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Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?

Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?

Conclusion

Opinions are once again divided on the assessment of our four new opponents.

So it's best to go through each board one after the otherand explain why the leap to the top was not successful.

The Abit IT7 : Without a doubt the most interesting board in our review. But his courage to progress is indirectly his undoing again, because nowadays one simply cannot expect that every buyer has the appropriate peripherals to be able to use this board sensibly. In terms of performance, the IT7 can keep up well, but not quite at the top of the field, so that it has to accept minor compromises here. A very big advantage of the IT7 is probably the very good HighPoint Raid controller, which enables the operation of eight additional IDE hard drives and cannot be found on any of our other mainboards. That is why we can warmly recommend the IT7 from Abit to all customers who have the necessary peripherals, who do not necessarily have to have the fastest i845E mainboard, but who value stability and lots of connections of the latest generation. No other board can compete with the IT7 here.

Abit IT7
  • Equipment
  • Documentation
  • Stability
  • Performance
  • OnBoard LAN
  • HighPoint Dual-Raid
  • 10x USB 2.0
  • OnBoard Firewire
  • AGP/PCI-Takt Fix
  • Progress
  • Price
  • only 4 PCI- Slots
  • no legacy connections

The Epox EP-4BEAR : With the EP-4BEAR, the defects are in the details. The board was actually able to convince us across the board, but we miss features like OnBoard LAN, which in our opinion is now simply part of a mainboard of this class, and Firewire or Bluetooth. On the other hand, the EP-4BEAR from Epox shines with the lowest price and this even with a HighPoint Raid controller, on the IDE hard drives even without a built-up RAID arraycan be connected. But the board lacks that certain something to assert itself against the competition. But if you can do without features that you think you will never use anyway, you have come to the right address at Epox and will certainly be happy with the EP-4BEAR.

EPoX EP-4BEAR
  • Price
  • Equipment
  • Documentation
  • Stability
  • Performance
  • Service
  • 6 PCI slots
  • HighPoint Raid
  • USB 2.0
  • AGP/PCI clock fix
  • no 12V plug required
  • no OnBoard LAN
  • no Bluetooth/Firewire

The Gigabyte GA-8IEXP : Why can't the GA-8IEXP catch up with the P4B533-E or even overtake it? This can easily be explained with the somewhat poorer performance of the GA-8IEXP, which simply cannot match the undisputed P4B533-E. Otherwise, the board from Gigabyte offers almost everything. Gigabyte gave preference to Firewire over Bluetooth, so you have to do without it. Unfortunately, when it comes to raid controllers, Promise and not HighPoint are used, so that it can really only be used as a raid controller. Certainly no fatality, but still a little downer.

Gigabyte GA-8IEXP
  • Scope of delivery
  • Features
  • Documentation
  • Stability
  • Performance
  • OnBoard LAN
  • 6 PCI slots
  • Promise Raid
  • USB 2.0
  • Firewire
  • AGP/PCI-Takt Fix
  • OnBoard Sound
  • Dual Bios
  • Q-Flash
  • Easy Tune 4
  • Price
  • Active Northbridge fan

The MSI 845E Max2-BLR : The 845E Max2-BLR has one single property that is fatal: The PCI/AGP fix option, which is so blatantly important for overclockingmissing in the bios! Of course, this results in a relatively bad rating in the area of ​​'overclocking', so that the board cannot jump to the P4B533-E. Despite the slightly poorer performance, it would otherwise have been able to catch up with this one because the scope of delivery is excellent. Unlike Gigabyte, MSI gives preference to Bluetooth and dispenses with Firewire. Here the buyer has to decide which of the two technologies he can do without, as there is no general assessment of this.

MSI 845E Max2-BLR
  • Scope of delivery
  • Equipment
  • Documentation
  • Stability
  • Performance
  • OnBoard LAN
  • 6 PCI slots
  • Promise Raid
  • USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth module
  • OnBoard Sound
  • Fuzzy Logic 4
  • PC Alert III
  • Live Bios/Live Driver
  • No AGP/PCI clock fix
  • active northbridge fan
  • price

We hope to have made one thing clear in this conclusion: Every board has its advantages, but also its weaknesses that need to be considered. Therefore, in this review in particular, you should not only pay attention to the overall rating, which is very close to each other for all competitors, but also take a closer look at the subcategories, as these sometimes differ quite significantly. In the end, however, everyone has to decide for themselves which board is best for them. We cannot and do not want to relieve anyone of this decision.

As always, the Forum is responsible for questions.

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