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ASUS A7V8X [ KT400 chipset MB ]
This review was kindly made possible by :
September 17-2002
Matt Korhonen

The ASUS A7V8X motherboard is loaded with the most advanced technologies to deliver maximum performance for Socket A processors. Based on the advanced VIA® KT400 chipset with DDR 400 support, the ASUS A7V8X also features AGP8X, serial ATA, USB 2.0 as well as optional 6-channel audio, LAN and 1394. Unique ASUS features such as ASUS C.O.P., Q-Fan, and MyLogo2 and more are included to ensure the best user experience and value in a motherboard.

AGP 8X Technology

AGP8X (AGP 3.0) is the next generation VGA interface specification that enables enhanced graphics performance with high bandwidth speeds up to 2.12GB/s and twice as fast as AGP4X.

DDR400 Support

DDR400 (PC3200), the latest and fastest DDR memory standard, supports bandwidth up to 3.2GB/s to provide enhanced system performance. (Note: PC3200 Max. to 2 banks only; PC2700 Max. to 4 banks only)

Gigabit LAN Ready (optional)

The A7V8X with Broadcom® Gigabit LAN, delivers transfer speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional 10/100 Ethernet. Gigabit LAN is the networking standard for the future and is ideal for handling large amounts of data such as video and audio.

Serial ATA Technology (optional)

Serial ATA is the next generation ATA specification that provides scalable performance for today and tomorrow. With up to 150MB/s data transfer rate, Serial ATA is faster than current Parallel ATA, while providing 100% software compatibility.

S/PDIF in/out Interface (optional)

The A7V8X provides convenient connectivity to external home theater audio systems via an S/PDIF in/out module. Experience 5.1-channel surround sound and enhanced 3D audio while playing your favorite DVDs or games.

ASUS Post Reporter

During the computer POST (Power on Self-Test), ASUS Post Reporter provides friendly voice warnings through internal or external speakers, clearly explaining system errors for quick and easy optimization. The bundled Winbond Voice Editor software allows users to add customized system voice warnings and multi-language support.

IEEE 1394 (optional)

IEEE 1394 interface provides high speed digital interface for audio / video appliances such as digital television, digital video camcorders, storage peripherals & other PC portable devices.


With ASUS EZ Flash, you can update BIOS directly from the BIOS setup menu. No more DOS-based flash utility and bootable diskette required.

ASUS C.O.P (CPU Overheating Protection)

ASUS C.O.P (CPU Overheating Protection) is a hardware protection circuit that automatically shuts down the system power before temperatures go high enough to permanently damage your CPU.

ASUS Multi-language BIOS

ASUS provides friendly BIOS setup menu in several languages to help you configure your system as easy as possible.

USB 2.0 Ready

USB 2.0 is the latest connectivity standard for next generation components and peripherals. Backward compatible with current USB 1.1 peripherals, USB 2.0 delivers transfer speeds up to 40 times faster at 480MB/s, for easy connectivity and ultra-fast data transfers.


Constant, high-pitched noise generated from heatsink fans are a thing of the past thanks to ASUS Q-Fan™. The ASUS A7V8X with Q-Fan™ technology intelligently adjusts fan speeds according to system loading to ensure quiet, cool and efficient operation.

ASUS Reliability

All ASUS motherboards are designed and tested to meet the highest quality standards. Responsive customer support and frequent BIOS and driver updates ensure the fastest, most reliable performance. All ASUS motherboards are backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

ASUS Wincinema

A full array of bundled software is now available with ASUS motherboards! Submerge yourself in a whole new multimedia experience.

WinDVD: The world's most popular DVD software supporting 5.1-channel audio

WinRip: MP3 Player / Encoder / Ripper featuring virtual 5.1-channel and
surroundsound effects.

WinCoder: Real-time MPEG-1 & 2 software video encoder

WinProducer: Easy-of-use MPEG-1 & 2 video editing software

First impressions :

This is certainly a feature packed board , but I personally am more impressed by performance rather than features .The board went in with no problems , the instruction manual was easy to read and made for a very easy installation . The only problem I had was with Win98 and the onboard LAN , would seem that the 2 times I tried to install and enable the onboard LAN it somehow corrupted my Windows installation  so that I was unable to boot into windows. So the third time I installed Win98 I left the onboard LAN disabled and without drivers . [RANT & RAVE ] With Microsoft dumping support for Win98 , it looks like we will be forced to update to XP sooner or later , or simply not use updated hardware , hmmm Linux 7.3 here I come . I personally dont feel that the price asked for WinXP is justified , the product is just not that good , seriously , if Microsoft was to give me a $10 rebate for every fault this software has , they would be paying me to use XP , not the other way around .


Benchmarking the A7V8X

450W PS / GF4ti4200 / Maxtor 740 40gig / C-media Sound / Via 4.40 / Nvidia 29.42 / Direct X8.1 / XP1700 / Volcano 7+ / Win98SE /

I had the opportunity to try 2 sticks of Kingmax 400mhz DDR ram , as well my trusty old PC2700 Samsung  ram while testing this board . This board will be run against my trusty old 8K3A Epox .

SisoftSandra 2002.6.8.97

Memory Bandwidth Benchmark: [ 166FSB / 333mhz Ram ]

Epox /Samsung 2700
Ram Int Buffered    2528MBs
Ram Float Buffered    2388MBs
Asus / Samsung 2700
Ram Int Buffered    2434MBs
Ram Float Buffered    2241MBs
Asus / Kingmax 
Ram Int Buffered    2451MBs
Ram Float Buffered    2258MBs

The only way I could get the Kingmax ram to run at 400mhz was at 133FSB , 166FSB set the ram speed back to 333mhz , and the Kingmax just would not run any form of aggressive settings at 400mhz at all , so I was stuck with the default SPD settings .

Memory Bandwidth Benchmark: [ 133FSB / 400mhz Ram ]

Asus / Kingmax
Ram Int Buffered 1856MBs
Ram Float Buffered 1726MBs

To say that these results are a little disappointing , well what a under statement , I have to blame the Kingmax ram here for its , less than impressive performance . The main improvement from the KT400 chipset was supposedly meant to be better memory bandwidth performance , and unfortunately I just havent seen that at all . It could be the lack of real high performance 400mhz ram , or it could simply be that the KT400 chipset was released way to early by manufacturers keen to capitalize on the need for newer more up to date products by AMD users ?

Overclocking :

Thank the ? person at ASUS that gave us overvolting on this board , personally , I hate the manual jumper and the way it ads the voltage , it should be smooth and seamless , unfortunately on this board the minimum voltage to my cpu was 1.8v on the 1.75v Bios setting , adjusting the manual jumper to overvolt took the voltage to 1.97v on the 1.75v bios setting . You can not see the voltage tweaking in the bios unless you go to hardware monitoring , a feature I dont care for at all . Cutting to the chase , my XP1700 was able to boot into windows @ 1980mhz and 2.05volts 

A rather impressive result , never mind that this cpu will boot into windows @ 1991mhz on my Epox at the same 2.05volts , a measly 11mhz or 1mhz FSB difference . Asus has to do something more user friendly , with the voltage tweaking , something that allows the user to see exactly what they are doing .


Without serious 400MHZ DDR ram this board is nothing more than a step sideways , One more thing , it only supports one stick of 400MHZ DDR ram , thats all , 2 sticks of PC2700 , 3 sticks of PC2100 . ? In all honesty , I was unimpressed by this board , not that its not a good board , feature packed to the gills , but it still has only been a step sideways rather than forward , performance wise . With a serious lack of quality 400mhz DDR ram at the moment , I have to be somewhat reserved in my recommendations for this board , if you have to have it , ok , just remember that for this board to compete with the current crop of KT333 boards , you are going to have to find some Very Very good 400mhz DDR ram that can run aggressive timings to take advantage of the 400mhz ram setting . I also hope that further bios updates allow for a 166FSB / 400MHZ RAM   setting in the bios as well as the  133FSB / 400MHZ ram setting .

A good quality board with features a plenty , but it failed to live up to the 400mhz hype for me , the lack of a 166FSB / 400MHZ ram setting was very disappointing , and partial blame must go to the Kingmax Ram which performed far bellow expectations , more than a step forward ,this board was more like a step sideways , 7 out of 10 . 

I hope that I can take this board for a test drive in the future , if and when better performing ram is made available to us mere mortals , as things stand at the moment , I think ill wait for the rev2 KT400 chipset MB's to become available . Perhaps bye then , the MB and Ram Manufacturers will have worked out there differences , and AMD users will have a serious reason for upgrading there hardware .