iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS A7V8X (VIA KT400) Mainboard

This first board based on the new VIA's chipset is quite intriguing: it's rich in various controllers, some are of new standards. 


  • Package of a standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133, 1 ATA33, 2 Serial ATA and FDD; 

  • Bracket with 2 IEEE1394 ports; 
  • Bracket with 2 USB and a Game ports; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • ASUS Live Update; 
    • ASUS HotKey; 
    • ASUS MyLogo; 
    • ASUS PCProbe; 
    • ASUS Screensaver; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • 3Deep; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Winbond Voice Editor; 
    • InterVideo WinDVD; 
    • InterVideo WinRip; 
    • InterVideo WinCoder; 
    • InterVideo WinProducer. 

The layout is typical: the left raw of connectors doesn't look very good, audio-ins are int front of the PCI slots and when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle memory modules. It can be difficult as well to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 6 capacitors of 3300 uF and 4 of 1200 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio inputs/outputs and for SPDIF; 
  • network controller based on the Broadcom BCM5702CKFB chip and supporting 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T

  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20376 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 and ATA133 and Serial ATA150 protocols; 

  • IEEE1394 bus controller based on the VIA VT6306; 3 ports are supported. 

Thanks to the ITE IT8708F-A I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) smart card readers. 

The board incorporates ASUS Multi-Language BIOS, ASUS POST Reporter (reports about problems during booting), ASUS MyLogo2 (for displaying your images when the system boots), ASUS C.O.P. (protects the processor from overheating), ASUS Q-Fan (auto fan speed control) and ASUS EZ Flash BIOS (for flashing new BIOS without loading the system from a diskette). 

+5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is shown by the green LED, and when a 3.3V card is inserted into the AGP slot you will see the red LED which means that the card is incompatible (it's impossible to turn on the computer even with the Power button). 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none.

The system monitoring is supported by the ASUS ASB100-A Bach chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +5 and +12 V; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), the board (a built-in sensor) and an external sensor connected to the board.
There are 3 connectors for adjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0 / 2 IEEE1394 (the controller supports up to 3 ports); dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper for starting up computer from PS/2 keyboard  
Jumpers for starting up computer from USB keyboard  
Jumper for making Vcore voltage range wider Disable/Enable
Jumper to make settings of the chipset's registers Hardware/Software
Jumper for setting the mode of the 6th PCI slot ASUS Wireless Card/ Normal
BIOS based on the 6.00 version from Award Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Active To Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge Delay, 1T Command Control, Bank Interleave
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, DDR266, DDR333, DDR400
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -  
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-227 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x5-x22.5
Changeable core voltage + 1.5-2.05 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + Auto, 2.55, 2.65, 2.75, 2.85 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8 V

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - 1004. 

This board leaves an impression that most top models from different manufacturers will look exactly the same - it lacks for a specific conception of the "MAX" series of ABIT, but at the same time the A7V8X opens a door to the near future with new technologies. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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