NVIDIA, SiS and VIA Bring on Chipsets for AMD Socket 939

Test Board: Asus A8V Deluxe

BIOS version: 1006 (2004/06/18)

For testing we chose a A8V Deluxe motherboard from Asus, since these are already widely available on the market. This is why we gave it preference over the reference board. Asus maintains the temperature of the Northbridge with a simple cooler, the Southbridge doesn't have a cooler - and it doesn't need one.

Since the VT8237 only offers two SATA ports, Asus gave the A8V an extra disk controller: the PDC20378 offers two SATA ports as well as an UltraATA/133 channel, which can be used to power RAID 0 or RAID 1 modes.

Asus has also added a FireWire controller from VIA since the chipset doesn't offer this functionality per se (nor do the other two contestants).

One feature that distinguishes the A8V Deluxe from most of the other socket 939 boards is the WLAN module that the manufacturer has added to the package. And there is an antenna to go with it, with a cable about 120 cm long. With support for 802.11g and b, the WLAN module offers the necessary speed and compatibility with existing wireless networks - the software supports all the common scenarios.