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21 Slot-1 Motherboards using VIA Chipsets

IWill VD133

Board Revision: 1.4

BIOS Version: December 29, 1999

The VD133 has been available for some months now and makes use of the 693A chipset. Due to this older chipset, the board does not support AGP 4x. It would be great to see a 694X-motherboard from IWill as well, since the VD133 looks quite good. You only have to set jumpers to choose the bus speed (Auto/66/100/133 MHz), to clear the CMOS password or to alter the core or I/O voltage. Overclocking and multiplier settings are done in the system BIOS, using IWill's Smart Setting.

IWill provides the option to rise the core voltage by 5 or 10%. This makes sense for overclocking beginners, since 5% of 1.6V (Coppermine) is much less than 5% of 2.8V (Klamath). Critical over-voltaging can be avoided this way. Experienced overclockers will likely prefer the direct way of setting a certain voltage. Moreover, the I/O voltage can be adjusted as well. Using 3.6 or 3.8V instead of the 3.4V default can often improve the stability of overclocked systems.

The processor is locked by retention brackets, which allow you to remove the processor quite fast by moving up the sliders. Other systems require much more patience. The board's design allows up to four DIMM sockets while only three are equipped. Either this layout was originally designed for another chipset (e.g. Intel BX) or IWill decided to stay with three sockets. Most boards cannot manage four DIMMs with more than 16 chips each, so using only three would indeed be the best solution.

From the performance point of view, boards using the 694X chipset are the clear winners. Still the IWill motherboard belongs to the upper third of the 693A boards regarding Windows performance.