much.
Everything from this mainboard looks and feels right. There was only one very small item that I'd like to see changed though. It can be found in the BIOS and is CPU voltage. It maxes out right now at 1.6 Volts which is too little if you want to overclock the Pentium 4 a bit more aggressive. But considering I reached 3.5 GHz on a 2.8 GHz processor that's nitpicking right ?
The mainboard is with sub-two hundred dollars not really one of the cheaper models. But bare in mind what amazing features this mainboard has and what you save on money with integrated 8-channel sound (SPDIF) and integrated Gigabit (1000/100/10) LAN, Serial ATA, Promise RAID. Everything ran stable, the VIA Envy VT1720 integrated sound will need a few more driver updates to get some tiny bugs out of it as it did not remember some settings I configured. But again, these are all small, very small things to adress. Seeing ... well hearing the sound was very pleasant. It's high-quality and hey 8-channels. It's really good, in all fairness not at Audigy2 level though.
This mainboard will get without a doubt in my mind our editor's choice award 8-channel quality integrated sound, Gigabit integrated LAN, Serial ATA, Promise RAID next to the standard IDE ports, Dual channel memory capability at 400 MHz, 8x USB 2.0, FireWire, I completely love everything about it and can only applaud Albatron for manufacturing such a great mainboard.
Overclocking options are more than sufficient, our 2.8 GHz CPU ran at the first try in tweaking instantly at 3.2 GHz instantly with core voltage set at 1.6 volts and and increased FSB to 4x230 MHz, we got it towards 3.5 Ghz. The mainboard is not just alone for overclockers though. Everyone will be very comfortable with the options and features it has.
If you are going to buy this product then remember my little story about using the PEM feature. It will boost your performance by 5-8% with no further stability loss. Also remember that you'll need a Pentium 4 C class (800 MHz FSB) CPU to unlock that feature. Also if you are opting this mainboard then please buy two identical memory modules, preferably specific Dual Channel DDR memory. Your memory bandwidth will increase dramatically and so will your overall performance.
I'll end this article with something that I mentioned in the introduction. It's all about the combination or rather symbiosis of proper products. The mainboard with 800 MHZ FSB processor and Dual Channel DDR are the key items here. If you have that combination that I guarrantee you, it'll be the fastest performing platform you have ever owned. The twohundred dollars is simply worth every penny and hey .. if you thinks that's too much to match your budget then you can also opt the 'normal' non pro II version which is available for about 120 bucks, with less features of course.
You tell me, what's not to like about the PX865PE ProII ?
Manufacturer: AlbatronProduct: PX865PE ProII
MSRP: 200 USD
Author: Hilbert Hagedoorn
Update 10-18-2003 : Overlclocking and SATA, I recently received this email from a reader. Please observe if you think this combo applies to you.
I recently read your review of the Albatron 865PE Pro II motherboard. It, like many of your reviews, was very helpful. However, I would like to make you aware of a problem that I am having with this particular board. Albatron does not support both SATA hard drives and overclocking of this motherboard. You either get one or the other.
I have included an e-mail from one of the tech support people who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
According to our engineering team from headquarter, we do not support Serial ATA hard drive while overclocking this motherboard. Thank you very much.