iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ASUS A7V8X (VIA KT400) Mainboard

The first board coming on the new VIA's chipset is rich in various controllers, and some of them embody new standards. 


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

  • Bracket with 2 IEEE1394 ports; 
  • Bracket with 2 USB and Game ports; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • 2 CDs 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: connectors along the left edge are placed inconveniently, audio-ins are in front of the PCI slots, and when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the 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 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 Serial ATA150 protocols; 

  • IEEE1394 bus controller based on the VIA VT6306 chip supporting up to 3 ports. 

Thanks to the ITE IT8708F-A I/O controller the board supports (and have a connector) a reader for smart cards. 

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. (to protect the processor from overheating), ASUS Q-Fan (auto fan speed control) and ASUS EZ Flash BIOS (for flashing a new BIOS version without booting the system from a diskette). 

+5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with the green LED, and when a 3.3V card is inserted into the AGP slot you will see the red LED going on 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 switchesJumper to clear up the CMOS 
Jumper for starting up computer from a PS/2 keyboard 
Jumpers for starting up computer from USB keyboard 
Jumper to extend the range of voltage values supplied to the processor's coreDisable/Enable
Jumper to choose settings for chipset registersHardware/Software
Jumper to set a mode of the 6th PCI slotASUS Wireless Card/ Normal
BIOS based on the Award 6.0 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 - BIOS 1004. 

I think most top models from different manufacturers will look like this one - it doesn't have such a conceptual design like the MAX series of ABIT, but at the same time the A7V8X opens the door to the future with its new technologies. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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