A Versatile Baby Board
Nov 17, 2000
Review by gym-378
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Accepts a wide variety of processors, allows for plenty of memory expansion
Cons:Doesn't support UDMA-66, doesn't allow for a lot of expansion cards
For those of you not familiar with ASUS's baby boards, these are compact motherboards intended for computers that do not require a lot of peripherals. With that in mind, ASUS has outdone themselves with this great little board.
Recommend this product?
The P2B-B offers 2 ISA slots, 3 PCI slots, and a single AGP slot which is more than adequate for users who intend to use a video card, sound card, modem, and/or network card. Beyond that, users will be hard-pressed to find space for a video accelerator, Firewire 1394 card, or any other add-on cards.
This motherboard provides three SDRAM memory slots which will accept up to 3 256mb memory modules for a maximum of 768mb of memory. These memory modules can either be the 66mhz memory or 100mhz memory. In addition, users can select from an Intel PII, PIII, or Celeron processor ranging from 233mhz to 733mhz giving users the ability to expand with their processing needs.
The final nice feature of this motherboard is the fact that it can use either AT or ATX form factor power supplies. Many people who are upgrading their existing systems have cases that have an AT power supply (which means you have to push a button to turn off your computer as opposed to the ATX form factor which automatically shuts the machine down for you when you shut down Windows). Not having to purchase an ATX case and power supply can save $45-$75 in the computer upgrade price by selecting this board and choosing to keep your old case and power supply.
As I mentioned earlier, if you already have lots of add-on cards or plan on expanding with additional cards, this may not be the motherboard for you as it is limited in its expansion capabilities. Second, be aware that this motherboard does not support the IDE UDMA-66 hard drive transfer rates. This means that any UDMA-66 hard drives that you use with this motherboard will not function at their peak performance level.
Also, ASUS makes a big deal out the TREND chip away virus protection that is included with the motherboard. DON'T be fooled into thinking that this is complete anti-virus protection. While it will protect your machine from some boot-level viruses, it does not replace McAfee or Norton as anti-virus software protection.
For the average user who is looking to upgrade their computer, the ASUS P2B-B is an outstanding board with plenty of expandability with respect to processor speeds and memory. The fact that it works with AT and ATX form factors and accepts 100mhz memory makes it a great value for all but power users.
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