A7V Part Two
When it debuted last summer, the original A7V was a hit. As the first Socket A motherboard with clock multiplier adjustment to hit the retail market, the A7V was quickly picked up by many early adopters in the hardware enthusiast community. To top it off, the A7V's Promise ATA/100 controller supported an additional four IDE devices, making the A7V an even more attractive package.
Therefore, when it was time to update their Socket A motherboard lineup with the KT133A chipset, ASUS chose to base their new motherboard off the original A7V. After all, why spend the time and effort on a new design when a great platform already exists? Hence, the name of ASUS's latest VIA-based motherboard, the A7V133.
If you read our ABIT KT7A-RAID review
, then you're probably quite aware of KT133A. With its support of the new 266MHz front side bus, system bandwidth is boosted by 20%. In addition, its newer 686B South Bridge boasts full support for ATA/100 hard drives. In previous tests, we've found the faster bus speed accounts for a 10% gain in performance at 1.2GHz (depending on the application); easily rivaling the performance gains we've experienced with motherboards based on AMD's 760 chipset.
With KT133A offering so much performance without requiring a memory upgrade (760 motherboards require DDR memory), we believe it will be a popular upgrade choice for many PC enthusiasts during the first half of this year.
Besides the KT133A chip, ASUS has made a few other improvements to the A7V133 to separate it from the crowd. Since RAID has become such a popular feature recently, ASUS added RAID support (specifically, RAID 0) to the A7V133's list of attributes. With the cost of ATA controllers dropping through the floor the past few months, expect more motherboards to support IDE RAID in the near future.
What other features has ASUS added to the A7V133's bag of tricks? Read on to find out!