CoolerMaster Hyper 6

CoolerMaster Musketeer2

CoolerMaster Musketeer

Corsair TwinX512-4000

Enermax CS-5190AL-061


Asus A7V8X KT400 Socket A Motherboard
review by David, 20 October 2002


Asus is one of the more well known brands in computer hardware in the world. Known especially for their line of motherboards, which also happen to be one of the higher priced in the market, they consistently offer the performance, quality and features befitting the premium pricetag they carry.

A short blurb on Asus: "Founded in 1989, ASUS has grown into a global corporation with more than 5,200 employees worldwide. With sales offices in Taiwan, the United States and Germany, and manufacturing facilities in Taiwan and China, ASUS provides advanced premium quality solutions to the world. ASUS Customer Service Centers have 11 worldwide branches that are ready to provide quality support to ASUS partners and product-owners. ASUS customers include top tier OEMs, distributors, VARs, and system integrators in over 50 countries. An extensive sales network includes over 300 channel partners and industry vendors that offer technical expertise and support to end-users."

With the advent of the KT400 chipset from VIA, motherboard manufacturers started to add to their product lines with motherboards utilizing the KT400 northbridge. With the KT400 chipset comes PC2700 & PC3200 support, AGP 8X, 166MHz (333MHz DDR) AMD CPU bus support and 533MB/sec V-Link.

Asus's A7V8X is their latest in VIA-chipset based motherboards for socket A systems. It comes with a host of features incorporating advanced technology such as AGP8X, DDR400, Gigabit LAN and Serial ATA.

DDR400 is an unofficial standard, and hasn't been ratified by JEDEC. That gives chip/memory/etc makers a hard time in ensuring that their DDR400-based products work properly. DDR400 theoretically allows for 3.2GB/s of bandwidth, but much of that will go to waste, as current AthlonXP CPUs are already FSB limited at 266MHz (double pumped 133MHz) to allow for a maximum of 2.1GB/s of bandwidth. Even the newer 333MHz (double pumped 166MHz) AthlonXPs can only utilize up to 2.7GB/s of bandwidth, so the extra headroom from DDR400 won't be used.

So whats with the KT400 chipset then?

KT400 Explained >>

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