iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Chaintech 7VJL (Apogee series) VIA KT333 Mainboard

Nontrivial board: is it a key of success? It's hard to say, but the boards we got earlier with a rich set of accessories and functions attracted much attention to the manufacturer. 


  • Package of a stylish design with a handle; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133 and FDD - all of them are wrapped into yellow cambric for better ventilation inside the case; 

  • CBOX panel with USB 2.0/1.1 and Audio-In/Out connectors; 

  • Body Theater headphones with emulated 4.1 audio system; 
  • Thermo grease; 
  • 4 CDs with software including: 
    • drivers; 
    • user manual; 
    • Realtek CPUBoost (to control 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 layout is pleasant, though the FDD and audio-ins are not in very good positions; besides, when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules. It's not difficult either 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 2200 uF and 3 of 1500 uF and several less capacious ones. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the C-Media CMI8738/PCI-6ch-LX chip supporting 5.1 audio systems and with a connector for front audio inputs/outputs; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX. 
With the Xear technology enabled, the Body Theater headphones emulate operation of a 4.1 acoustic system (on the one hand, the sound changes, but on the other hand, it's arguable whether the sound environment is full and true). 

Thanks to the ITE IT8705F I/O controller the board has a connector for reading smart cards. 

The north bridge is equipped with an appealing cooler. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: AC'97 codec which will probably be used in cheaper versions. 

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

  • processor voltage, +2.5, +3.3, +5 and +/-12 V, VBAT, 3.3 and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperature of the processor (sensor built in into the socket). 
There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable 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; dimensions - 305x230 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper to choose a FSB frequency 100, 133 and 166 MHz
Jumper to start up computer with a PS/2 keyboard  
Jumper to turn on computer with a USB keyboard  
Jumper to enable/disable audio controller  
Jumper for booting computer from external Boot ROM  
BIOS based on the 6.00PG version from Phoenix Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Bank Interleave, Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, Active to CMD, Queue Depth, Command Rate
Setup of memory frequency + By SPD, 100, 133 and 166 MHz
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 1 MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x5-x12
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-2.0 V in 0.025 V from 1.1 to 1.85 V in 0.05V from 1.85 to 2.0 V
Changeable memory voltage + Default, 2.65, 2.8 and 2.95 V
Changeable chipset voltage + Default, 2.65, 2.8 and 2.95 V
Changeable AGP bus voltage + Default, 1.65, 1.8 and 1.95 V

We used the latest available version of the BIOS of 06/06/2002. 

I really liked the board: it's the first time when the company has made a product for the upper DIY sector of the market; the solution looks really decent and outstanding. The overclocking potential is great as the board offers almost all necessary tools, though even without them the speed is still the best among other models on this chipset. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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