iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Chaintech 7VJL Deluxe (Apogee series) (VIA KT400) Mainboard

One more model of the Apogee series fully conform to the specifications of the series, i.e. it has an excellent accessory pack and superb functionality earlier described in the Chaintech 7VJL review. And it doesn't differ from its predecessor in these parameters. 


  • Package of a stylish design with a handle; 
  • Documentation: user manual, a poster with brief installation steps -  in English; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133 and FDD - they are covered with yellow cambric to improve ventilation inside the case; 
  • CBOX panel with 4 USB ports and Audio-In/Out; 
  • Body Theater headphones with emulation of 4.1 audio system; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel with Rear and Bass/Center connectors; 
  • Thermal grease; 
  • 4 CDs containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • user guide in PDF; 
    • Realtek CPUBoost (to adjust a FSB frequency from Windows); 
    • Norton Internet Security 2002; 
    • Norton Antivirus 2002; 
    • Adobe ActiveShare; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Adobe eBook Reader; 
    • ImageMore; 
    • ThizLinux 6.0 (Asian & European version). 

The board has a design different from the 7VJL and different problems in the layout, but still: audio-ins are between the processor socket and rear panel, when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules, and connectors along the left edge are placed inconveniently. It's not difficult to reach jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 8 capacitors of 2200 uF and 3 of 1500 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the C-Media CMI8738/PCI-6ch-LX chip supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio inputs/outputs; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: IDE RAID controller and its connectors, audio-codec chip. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8705F chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, chipset, AGP bus, memory, +3.3, +5 and +-12 V, VBAT; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), and the board (a built-in sensor).

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 4 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumpers for setting a FSB frequency  100, 133, 166 MHz
Jumper for starting up computer from a PS/2 keyboard  
Jumpers for starting up computer from USB keyboard  
Jumper to make possible to boot from external Boot ROM  
Jumper to enable/disable an audio controller  
BIOS based on the AwardBIOS 6.00PG of Phoenix Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Bank Interleave, Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, Active to CMD, Burst Length, Queue Depth, DRAM Drive Strength, Command Rate, Write Recovery Time, tWTR.
Setup of memory frequency + By SPD, DDR200, 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 + 100-250 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x5-x18
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-2.2 V in 0.025 V steps up to 1.85 V and in 0.05 V afterwards
Changeable memory voltage + Default, 2.6-3.2 V in 0.1V steps
Changeable chipset voltage + Default, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 V
Changeable AGP bus voltage + Default, 1.6-2.2 V in 0.1V steps

We used the latest available version of the BIOS of 01.08.2002. 

Like other models of the Apogee series, this board provides a wide range of settings, a nonstandard accessory pack and can be recommended for those who love squeezing out everything of their boards. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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