Physical Features and Layout
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.I was pleased by the majority of the layout and features that the A7V133 has on it. Physically, the motherboard is a bit wider than some, including the Epox 8KTA3 and the MSI KT133A motherboard. This shouldn’t be a problem for most modern ATX cases, only in very tight areas.
This is important to note: for those that have or would like to use large heatsinks on your Athlon or Duron processor, the Asus A7V133 is a great choice. With the addition of the ‘component riser’ to the left of the CPU socket, which stores the components that usually clutter the socket area, Asus has created additional room around the socket that should allow most any heatsink/fan to be placed on it. As you can see from the picture, I was able to mount and dismount the Thermaltake Super Orb, which is notorious for not fitting on motherboard, very easily and with a lot of room to spare. You run no risk of shorting out your motherboard by touching any capacitors, etc with this layout. You can also make note that you can remove and reattach the heatsink, while the motherboard is still in the case, as the socket is far enough down, and the HSF clip is facing right, instead of up. This is another plus for those who like to switch out their processors often.
The ATX power connector is located just to the right of the SDRAM slot 1, which can be a disadvantage. This often leaves the power cabling leaning directly on the SDRAM, which not an electrical problem, puts unnecessary pressure on the joints of the DIMMs themselves. This placement is still much better than it is on some other KT133A motherboard, below the CPU socket, which makes removing the HSF a hassle.
To the right of the SDRAM slots, you have two switch sets that are used for changing the multiplier and bus settings. They are almost absolute though because Asus has included bios options for everything that is available on the dipswitches. Right below that you see the floppy port and IDE ports, 4 of them. This allows the user to connect up to 8 ATA100 devices to this motherboard. Asus has included the Promise IDE RAID chipset, which we will cover on the next page of the review.
The slot configuration of the A7V133 is 5/0/1/1 (PCI, ISA, AGP, AMR). The lack of an ISA slot may disappoint some people, but it is a necessary move to get the total system speeds going faster and prevents an ISA card bus as being another prevention of overclocking the front-side bus. The AGP port is one of the AGP Pro slots, which Asus always puts on their motherboards. I have never personally even SEEN an AGP Pro card so I hope that this addition isn’t costing them extra production costs, as it seems under-used and over-advertised. I also would have liked to see a 6 th PCI slot instead of an AMR riser. Apparently Asus OEM ties are still too strong to let this go.
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Under that heatsink in the center of the motherboard lies the KT133A chipset, the reason for another Asus AMD motherboard. What’s new in this? Support for 266 MHz FSB (133 MHz DDR). The limit on the FSB was found to be in the KT133 chipset itself, not the processors, as we can later prove in our overclocking section of this review. This is an exciting step for those who still own 100/200 MHz FSB processors but are wondering about upgrading to a KT133A motherboard. Also, the KT133A chipset provides support for 1.5 GB of PC133/PC100 SDRAM RAM. No DDR RAM here.
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The overclocking and RAID feature are pretty exciting, and they are discussed on the next page.