iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS A7N266-C (NVIDIA nForce 420-D) Mainboard

This if the first board on the NVIDIA nForce 415-D without a graphics core.


  • Package: a new design
  • Documentation: a user manual in English; a short installation manual - in 11 languages;
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100 and 1 FDD;
  • Bracket with two USB ports;
  • ACR card designed for an analog part of the audio controller;
  • Bracket for the rear panel;
  • CD with software including:
    • drivers;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • Winbond Voice Edit;
    • ASUS Update - for downloading a new BIOS version and updating it from the Windows;
    • ASUS Logo;
    • PowerPlayer SE;
    • PowerDVD;
    • VideoLive Mail;
    • ASUS Hotkey;
    • Intel LDCM (LANDesk Client Manager);
    • PC-Cillin 2000;
    • ASUS PCProbe;
    • Screensaver.

The layout is rather good, except audio-ins which are located in front of PCI slots, and too close components in the lower right-hand corner. It's not difficult to reach jumpers even when the board is already installed.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 3 capacitors of 3300 uF and 2 of 2200 uF (although modern boards use a larger number of LowESR capacitors, it was enough for the card to work stable).

The board incorporates the ASUS C.O.P. technology (CPU Overheating Protection) which turns off the board if the processor overheats.

Non-unsoldered connectors: network controller; C-Media based audio controller (from the A7N266 board); Smart Card Reader - it requires another I/O controller.

The system monitoring is supported by the ASUS AS99127F chip. Processor voltage (+/-3.3, +/-5 and +/-12 V), speed of 3 fans and temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), the board (a built-in sensor) and an external sensor can be controlled. There are 3 connectors for adjustable connection of fans.

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 1.1; dimensions - 305x245 mm.

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS
Jumper to choose an operating mode Jumper/ JumperFree
Jumpers to change a FSB/memory frequency 100/133, 133/133, 133/100 and 100/100 MHz
Jumpers to choose CPU voltages Default/ 1.85/ 1.8/ 1.75/ 1.7 V for AMD Athlon

Default/ 1.825/ 1.775/ 1.725/ 1.675 V for AMD Athlon XP

Jumper to choose memory voltage 2.5 / 2.6 (default)/ 2.7 V
Jumper to make possible to start up a computer with a PS/2 keyboard/mouse
BIOS based on the Medallion 6.00 version from Award Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency
Setup of memory frequency + DDR200, DDR266
Setup of AGP bus -
Setup of PCI bus -
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses +
Manual assignment of interrupts +
Changeable FSB frequency + in 1 MHz step, 100-200 MHz
Changeable CPU multiplier + x5-x12.5
Changeable core voltage + +5%, +7.5%, +10%
Changeable memory voltage -
Changeable chipset voltage -
Changeable AGP bus voltage -

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - 1001.D.

This board is less interesting for entry-evel computers among the nForce 420-D based models as it lacks for a video adapter. But it will be a good purchase for more demanding users at the expense of a lower price and a possibility to supplement it with a video card. On the whole, it is a good average-level board with an average set of functions.

Test results:

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