18 Eylül 2007 Salı


The DFI AK74-SC is a Socket A motherboard based around the KT133 chipset from VIA, and thus designed to house the latest generation of AMD CPUs: the Athlon "Thunderbird", and the Duron. Both processors use a Socket 462 interface, which is itself quite similar in concept to the Socket 370 interface used by Intel. One thing to note is that the "SC" rendition of the board that we'll be reviewing features an integrated AC"97-compatible sound card, while the "SU" makes use of an ES1373 audio chipset. That said, let's get down to business...

The features
The DFI AK74-SC is expandable via its 5 PCI slots, 1 ISA slot, single AGP port, and an AMR slot. There are also 3 168-pin DIMM sockets available, which can support upto 1.5GB of PC100, PC133, or VCM memory. As you can see, DFI has come to the brilliant realization that supporting at least one ISA slot maintains compatibility with a small ocean of legacy ISA cards. This makes upgrading a little easier, as it means there will be one less ISA card to replace in the new system - presuming you had any to begin with.
Configuration of the AK74-SC is accomplished from within the BIOS. To adjust the operating frequency of the CPU, simply jump to the "Frequency/Voltage Control" menu in the BIOS. In fact, when we did just that, we were surprised to learn that the AK74-SC presented us with the ability to set a frequency ranging from 100MHz-133MHz in 1MHz increments. Of course, there is no option provided for changing the clock multiplier, but such a feature is useless without an "unlocked" processor in any case. Within the "Chipset Features Setup" menu, there also lies an option permitting the memory bus to be set to an independent frequency of 100MHz, or 133MHz.Unfortunately, no option is provided for adjusting the CPU's core voltage.

Technical details
A sizable space has been set aside for the processor, and thus permits the installation of larger heatsinks.The memory slots are located far enough from the AGP slot that there is no risk of the memory retention clips coming in contact with the graphics card.The processor socket is surrounded by 12 1500mfd capacitors. This is, in our opinion, a little weak; 2200mfd capacitors would have been a better option.The CPU retention lever is made of plastic. It is therefore make especially important to make sure that all the CPU pins are inserted properly before clamping it down - carefully - with the lever, in order to avoid to break it.There are 3 fan connectors available, which should be enough for the vast majority of situations.Hardware monitoring is accomplished by VIA's KT133 chipset internal circuitry.This board does not allow for the manual assignment of IRQs.The BIOS lacks any function which would permit users to "undo" recently made changes, by the use of the "Home" or "insert" keys at power-on. This very effectively slows Overclocking tests, as it forces users (such as ourselves) to reset the BIOS via a jumper, and then reset every BIOS settings from scratch.

The DFI AK70

DFI, like many other motherboard manufacturers, has finally decided that it's high time they produced an Athlon board. The AK70, thus, is the first generation of DFI motherboards to support the AMD Athlon microprocessor. Based upon the AMD IronGate 750/756 chipset, the AK70 stands slightly behind the technological times. By that we refer to the current mass adoption of newer, and more versatile chipset like the KX-133 from VIA. What affect will this situation have on the AK70's performance? Well, that's what we're here to determine folks...

The features
The DFI AK70 possess 5 PCI slots, 0 ISA slots, an AGP port, no AMR slot. Finally, there are 3 168-pin DIMM slots that can support upto 768MB of PC100 memory. We would have preferred to see at least 1 ISA slot on this board, but that hasn't proven to be the case...
Configuration of the AK70 is performed within the BIOS, as there are no jumpers on the board that are essential to that task. No option is given for adjusting the operating frequency of the processor.
Unfortunately, it is also impossible to adjust the processor's core voltage with this board.In short, this motherboard is little more or less than an exact copy of the original reference design put forth by AMD. Any one who owns an AK70, thus, will have to install a Goldfinger if they wish to Overclock the processor's frequency, or act on its core voltage.

Chaintech CT-7AJA KT133

Today folks, we'll be testing the Chaintech CT-7AJA, one of the many motherboards that has begun to pile into our labs of late. After picking it out of the pile, we were immediately, and pleasantly surprised by the wealth of functions that Chaintech has integrated into the CT-7AJA, as well as by its general quality. In fact, these many features happen to include an integrated 128-bit S3 Savage4 graphics card, and a CMedia 8738 64-channel sound-card which are both available as options. By supporting the many functions offered by its Via KT133 chipset, the CT-7AJA also manages to make an immediate impression with Overclockers. If all this grabs your attention, then please feel free to follow along, as we put this board through the wringer, and see how it performs...

The features
The CT-7AJA is expandable via its 5 PCI slots, 1 ISA slot, single AGP port, and AMR slot. There are also 3 168-pin DIMM sockets available, which can support upto 768MB of PC100, PC133, or VCM memory. At this point, we can note a few advantages that the CT-7AJA has over other Socket A motherboards on the market. Namely, the CT-7AJA sports both an ISA slot, and an AMR slot. While the latter may tend to collect little more than yawns with most folks, the former still has a wide following, due to the manu legacy ISA cards still floating about.
Configuration of the CT-7AJA is accomplished primarily from within the BIOS, though there are several Dip switches blocks, and jumpers to be found on the board itself. First of all, on the reviewing unit that we've received, there are four Dips switches blocks labeled SW1 to SW4. Of course, we have to note that SW1 through SW3 will be removed from the final production units of the CT-7AJA, according to Chaintech. The block of switches of SW4, however, are here to stay, and can be used to change the processor's clock multiplier. Ultimately, that may not prove very useful though, as AMD recently decided to install an internal multiplier lock inside all of their CPUs. So, unless you would be lucky enough to have an unlocked CPU, the Dips are useless, and can be ignored. From within the BIOS menu labeled "Frequency/Voltage Control", it is possible to set the frequency of the Front Side Bus to a value ranging from 100Mhz to 133Mhz, including: 100Mhz, 102Mhz, 104Mhz, 106Mhz, 107Mhz, 108Mhz,109Mhz,110Mhz, 112Mhz, 114Mhz, 116Mhz, 120Mhz, 124Mhz, 127Mhz, 130Mhz, 133Mhz, 140Mhz, 145Mhz, 150Mhz, 155Mhz, and 160Mhz. Unfortunately, no BIOS option is provided for altering the processor's Vcore voltage.Finally, a function within the "Chipset Features Setup" menu allows users to set the operating frequency of the memory bus to a value 33MHz higher or lower than that of the FSB.

Technical details
The power supply stability is well-assured by the presence of no less than 11, big 2200mfd capacitors - not too shabby at all.A generous amount of space is provided around the processor socket, for the installation of even very large heatsinks, such as the FDP32, and GlobalWin offerings.The memory slots were placed just far enough from the AGP slot that there is no chance of the memory retention bars contacting an installed graphics card.The CPU retention bar is made of plastic. There is also a need to make certain that the CPU is properly placed within its socket, and apply the retention bar with car, so as to avoid damaging anything. A TwinBIOS function is offered as an option, which would allow for greater security against BIOS attacks by such virus as the CIH virus, or from simple data loss."HDD Instant Recovery" is included as a standard feature. This function allows the essential bits of an OS to be saved in a special cache. When needed, the system can then make call to this cache to recover from a system crash, or other mishap.One interesting quality this board has is the BIOS flahing utility that is actually integrated into the BIOS. This will certainly save some time looking for the update program...Finally, it has to be mentioned that the CT-7AJA is equipped with polyfuses that provide added protection against power surges from the USB ports, or keyboard.

Chaintech CT-6VJD VIA Pro266 socket 370

The Chaintech CT-6VJD is the second board we've received for testing that is based on the VIA Pro266 chipset. As a result, the CT-6VJD benefits from the Pro266's main feature: support for DDR-SDRAM. That isn't the only thing that sets this board apart, though. In fact, this is the first motherboard we've ever received that comes not only with the traditional AMR (Audio Modem Riser), or CNR (Communication Network Riser) slot, but also with a slot based on the new ACR (Audio Communication Riser) standard.Let's take a closer look now.

The CT-6VJD, like many boards from Chaintech, is available in two versions. One supports only DDR memory, while the other supports both DDR & PC133 SDRAM. To distinguish between the two, Chaintech has added the suffix /2 to all boards that come with support for conventional memory.Another point of differentiation is that the CT-6VJD comes with an ACR slot, which is meant to take the place of AMR connectors.

Configuration of the Chaintech CT-6VJD is accomplished via a combination of jumpers and BIOS settings. On the board itself, one finds jumpers JP5/JP6, which can be used to force the FSB to operate at a frequency of 66MHz, 100MHz, or 133MHz.Another set of jumpers labeled JP12 can be used to set the CPU's clock multiplier to a value ranging from 3X to 8X.All other adjustments are accessed exclusively from within the BIOS. From within the "Frequency/Voltage Control" menu, for instance, users may:
Set the FSB to operate at between 66Mhz and 170Mhz in steps of 1Mhz.
Set the processor's Vcore voltage to between +0.05vdc and +0.30vdc in steps of 0.05vdc.The rest are accessed from the "Advanced Chipset Features" menu, where users are presented with a series of options in a slightly different fashion than is the norm. Available functions, though, include the ability to adjust memory timing, and adjust the operation of the AGP and/or PCI bus.For example, the "DRAM Clock Drive Control" sub-menu contains the following options:DRAM Clock: Permits the memory bus to be set to operate at the same frequency as the Front Side Bus, a value 33MHz lower than the latter, or simply allow the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) determine the proper frequency automatically.DRAM Timing: Permits the manual selection of memory timings, or else allow the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) determine the proper timings automatically. Manual mode allows users to select a DRAM Cycle Length of 2 or 2.5.Finally, an option is also provided that allows users to set the DRAM Command Rate to a value of either 1 or 2 clock cycles.AGP, and PCI options can also be found within their own sub-menu.

Chaintech CT-6CTA2 i820 mainboard

The Chaintech CT-6CTA2 is a Slot 1 board based on the Intel 820 (Camino) chipset. The CT-6CTA2 also happens to have been designed with DRDRAM( Rambus) memory in mind, though the attraction of that memory standard has dropped substantially - despite its slightly better pricing since a while. A version of this board also offers an integrated RAID 0/1 controller from HighPoint - the HPT368; the very same controller, in fact, as is found on the Iwill VD133 Pro RAID that we reviewed earlier. All that said, though, let's say we get down to the brass tacks, and begin the review.

The features
The CT-6CTA2 is expandable via 5 PCI slots, 1 ISA slot, 1 AGP port, and an AMR slot. As well, there are 2 184-pin RIMM slots that can support upto 1GB of Rambus memory.
As for configuring Chaintech's CT-6CTA2, we find few jumpers to be found on the board itself. There are of course the usual suspects: the CMOS jumper, jumpers for activating/deactivating the keyboard/mouse start-up feature, and jumpers for activating/deactivating the sound-card. There is also pumper JP13, which allows the start-up feature to be applied to the USB, and jumper JP1, which can be set to allow the CPU to determine for itself the optimal FSB setting, or to force it to operate at 133MHz. Many configuration options are found within the BIOS menu labeled "SeePU". These include options for changing the FSB setting, and the clock multiplier. Finally, within the "Chipset Features Setup" BIOS menu, there is an option that allows the user to change the operating frequency of the memory bus.Unfortunately, no option is given for altering the processor's Vcore. According to the manual, available FSB settings include: 100Mhz, 103Mhz, 124Mhz, and 150Mhz, but personally, I wasn't able to obtain anything but a setting of 105Mhz. Of course, that could be the result of a defect in the test board....

Chaintech CT-6AJA4 socket 370 VIA Apollo Pro133A

The Chaintech CT-6AJA4, based on the Via Apollo Pro133A chipset, is a newcomer to the world of Socket 370 motherboards. One noticeable fact about the CT-6AJA4 is its technological resemblance to the Iwill VD133 Pro RAID which we recently reviewed, in that the former offers an optional Highpoint HPT368 RAID controller capable supporting RAID 0, 1, or 0+1. Unfortunately, the version we recieved for testing did not incorporate this feature, and so we can't actually test its performance while using the RAID controler. That said, let's all gather around and take a look at the features we do have before us, and see how the board performs.

The features
The CT-6AJA4 is expandable via its 5 PCI slots, 1 ISA slot, and single AGP port; sorry, no AMR. The CT-6AJA4 also sports 3 168-pin DIMM sockets that can support upto 768MB of PC100, PC133, VCM, or ECC memory. On this point, the CT-6AJA4 has at least one advantage over the VD133 Pro RAID, in that the latter has no ISA slots to speak of.
Configuration of the CT-6AJA4 is performed, nearly in its entirety, within the BIOS, as there are actually few jumpers to be found on the board itself. The only jumpers worth mentioning, in fact, are JP12 & JP13, which can be used to force the Front-Side Bus to operate at 66MHz, 100MHz, or 133MHz. Within the "Frequency/Voltage Control" BIOS menu, though, one finds the controls necessary for tweaking the processor frequency; here, you'll find a list of frequencies ranging from 66MHz to 160MHz. Using a CPU with an FSB of 100MHz and JP12 & JP13 set to 'Auto or 100Mhz', the FSB available range from 100MHz to 133MHz, in steps of 1MHz. With a CPU with an FSB of 133MHz or a 100Mhz FSB CPU and JP12 & JP13 set to '133Mhz', its possible to range from 133MHz to 160MHz, also in 1MHz steps. As you can guess, the CT-6AJA4 offers an incredible range of Overclocking possibilities: 150 in all.Another adjustment, this one found within the "Chipset Features Setup" BIOS menu, also allows for the operating frequency of the memory bus to be set to a value 33MHz higher, or lower than that of the FSB.Finally, back within the "Frequency/Voltage Control" menu, an option exists for adjusting the processor's Vcore voltage by +0.1v, or +0.2v. To be frank, we actually expected a few more choices in this area, especially considering the wide range of FSB frequencies that are given...

The Chaintech CT-6AJA4 also has a few other features that bear mentioning, among them:
Hardware Reset Protect
This function allows the user to disable the Reset button, and thus avoid accidental reboots. Often, systems such as servers are expected to operate 24hrs/day, and an accidental reset can be extremely inconvenient, if not damaging to very important data.

HDD Instant Recovery
This feature ca be activated by the user, in order to store a cache of all of the vital bits of a system's OS. At need, the user can then restore the system after a fatal system crash.

Flash BIOS Protection
This particular feature helps protect the system's BIOS from being accidentally erased, or deliberately harmed by a viral intrusion.

Biostar M7MIA AMD 761

Today, we'll be reviewing the Biostar M7MIA - the first Socket A, AMD 761-based board we've received from the folks at Biostar. Thanks to its shiny new chipset, the M7MIA comes equipped with support with 133MHz FSB Athlon processors, as well as PC1600 and/or PC2100 DDR-SDRAM memory.Let's take a look.
Biostar M7MIA AMD 761 Hardware characteristics

CPU Socket-A AMD Althon and Duron Processor * CPU Speed 500~1.3GHz and up to 1.33GHz-266FSB * 200/266MHz System Bus
Chipset AMD 761 + VIA VT82C686B
Form factor ATX - 30.5cm X 24.4cm
Expansion 5 PCI - 1 ISA - 1 AMR - 1 AGP - 4 USB
Memory 2X 184-pin 1Gb DDR SDRAM PC1600 - PC2100
FSB 100Mhz, 103Mhz, 105Mhz, 110Mhz, 113Mhz, 117Mhz, 133Mhz, 138Mhz, 144Mhz, 150Mhz and 155Mhz
Vcore adj. NA
Vio adj. NA
Audio chipset embeded into the chipset South bridge

Since there seem to be few features to distinguish this board, it stands to reason that there are few jumpers to be found, thus greatly simplifying the configuration process.Only a single jumper - labeled JCKL1 - can be found on the board's surface, and it can be used to set the FSB to either 100MHz or 133MHz.Within the BIOS, user's will find only a single option relating to the processor, which will allow them to set the FSB frequency as indicated in the table above. As you can guess, the M7MIA is really designed with Overclocking in mind, even though it's AMD 761 chipset does supply it with a good deal of under-the-hood power. The BIOS can however be rolled-back to the last batch of valid settings by pressing "CTRL + Insert" at start-up.
Index: Chose...IntroductionTechnical detailsAdditionnal featuresSpecificationsBenchmarksConclusions

Biostar M6TSS 815EP socket 370

Biostar, a company unknown too much of the buying public, was established in 1986 under the name of BIOSTAR MICROTECH INTERNATIONAL CORP. With sales of more than $130 million US in 1998, Biostar obtained ISO 9001 certification for the year 1999. Today, we'll be reviewing the first motherboard we've ever received from this manufacturer; the Biostar M6TSS - a Socket 370 board which implements the i815EP chipset. Let's take a look...
Hardware Characteristics of the Biostar M6TSS 815EP socket 370
CPU Socket 370 Intel CoppermineTM and CeleronTM Processor 66MHz/100MHz/133MHz
Chipset Intel(R) 815EP chipset. (544 BGA)+ Intel(R) ICH2 chipset. (241 BGA)
Form factor ATX - 30.5cm X 20cm
Expansion 5 PCI - 0 ISA - 1 CNR - 1 AMR - 1 AGP - 4 USB
Memory 3X 168-pins DIMM SDRAM 512Mb PC133
FSB 66Mhz to 166Mhz in 1Mhz increment in the BIOS.
Vcore adj. NA
Vio adj. NA
Audio chipset embeded into the chipset

Configuration of the Biostar M6TSS is accomplished primarily from within the BIOS. Only a single array of on-board jumpers relates to system configuration - JCLK11 - which can be used to force the FSB to 66MHz, 100MHz, or 133MHz. Few Overclocking features are present however, indicating that the M6TSS is targeting an audience other than Overclocking fans.Contrary to convention, BIOS functions related to the configuration of the processor are not found in the "Frequency/Voltage Control" menu, but rather in the "Advanced Chipset Features" menu.From there, it's possible to set the FSB to frequencies ranging from 66MHz to 166MHz in 1MHz steps.The clock multiplier can also be set to between 3X and 8X.Finally, the M6TSS benefits from an independent memory bus which permits users to set their memory to operate at 100MHz, 133MHz, or allow the system to set the frequency automatically.
Index: Chose...IntroductionTechnical detailsadditionnal featuresSpÚcificationsbenchmarksConclusions

Azza 815EPX socket 370

The Azza 815EPX is one of the newest boards on the market to base itself around the Intel 815EP chipset. One of the more interesting aspects of the 815EPX is its support for Azza-Up - a feature that allows USB and audio ports to be relayed to the front of the system, rather than the back. Azza-Up is included as part of the Jumbo Pack version of the 815EPX board. As for the rest, the 815EPX is essentially a conventional board, with all the normal features one might expect, including support for PC133 memory and ATA100 drives.Let's take a closer look.
Hardware Characteristics of the Azza 815EPX
CPU Intel(R) Pentium(R) III (FC-PGA) / CeleronTM Processor 500MHz~1GHz or faster processor
Chipset Intel(R) 815EP chipset. (544 BGA)+ Intel(R) ICH2 chipset. (241 BGA)
Form factor ATX - 30.5cm X 21cm
Expansion 5 PCI - 0 ISA - 2 CNR - 1 AGP - 4 USB
Memory 3X 168-pins DIMM SDRAM 512Mb PC133
FSB 66Mhz to 166Mhz in 1Mhz increment in the BIOS.
Vcore adj. +0.05v, +0.1v, +0.2v, +0.3v, +0.4v, -0.05v, -0.1v,
Vio adj. NA
Audio chipset embeded into the chipset

Configuration of the Azza 815EPX is a mostly jumperless affair, with the BIOS being employed in most things. Only a single set of jumpers labeled SW1 are present, and they can be used to set the FSB to 66MHz, 100MHz, or 133MHz. As expected, the FSB frequency can also be set within "Frequency/Voltage Control" menu within the BIOS. Here, users will be presented the with frequencies ranging from 66MHz to 166MHz in 1MHz steps.The clock multiplier can also be set to between 3X and 8X from within the same menu. Next on the list, we found that the Vcore voltage can be adjusted (as indicated by the above table) from within the "Chipset Features Setup" menu.Finally, the independant memory bus can be set to operate at a frequency of 100MHz, or 133MHz, or to an automatic setting determined by the system.

Asus P2B 440BX motherboard

Worldwide praised, this motherboard has gathered all the honors on every website where it has been reviewed. Thus I'll will cover this review with some enthusiasm because I am a bit curious to find out if my evaluation of this motherboard goes along with my predecessors. I also want to mention that this card has been generously provided by SID Distribution Canada.
At first glance, I didn't find anything exceptional on this motherboard. Actually, even if the design is quite carefully implemented, I didn't find any major innovation. Except a function that allow to start the computer by simply using the space bar of the keyboard and a system that detect opening of the casing. But nothing that can really make the difference compared to other similar motherboard.

The layout of the various components is good and is well made. The possibility of expansion is good but rather limited in my opinion because there is only 3 memory banks available. Provided with 4 PCI slots, 3 ISA slots, one AGP port and 3 memory banks. This motherboard offer to it owner enough possibilities for a high-end usage. The only glitch that I found is that some jumpers are located between slots which become no more accessible once the slots are used.
A picture of this motherboard is presented right below so that you can have a look by yourself on the layout.

Even if this is a new board, it doesn't offer any Jumper-less functionality and still uses jumpers to configure the frequency of the processor and the bus. Thanks to the jumpers it is possible to use unusual multipliers factors from 2.0x to 8.0x by .5x steps. Moreover, the frequency of the bus can be selected from a wide scale, practically from 66mhz to 133mhz offering at the same time unconventional frequencies like 83mhz and 112mhz. Even if I said earlier that this card was a bit obsolete with it's jumper based system, this card still has to offer undeniable possibilities for overclocking fans. One thing to remember is that high frequencies of the bus can only be reached if 8ns or even 6ns SDRAM memory is used because 10ns memory components won't work correctly above 112mhz and not at all at 133mhz! As a conclusion, provided with a broad variety of functionality, jumpers gives the false impression of an old fashion motherboard and it would certainly benefit from the latest technology at this point in order to be a genuine advanced motherboard.
Finally, before talking about the tests, I'd like to say a word on the manual included with this motherboard. I have to confess that the writing deceived me. Some problems are presented and the rest lacks clarity and precision in the conception. We can noticed that some topics are missing and better some mistake can be pointed out. For instance, the jumper identified as JTPWR on the motherboard is not mentioned in the jumpers description section while another described under the name PWR.SW is referred as a jumper with 2 pins even though it is really part of a jumper group located in the connectors panel. Also the HD led is not mentioned at all in the manual even if it is present on the motherboard. There is no polarity indication on the pins so that I had to try different combinations before I could make it work! Same thing with the BIOS parameters where some tuning are not explained in the manual. Finally, the font used to write the manual is so small that I had to use a lens to magnify the text while I was reading it.

Asus CUSL2-C Intel 815EP socket 370

The release of a new Asus motherboard is usually quite an event around here. In fact, we were quite overjoyed when the chance finally came to test the newest member of the CUSL2 line of logic-boards, the Asus CUSL2-C. Revision "C" of this little family sets itself apart from its fellows by implementing the Intel 815EP chipset, thus divesting itself of internal video circuitry. What's more, the CUSL2-C does not include integrated sound support - though Asus does offer it as an option. In fact, Asus' CUSL2-C has been thoroughly stripped of all extraneous features, thus rendering it a pure & unblemished state of being that is oft' favored by old hands in the Overclocking world.So, let's say we skip all this, and head on in to the analysis itself.
Hardware setup CUSL2-C
CPU Intel Coppermine FC-PGA socket 370
Chipset Intel¨ 82815EP Memory Controller Hub, Intel¨ 82801BA Enhanced I/O Controller Hub 2, Intel¨ 82802AB Firmware Hub
Form factor ATX - 30.5cm X 20.8cm
Expansion 6 PCI - 0 ISA - 1 CNR - 1 AGP - 4 USB
Memory 3X 168-pin DIMM SDRAM 512Mb PC100 - PC133
FSB 66Mhz to 166Mhz in 1Hz increments
Vcore adj. Ajustable entre - 1.10vdc et +1.850vdc en pas de 0.025vdc.
Vio adj. 3.3v, 3.4v, 3.6v
Audio chipset (optionnel) compatible AC"97

The features
As we mentioned earlier, the i752 graphics card that had been an integrated component into the i815 and i815E chipsets is noticeably absent in the i815EP. This reflects the i815EP's new status as an economy chipset solution, while nevertheless maintaining the performance of its 815 fore bearers like support for ATA100 drives for instance. As a result, the i815EP is well positioned to satisfy the needs of the majority of computer users, who typically install a video-card of their own choosing.
Configuration of the CUSL2-C is accomplished entirely from within the BIOS, though an array of Dip switches is also provided, which can be used to change certain board settings. For example, by positioning jumper JEN to 1-2, SW1 becomes accessible and permits the FSB to be set between 66MHz and 160MHz. Setting JEN to 2-3, on the other hand, sets the board to Jumperfree mode, and at which point the FSB can be set from within the BIOS to a frequency ranging from 66MHz to 166MHz in 1MHz steps. A Vio jumper is also available, which allows the CPU's Vio voltage to be set to either 3.3v, 3.4v, or 3.6v. All other alterations are performed from the BIOS. The "Advanced" menu, for instance, permits users to set different FSB:SDRAM:PCI bus ratios. A second option allows users to adjust the FSB frequency while providing an indication of the corresponding PCI, and SDRAM settings. Quite handy, we must say. This option would probably prove very useful to those lucky individuals who happen to own memory capable of exceeding 133MHz, as well as those owning PC150 memory or better.
All adjustments related to memory timing can be performed from within the "Chip Configuration" submenu within the parent "Advanced" menu. From here, it's possible to even set the main memory system to address data in a normal, or aggressive fashion.
Of course, the CUSL2-C also includes the option to change the processor's Vcore voltage - a longtime favorite of Overclockers everywhere. Available settings range from 1.10v to 1.85v, in steps of 0,025v.
One thing to note, though, is that the BIOS system used by the Asus CUSL2-C is very different from that of the vast majority of other motherboards, and may throw off users who are inexperienced with Asus boards. If you happen to be one of those users, you may do yourself well to take some time to familiarize yourself with the CUSL2-C BIOS before jumping in head-first.
Finally, one last word has to be given concerning the manual assignment of IRQs: Not only is it provided with the CUSL2-C, but so is IRQ exclusion! Thus, with the CUSL2-C, it's not only possible to reserve a particular IRQ for a particular PCI slot, but also possible to explicitly prevent the system from sharing the said IRQ with another device.

Technical details
Some space has been cleared around the CPU socket, but not enough to allow for the installation of larger heatsinks.The memory slots are located far enough from the AGP port that there is no risk of the memory retention bars coming into contact with the graphics card.Nineteen 1500Mfs capacitors have been placed around the CPU socket. The CPU retention bar is made of metal, so there is no risk of it breaking.Three fan connectors are included.Hardware monitoring is controlled by an AS99127F circuit.A thermal sensor connector has been included.Assignment, and manual exclusion of IRQs is provided.Holding the "Insert" key at start-up will "roll-back" the BIOS to the last batch of valid settings.

Asus A7N8X socket A nForce2

The ASUS A7N8X motherboard rests at the pinnacle of AMD "Socket A" technology.As most of our readers know, we've reviewed quite a few KT333 and KT400 motherboards recently. The KT400 is supposed to be VIA's stab at supporting DDR400 memory, but so far, in our experience, stability has been a hit and miss affair. nVidia, on the other hand, seems to have done quite a bit better with their nForce2 chipset. The nForce2 dual memory channels have been its chief selling point, primarily because they allow it to achieve higher throughput levels than a single DDR400 bus.The Asus A7N8X comes with a wide range of other features too: SerialATA, two 10/100Base-T ports, support for Dual Channel DDR400, ATA133, Dolby Digital sound, and support for 8x AGP and Firewire. The A7N8X's BIOS also allows Overclockers to take full advantage of their systems by tweaking FSB settings, as well as the all-important Vcore, Dimm, and AGP voltages.Last, but not least, the Asus A7N8X comes with a number of proprietary Asus technologies, such as ASUS C.O.P., Q-Fan, and MyLogo2 -- all of which serve to make the user experience all the sweeter.
Characteristics of the Asus A7N8X nForce2
CPU Supports AMD-K7 Athlon /Athlon XP Socket A 200/266/333MHz FSB Processors Supports AMD-K7 Duron Socket A 200 MHz FSB Processors

Chipset nVidia nForce2 SPP - nForce2 MCP-T
Form factor ATX - 30.5cm X 24.5cm
Expansion 5 PCI - 0 CNR - 1 AGP 8X - 6 USB 2.0
Memory 3X 184-pin DIMM up to 3GB DDR SDRAM PC3200
FSB 100Mhz to 211Mhz in steps of 1Mhz
Vcore adj. 1.65 to 1.85v in steps of 0.025v
DDR/AGP Vadj. 2.6 to 2.8v in steps of 0.1v / 1.5 to 1.7v in steps of 0.1v
Audio chipset Realtek AL650

The Asus A7N8X's audio circuitry is based around a Realtek ALC650 sound-chip. The ALC650 supports AC3, Dolby digital and 5.1 Surround Sound, and allows users to hook-in upto six audio channels, including a center base channel.From a fidelity standpoint, the Realtek AL650 is quite good at what it does, and should satisfy most users.

The ASUS A7N8X only sports a handful of jumpers, none of which relate directly to the CPU -- except for one, which can be used to set the FSB to 200FSB or 266/333FSB. So, once everything has been slapped in a case, configuration is a simple matter of dropping into the BIOS.Once there, users should immediately visit the "Advanced Chipset Setup" menu. From there, it's possible to set the FSB to between 100Mhz and 211Mhz in 1MHz increments, or set the system to determine a proper frequency automatically.The BIOS also allows user to set the memory bus frequency to 200/266/333/400Mhz, adjust the AGP/PCI frequency, and set the Vcore voltage (to between 1.65 and 1.85 Volts), the DDR voltage (to between 2.6 and 2.8 Volts) and the AGP voltages (to between 1.5 and 1.7 Volts).Memory timing options are also available to be tweaked at the users leisure.

Motherboard Reviews Asus A7A266 ALiMaGik 1 socket A

The Asus A7A266 is a revised version of the A7V133 that uses the ALi Magik 1 chipset, rather than the earlier VIA KT133A. As a result of the switch over, the new A7A266 comes with support for both DDR, and SDR SDRAM. Combine that with its excellent design, and cornucopia of Overclocking features, and it seems that the A7A266 may be well-geared for the Overclockers' market...Let's take a closer look.
Characteristics of the Asus A7A266
CPU Socket A for AMD® AthlonTM / DuronTM 550MHz ~ 1GHz+ CPU
Chipset ALiMaGiK 1 M1647 - M1535D+
Form factor ATX - 30.5cm X 24.5cm
Expansion 5 PCI - 0 ISA - 1 AMR - 1 AGP Pro - 6 USB
Memory 2X 184-pin DIMM 2Gb DDR SDRAM PC1600 - PC21003X 168-pin DIMM 3Gb SDRAM PC100 - PC133 - VCM
FSB 100Mhz to 166Mhz in steps of 1Mhz
Vcore adj. 1.75 to 1.85 in steps of 0.025v
Vio adj. NA
Audio embeded into the chipset with the C-Media CMI8738 available as an option

As is the case with most Asus boards, configuration of the A7A266 can be done through the use of on-board jumpers and Dip-switches, or through the BIOS.
By opting for a Jumperfree setup, users are afforded the ability to access all functions from within the convenience of the BIOS menu-system.To make use of the jumpers and Dips, however, users should set jumper JEN to position 1-2. Otherwise, a Jumperfree setup can be enabled by setting JEN to 2-3. In the case of the former configuration, Dip-array DWS switches 6 to 9 can be used to set the board's clock multiplier setting to between 5x and 12.5x, though it should be noted that this feature is also available from within the BIOS. Within the BIOS, most configuration settings are grouped together within the "Advanced" menu, which includes options for:
1.Changing the FSB frequency.
2.Setting the memory bus frequency to 100Mhz or 133Mhz.
3.Setting the Vcore voltage
4.Adjusting the clock multiplier
5.Tweaking various memory timing options

31 Ağustos 2007 Cuma

Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer, including the digital circuitry as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, in comparison with software and data, which are "soft" in the sense that they are readily created, modified or erased on the computer. Firmware is a special type of software that rarely, if ever, needs to be changed and so is stored on hardware devices such as read-only memory (ROM) where it is not readily changed (and is, therefore, "firm" rather than just "soft").
Most computer hardware is not seen by normal users. It is in embedded systems in automobiles, microwave ovens, electrocardiograph machines, compact disc players, and other devices. Personal computers, the computer hardware familiar to most people, form only a small minority of computers

1 Typical PC hardware
1.1 Motherboard
1.2 Power supply
1.3 Storage controllers of IDE
1.4 Video display controller
1.5 Removable media writer
1.6 Internal storage
1.7 Sound card
1.8 Networking
1.9 Other peripherals
1.9.1 Input
1.9.2 Output

Typical PC hardware
A typical Personal computer consists of a case or chassis in a tower shape (desktop) and the following parts:

Internals of typical personal computer

Typical Motherboard found in a computer

Inside a Custom Computer

The motherboard is the "heart" of the computer, through which all other components interface.
Central processing unit (CPU) - Performs most of the calculations which enable a computer to function.
Computer fan - Used to lower the temperature of the computer; a fan is almost always attached to the CPU, and the computer case will generally have several fans to maintain a constant airflow.
Random Access Memory (RAM) - Fast-access memory that is cleared when the computer is powered-down. RAM attaches directly to the motherboard, and is used to store programs that are currently running.
Firmware usually in newer systems Extensible Firmware Interface(EFI) compliant
Internal Buses - Connections to various internal components.
CSI (expected in 2008)
AGP (being phased out)
VLB (outdated)
ISA (outdated)
EISA (outdated)
MCA (outdated)
External Bus Controllers - used to connect to external peripherals, such as printers and input devices. These ports may also be based upon expansion cards, attached to the internal buses.
parallel port
serial port

Power supply
A case that holds a transformer, voltage control, and (usually) a cooling fan, and supplies power to the rest of the computer.

Storage controllers of IDE
Control hard disk, floppy disk, CD-ROM and other drives; the controllers sit directly on the motherboard (on-board) or on expansion cards, such as a Disk array controller.

Video display controller
Produces the output for the computer display. This will either be built into the motherboard or attached in its own separate slot (PCI, PCI-E or AGP), in the form of a Graphics Card.

Removable media writer
CD - the most common type of removable media, inexpensive but has a short life-span.
CD-ROM Drive
CD Writer
DVD Writer
BD-ROM Drive
BD Writer
Floppy disk (outdated)
Zip drive (outdated)
USB flash drive - AKA a Pen Drive, a portable form of storage.
Tape drive - mainly for backup and long-term storage.

Internal storage
Hardware that keeps data inside the computer for later use and remains persistent even when the computer has no power.
Hard disk - for medium-term storage of data.
Solid state drive - similar in use to a hard disk, but using more recent technology.
Disk array controller - a device to manage several hard disks, for example to achieve performance improvement.

Sound card
Enables the computer to output sound to audio devices, as well as accept input from a microphone. Most modern computers have sound cards built-in to the motherboard, though it is common for a user to install a separate sound card as an upgrade.

Connects the computer to the Internet and/or other computers.
Modem - for dial-up connections
Network card
Other peripherals
In addition, hardware can include external components of a computer system. The following are either standard or very common.

Wheel Mouse
Includes various input and output devices, usually external to the computer system

Text input devices
Pointing devices
Gaming devices
Game controller
Image, Video input devices
Image scanner
Audio input devices

Image, Video output devices
Printer Peripheral device that produces a hard copy of a document.
Monitor Device that displays a video signal, similar to a television, to provide the user with information and an interface with which to interact.
Audio output devices
Speakers A device that converts analog audio signals into the equivalent air vibrations in order to make audible sound.
Headset A device similar in functionality to computer speakers used mainly to not disturb others nearby.