18 Eylül 2007 Salı

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.

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