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Asus' A8V Deluxe motherboard

One with everything

ModelA8V Deluxe
Price (street)$142

WHEN IT COMES to motherboards, it takes a lot to impress me. Maybe it's the fact that I've seen so many mobos pass through the Benchmarking Sweatshop, or maybe I'm just getting old... and crabby. Either way, it takes a special board to capture my attention. Something new, something innovative, and preferably something priced within the reach mere mortals.

Like I said, it's not often that I'm really impressed. But it happens, rarely, and most recently with Asus' Socket 939 A8V Deluxe. What makes this board so special? Read on to find out.

The specs
A quick look at the A8V Deluxe's spec sheet hints at what makes this board so Deluxe.

CPU supportSocket 939-based Athlon 64 processors
Form factorATX
ChipsetVIA K8T800 Pro
North bridgeVIA K8T800 Pro
South bridgeVIA VT8237
InterconnectUltra V-LinkĀ  (1.06GB/sec)
PCI slots5 32-bit/33MHz
AGP slots1 AGP 4X/8X (1.5V only)
Memory4 184-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 4GB of DDR266/333/400 SDRAM
Storage I/OFloppy disk
2 channels ATA/133
2 channels Serial ATA 150 via VT8237 south bridge with RAID 0,1 support
1 channel ATA/133 via Promise PDC20378 with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 support
2 channels Serial ATA 150 via Promise PDC20378 RAID with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 support
Audio8-channel audio via VT8237 integrated audio and ALC850 codec
Ports1 PS/2 keyboard
1 PS/2 mouse
1 serial
1 parallel
headers for 1 game port
USB 2.0 with headers for 4 more
1 Firewire via VIA VT6307 with headers for one 1 more
1 RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet via Marvell 88E8001

1 analog front out
1 analog bass/center out
1 analog rear out
1 analog surround out
1 analog line in
1 analog mic in
2 digital S/PDIF outputsĀ  (RCA and TOS-Link)
Bus speedsCPU: 200-300MHz in 1MHz increments
Bus dividersCPU:MEM: 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 5:3, 2:1
VoltagesCPU: 0.8-1.8V in 0.025V increments
AGP: 1.5-1.6V in 0.1V increments
DRAM: 2.6-2.8V in 0.1V increments
V-Link: 2.5-2.6V in 0.1V increments
MonitoringVoltage, fan status, and temperature monitoring

Integrated peripherals, baby. Asus augments the K8T800 Pro's array of south bridge features with additional Serial and "parallel" ATA RAID, Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet, and an eight-channel audio codec. The A8V Deluxe is also bundled with a little Wi-Fi love. More on that in a moment.