Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

Asus A7V

BIOS-Version: 1003 (July 21, 2000)

Board Revision: 1.01

Asus is the only manufacturer in our test that includes an adapter cable for the three additional USB ports, so you can actually use them. The shipment also contains a software program called Asus Probe, which allows monitoring the system status (fan, CPU and casing temperature, voltages) under Windows quite comfortably.

This board also possesses a sound system that works with a AC97 codec.

The board is also equipped with an UltraATA/100 controller chip from Promise. If you want to use a hard disk with pre-installed Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 you must connect it to the standard IDE controller first. Afterwards you install the driver for the fast controller chip to enable Windows NT or 2000 to address the new controller. Now you can connect your hard disk to one of the UltraATA/100 channels.

The Asus board outperforms all other competitors. Generally there are two board versions but they cannot be distinguished by the version number. One comes with DIPswitches and one without. Today you will mainly find the version with the DIPs in retail stores. This one is one of the best platforms for overclocking AMD processors. If you close the L1 bridges on the Duron or Athlon with a SMD soldering iron or with a simple graphite pin, you can use the DIPswitches and often get more performance from the CPU.

If you want to know how to upgrade an A7V without these DIPswitches, please read our separate article: Overclocking with the A7V.

Uwe Scheffel