18 Eylül 2007 Salı

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.

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