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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.26.04]
Manufactured by: DFI

Price on $180
Avg. Price for 875PE Mobos: $120-130

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CMOS Reloaded

The highlight of the Pro975B over the original Pro875 is the new BIOS feature: CMOS Reloaded, so we are going to give it its very own section.

This is a great interface to be added to the BIOS, and I wonder why someone hadn't thought of it earlier. Here's what it looks like:

CMOS Reloaded allows you to set up to four different BIOS configurations, with the ability to rename them as you see fit. If you have a killer overclock you found, and want to keep it for later while you try other settings, save it here, and come back when you want.

The Reloaded settings are saved independant of the CMOS, so you can feel free to clear it if you run into a lockup (you know you will).

The coolest feature of CMOS Reloaded, however, is the ability to boot directly from one of the saved settings without going into the BIOS itself.

Simply hold 1, 2, 3, or 4, while booting up, and the corresponding setup will be loaded. I can think of many occasions where this would be handy, especially as a reviewer.

And one more thing - tired of having to clear your CMOS after pushing things a bit too far? CMOS Reloaded has a function that could possibly save you a lot of frustration - it's a lot like "Safe Mode" for your BIOS. Hold the INS key while booting up, and the default settings will be loaded. From there you can load one of your configs, change things a bit, and go from there.

Clearing the CMOS itself has been 'reloaded' as well. Rather than fumble around with jumpers to clear your CMOS, simply hold the Pause/Break key while booting. This will clear your CMOS for you. First there was jumper-free overclocking, now jumper free CMOS resetting! AWESOME!

I should note that this is not 100% fail safe, and I have still run into a couple occasions where a manual clearing of the CMOS was required. However this only occured while pushing the system EXTREMELY far, and most of the time the Pause/Break key worked fine.

CMOS Reloaded, is truly one of those cool features that sets the Pro875B apart from the rest. It's not just a gimmick!

NOW let's get to some benchmarks!

The Test

Testing was done under Windows XP with SP1 installed. All the latest drivers and chipset installation software were used. Test hardware was as follows:

CPU: P4 3.2 GHz with HyperThreading enabled (800 FSB)
Memory: 512MB OCZ PC4000 Gold Dual Channel (3-4-4-8 @ DDR400)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB (Catalyst 3.10)
HDD: 80GB Seagate Barracuda V ATA100

We used two other motherboards for comparison purposes: The Abit AI7 in "Auto" mode (which allows it to function as a regular 865PE), and the venerable Intel "Bonanza" D875PBZ.

PLEASE keep in mind when looking at these benchmarks, that the Intel Bonanza is NOT your every day OEM Intel board. It has to be one of the best boards ever produced by Intel themselves, and they have reached the limits of what is attainable by the 875P chipset - something we don't usually see with Intel branded motherboards. I even has some overclocking features, although nothing too great. We are actually considering reviewing this board itself, but we don't have a retail version of it.

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