Written on: 19/02/2006 by abdnray (4 reviews written)
A fast versatile motherboard, that is capable of future upgrades
Up to 133 MHz UDMA
Supports 200/266/333 MHz Socket A processors
Supports 266/333/400 MHz DDR memory modules
Up to six USB 2.0 ports
Six full PCI slots and an AGP 8x slot
RJ45 10/100 LAN socket
The ASUS A7V8X-X is a versatile and capable motherboard that suits a variety of users.
The motherboard layout is reasonably good, and the supporting documentation is clearly set out and easy to follow. My only criticism is that the tail end of the AGP card encroaches close to the first DIMM memory slot, therefore it might be easier to remove the AGP card before inserting a new DIMM module in memory slot 1.
The motherboard can accommodate a variety of Socket A processors (Athlon XP Barton and Thorobred, Duron, Semperon) at either 200, 266, or 333 MHz bus speeds. Similarly, the motherboard will accept 266, 333, or 400 MHz DDR memory modules, which permits considerable flexibility and upgrade-ability in future.
However, please note that 200 or 266 MHz processors will support up to three DDR 266 DIMM's, up to two DDR 333 DIMM's, and only one DDR 400 DIMM to a maximum of 3Gb. A 333 MHz processor will only support up to two DDR 333 MHz DIMM's to a maximum of 3Gb.
The UDMA system bus speed of 133 MHz is the highest available on any parallel ATA board, and is only slightly slower than the newer SATA (150 MHz) boards currently available.
The A7V8X-X has four USB 2.0 ports on the rear, and supports a further two USB 2.0 ports on the front edge of the board.
This board is popular because it supports six full PCI slots, and an AGP 8x slot, which again ensures future capability to support a variety of PCI devices.
The A7V8X-X and its bundled software can monitor the CPU temperature and CPU cooling fan speed in order to prevent overheating. A word of caution here though - when choosing your CPU cooling fan, select a cooling fan that is suited to a much faster processor, because Athlon XP processors generate considerable levels of heat. Therefore, I would not advise overclocking an Athlon XP processor without using some high-spec cooling kit.
My own A7V8X-X has an Athlon XP 2000+ (Thorobred 266 MHz bus) processor, an XP2400+ rated fan, with two 256Mb DDR 333 MHz DIMM's (512Mb total), and two Maxtor 80Gb ATA 133 MHz IDE drives, with Samsung DVD and CD-RW drives. I currently use Windows XP Home Edition SP2, but originally used Windows ME. I have had no problems with the motherboard.
I note that other users (posted here) have encountered difficulties, and I would suggest that they check the speeds and quantities of DIMM's installed, and verify that their processors are sufficiently cooled. Full details are available from www.asus.com.
Other features of the A7V8X-X include the ASUS EZ flash BIOS utility, which reprograms the BIOS without the need for floppy disk images, and 6-channel surround-sound capability.
This is a capable and upgradeable board for most users who want to build or upgrade a PC. The popular and inexpensive Socket A processors and DDR DIMM's will continue to be plentiful in future for second-user upgrades or rebuilds.
The A7V8X-X is likely to be a popular choice for those users who want a good PC on a limited budget.