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Asus A7V133 review

Ronald Hanaki
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According to AKIBA, the Asus A7V133 based on the VIA KT133A chipset has hit retail in Japan. This motherboard comes with a Promise ATA-100 RAID controller (supporting RAID 0) but is so new that Asus does not have a product information page for it. Being Internet time, a website has already done a review (in Japanese). I hope the author doesn’t mind if I do a running translation. The layout of the Asus A7V133 is understandably very similar to the Asus A7V. Significantly, there is a jumper that allows you to switch between Ultra ATA-100 and / or RAID 0 (this can also be done in the BIOS?). The board was benched with a week 44 Thunderbird 1.1GHz / Kanie Hedgehog-238M / ATi Radeon 32MB DDR / Mosel 64MB PC-100 SDRAM / two 20GB Western Digital HDDs / Promise FastTrak 100 controller in Windows 98 / Me. Right out of the box, the memory and registry timings are set conservatively but this can be changed within the BIOS. In jumper free mode, tweaking the FSB is easy as the author was able to push his TBird to 149MHz FSB at 1.75V. Why does the author use the FastTrak 100 controller instead of the onboard RAID? RAID controllers have this nasty habit of running hot and apparently there is no ‘crystal‘ (heatsink?) on top of the onboard Promise controller. In his concluding remarks, the author expressed some trepidation with this motherboard since the prototypical Asus A7V has some issues of its own but the A7V133 ran smoothly without any hassles. The VIA KT133A motherboards are turning out to be great overclockers. With faster memory (than the PC-100 used here) and more exotic cooling, who knows how high the TBird will fly.

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