I got the opportunity to give their PXP35 board a test-drive and I was amazed at how good this board can be.
The Appearance and Layout
Nothing special about the board I’ll say, colors weren’t spectacular to begin with while solid capacitors are only found near the CPU socket.
Well thought of SATA location, it was placed much further downwards so dual-slot GPUs wouldn’t be blocking it. I liked that.
As for the cooling for the bridge, it’s not using copper heatsink nor heatpipes like those found on many higher range boards. No fan on it either, fanless and noiseless cooling is good.
Just as most motherboards, the RAM clip would be blocked by the graphic card in place. Luckily you still can remove and insert RAM without going through the hassle of removing the graphic card.
I do find the placement of the ATX12V very inconvenient, I had to drag it across my heatsink. And mind you, this is just the Xigmatek HDT-S963. If you’re using a bigger heatsink then, be prepared to face more hindrance.
I tried installing the Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer on it and it’s just blocking many things. Whether you decide to install it with fan facing the 5.25″ bays or fan faced downwards (which I like) – it’s bound to block the ATX12V socket. In my case, the fan location was in conflict with the ATX12V socket and I had to bend my ATX12V connector quite a fair bit before being able to plug it in. If I were to face the heatsink to a different direction then the fins would be doing the blocking job, and I wouldn’t want to bend the fins.
In fact, I had to move my RAM to the OTHER slots. Standard value-RAM would work fine on slots close to the processor but the OCZ Reaper RAM isn’t something small. 🙁 All in all, yes, there was the lack of generosity when it comes to space around the processor socket. I’m not putting the blame entirely on the board though, since it’s generally fine with lesser-sized heatsink. Of course, one can’t deny the ATX12 location could be improved.
The connector pins for the speaker and power-LED were split from the rest, like power, reset and HDD LED. A first for me, not a big matter. Just found it odd.
Lastly, I liked that it came with SPDIF IN / OUT connectors, definitely a plus point.
- 1 x IDE Cable
- 1 x FDD Cable
- 2 x SATA Cable
- 1 x SATA Power Cable
- 1 x I/O Panel
- 1 x CD Driver
- 1 x User Manual
Features and Specifications
Basically Albatron’s Intel P35 chipset motherboard. Kindly refer to the official product page for more details.
The Performance & Overclocking
Being a P35 board, I’m not expecting it to be any different from the Biostar TP35D2-A7 that I reviewed last year.
I installed this board just a week or 2 ago and I was pleasantly surprised by the host of overclocking features found on this board.
Unlike the Biostar TP35D2-A7 that gave me a horrible time with the initial BIOS that forced me to run RAM at really odd FSB:RAM ratio, the Albatron PXP35 gave me all the options just there. So straight away I set it to 1:1.
I managed to overclock it VERY easily. Knowing that my Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2140 could reach 3.2Ghz easily, I set it to 8×400 and voila, it continued to POST at 3.2Ghz. Too bad it failed to enter Windows, so I bumped up the vcore a little on the next reboot and that’s it. It worked really well, all in all it was done in 2 reboots. the 3rd reboot was to add more vcore to stabilize the processor at overclocked speed.
All in all, it wasn’t a picky board – just like the Biostar TP35D2-A7, both of them were unlike the ASUS P5K-E that I find to be damn picky when it comes to tweaking overclocking settings.
Anyway, there are no tables for performance here. The difference between P35 boards and their performances are too minimal. It doesn’t show much either.
I like this board. It worked just like any other P35 based boards, it’s cheap and it comes with nice range of overclocking features that are more than enough for overclocking.
What I didn’t like? The damn manual, the full manual of the motherboard is on the website and on the CD but what came in the box was just a Quick Installation Guide.
Yup, how stupid is that? I guess Albatron thought that everyone would know how to read markings on the motherboard to figure out where to place the power-button switch and where’s the CMOS reset jumper should anything go wrong. Either that or perhaps they think everyone else has another machine lying around to read the PDF-manual on the CD.
Well, it’s a bundle issue. Board-wise, it was great. 🙂 I highly recommend it to anyone who wants something cheap but good enough to use and play around with overclocking. Just take note of the other stuff, especially the ATX12V placement which could easily be solved by acquiring heatsinks with dimensions that don’t obstruct.