by October 3, 2000 0 comments

Thunderbird and Duron processors. Thunderbird is
the code
name for the latest release of the Athlon processor from AMD. Unlike the first
Athlon processor, which came in a slot design, the Thunderbird is a socket
design, fitting in the same socket type as the new AMD Duron processor. This new
socket is called Socket A 462. It can take processor speeds between 550 to 1
GHz.

The
board’s based on the VIA VT8363 (VIA Apollo KT 133) chipset, and is filled
with lots of features. First of all you can increase or decrease the CPU speed
through the BIOS in increments of 1 MHz. These adjustments can also be done
using the DIP switches on the board itself. Another unusual addition in the
board is that it has two extra IDE ports, making a total of four. Two of these
support ATA/100 devices, and the other two take ATA 66/33 devices.

Asus A7V motherboard 

Socket A motherboard. Rs 11,950
Features: Up to 1.5 GB RAM; 4x AGP, two ATA/100 IDE ports.
Pros: Jumperless; detailed manual, easy to set up.
Cons: None.
Source: Zeta Technologies A/2, Shreeji Niketan
541/D, Dr Ambedkar Road Matunga (C.R)
Mumbai. 
Tel: 22-4102288 
Fax: 4102277  

The board has two USB ports at the back and an additional
module of five that can be added later. It also provides an AGP Pro/4x port,
which can take in high-end graphics cards. In addition to this, the board has
all the regular external interface ports like serial, parallel, all of which are
onboard and color coded, making setup very easy.

The motherboard has five PCI slots. It doesn’t support ISA
slots, so if you plan to upgrade your machine then the old ISA cards would be of
no use. The motherboard has onboard sound, which can be disabled if you want to
use your own PCI or AMR sound card. An AMR slot is available for these. It also
has 3 DIMM slots that can house up to 1.5 GB PC 133/100 SDRAM or VC133 SDRAM.

We checked out the board with a Duron 700 MHz processor, 128
MB RAM, and a Creative Graphics Blaster Extreme display card. We used Business
Winstone 99 to test normal everyday applications and got a score of 24.5, which
is very good, considering that this is an entry-level configuration these days.
Then, of course, if you need more processing power later, you can upgrade to the
Athlon (if it’s available in the market at that time), and a better display
card to give you a powerful system.

It comes with a CD that contains motherboard drivers, Win
95/98, Ultra 100 IDE controller, audio drivers, PC Cillin’98, Adobe Acrobat
and Cyberlink audio/video software. It also comes with a PC-health monitoring
software. Though it’s priced slightly high, it’s rich set of features and
good performance balance it out.

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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