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Life in the Fast Lane: New Boards for the Athlon 64

Jetway A483GAS

Board Revision: 0.1

BIOS Version: 1/19/2005

The Jetway mobo is the only one in our roundup based on the Radeon Xpress 200 from ATI, and comes with integrated graphics. It is DirectX-9-enabled, so it can be used with Windows Longhorn in about a year.

The A483GAS is one of only a few boards to still offer four PCI slots. If you have to find room for lots of expansion cards, you may have difficulties with other boards. Two x1 PCIe sockets are nowadays considered standard, and a third port is used for the network chip from Realtek (GbE). Jetway now deploys a ULi module as southbridge, which is connected via PCI Express to the Radeon Xpress. This also explains its function as the fourth PCIe port.

The back panel is uncluttered and, besides the usual ports for keyboard, mouse, network and sound system, also has one serial and one parallel connection, and the D-SUB jack for the monitor. This is also the only board to function on a 20-position ATX 1.3 power supply.

Its performance also impresses; it scored well in all benchmarks, albeit with average results. We think the integrated graphics are a good idea, and despite containing 32 MB of its own graphics memory, this board is no more expensive than rival products. This makes it suitable for upgrading an existing system; the graphics card can wait until prices are lower again. The scope of delivery is meager though; sad to say, nothing at all was included in the case of our test model.