ASUS A7V8X: Basic Features

Motherboard Specifications

CPU Interface
VIA VT8368 North Bridge
VIA VT8235 South Bridge
Bus Speeds
100 - 227MHz (in 1MHz increments)
Core Voltages Supported
up to 1.85V in 0.025V increments (overvolt jumpers go up to 2.05V core)
I/O Voltages Supported
DRAM Voltages Supported
up to 2.8V in 0.1V increments
Memory Slots
3 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Expansion Slots
1 AGP 8X Slot
6 PCI Slots
Onboard RAID
Promise PDC20376 Serial ATA 150 RAID
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394
USB 2.0 and VT6306 1394(a) FireWire
Onboard LAN
Broadcom 5702 Gigabit Ethernet
Onboard Audio
Realtek 6-channel ALC200 AC'97

As we usually do, we'll start off this section by taking a look at some of the more basic features of the ASUS A7V8X motherboard.

Click here to enlarge.

First up are the I/O ports, which are nearly identical to all the other I/O configurations we've seen on the market (including KT400 boards from Gigabyte and MSI). You have your standard I/O ports with this motherboard; 2 PS/2 ports, 2 serial ports, 1 parallel port, some USB 2.0 ports (4), and 3 audio jacks.

Click here to enlarge.

Worth special mention is the onboard Gigabit LAN. Gigabit is made possible by an onboard LAN chip from Broadcom, dubbed the 5702, the same chip the MSI 648 Max uses. While Gigabit is certainly a welcome addition to any motherboard, there's simply no need for this technology for most users, even though it offers 10 times the bandwidth of conventional 10/100 Ethernet devices (Gigabit offers approximately 1000Mbps of bandwidth). Gigabit is more useful for corporations looking to configure large, safe, and expensive networks, so most users (especially your average Joe Blow) won't benefit from this feature. Enabling Gigabit functionality was a breeze, it was no more difficult than setting up any other 10/100 device.

Moving along we see two IDE connectors, the primary and secondary connectors, which are right above the floppy connector. No surprise, they offer support for 2 channels, or up to 4 IDE devices.

A little further down we notice the interesting positioning of the Promise Serial ATA RAID connector. The RAID connector is positioned horizontally instead of vertically, and at the very edge of the lower right half portion of the PCB. ASUS hasn't gotten back to us on how many channels it supports, but it'll be at least two obviously. Even though this particular Promise RAID controller is SATA, it can still support ATA133 in addition to RAID 0 and RAID 1 arrays (no RAID 0 + 1 though). As you'd expect, there are SATA connectors onboard, two in all. As with all other SATA technologies at the moment, ATA150 (150MB/s transfer rate) is supported.

Some other nice features of this motherboard include the addition of 1394(a) FireWire via a VIA VT6306 controller. There are 2 FireWire connectors situated at the very bottom edge of the board for your pleasure. Since the VIA KT400 chipset doesn't natively support FireWire, it makes all the sense in the world to tact on an onboard controller like the VT6306.

ASUS also throws in its patented Q-fan control option in the BIOS. Essentially, Q-Fan regulates your CPU's fan speed depending on how taxed your system is at that moment. The obvious benefits of this technology are lower operating temperatures.

KT400 Up Close Board Layout
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  • SoSolid - Saturday, July 26, 2003 - link

    Today I discoverd that the fifth PCI slot of my Gigabyte GA-7VTXE+ was malfuntioning. As a Gigabyte fan my first thought was to buy a new Gigabyte mothterboard.
    However I recall it was much more expensive than the upcoming 333MHz boards. So I decided to look around for an other board. Today I heared about the Asus A7V8X-X. After reading various information and this review I believe buying the A7V8X(-X) will be the right choice.

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