iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Elitegroup L7VTA (VIA KT400) Mainboard

ECS brought out a board with quite good functions and offers it at a  moderate price. We are testing today a preproduction sample. 


  • Package of a standard design; 
  • Documentation: installation manual for the IDE RAID controller in English; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • Diskette with drivers for IDE RAID; 
  • 2 CDs containing:
    • drivers;
    • user guide in the Microsoft Word format; 
    • DirectX 8.0a; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • CD Ghost 21st 3.6; 
    • Language Genius 21st; 
    • MediaRing Talk; 
    • Page ABC; 
    • PC-Cillin 2002; 
    • Recovery Genius; 
    • Super Voice; 
    • Award WinFlash. 

The layout has typical drawbacks: cables plugged into connectors of IDE RAID and FDD can prevent installation of long extension cards into last PCI slots, audio cables will stretch along the whole PC case, and the position of the power connector dooms this bunch of cables to hanging right over the processor's cooler. 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 9 capacitors of 3300 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and VIA VT1612A AC'97 codec with connectors for front audio inputs/outputs; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20265R chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the protocols up to ATA100; 
  • IEEE 1394 bus controller based on the VIA VT6306 chip. 

+2.5 V supplied to the memory modules is indicated with the red LED. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: an unknown chip. 

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

  • processor voltage, 2.5, +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 connection of fans. 

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

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switchesJumper to clear up the CMOS 
Jumpers for setting a FSB frequency100, 133, 166 MHz
BIOS based on the AwardBIOS 6.00PG of PhoenixSetup of memory timings+CAS Latency, Bank Interleave, Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, Active to CMD, Burst Length, Queue Depth, 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+100-199 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier- 
Changeable core voltage+Normal, -0.6%, +1.1%, +2.3%
Changeable memory voltage+2.43, 2.5, 2.66, 2.745 V
Changeable chipset voltage- 
Changeable AGP bus voltage- 

We used the latest available version of the BIOS of 20.09.2002. 

This is a typical solution of the low-end market sector regarding the price and speed, and as for its functions the board doesn't yield to its brand-name brothers. 

Test results:


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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