18 Eylül 2007 Salı

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.

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