by September 4, 2000 0 comments

Asus CUV4X 

FCPGA motherboard for Celeron and PIII processors. Rs 8,450
Features: Supports PIII and Celeron; FSB of 66,100,133 MHz; 4x AGP; onboard sound
Pros: Good performance with older drivers; lots of room for expansion.
Cons: None.
Source: Zeta Technologies
A/2 , Shreeji Niketan
541/D, Dr Ambedkar Raod Matunga (C. R.)
Mumbai 400019. 
Tel: 22-4102288 Fax: 4102277 
E-mail: Website:  

Like the CUBX motherboard, this one can also house either a
PIII or a Celeron processor in its FCPGA slot. It uses the VIA Apollo Pro133Z
chipset and has support for 133 MHz FSB in addition to 66 and 100 MHz. So, you
can put PC-100 or PC-133 compliant SDRAM. It can also support the fastest SDRAM
available, known as HSDRAM (High speed DRAM). It supports a maximum of 1.5 GB of
RAM in its three DIMM slots.

 You can use both 100 MHz and 133 MHz SDRAM with this motherboardPCI
slots remain at an ample five, along with one ISA and an AMR slot. The
motherboard also has support for the new 4x AGP cards. The model we received for
review had audio onboard, although without audio is also available. Installing
the board is hassle-free, with all the ports being color-coded. The manual is
also very comprehensive.

We used the same set of specs to test the CUV4X as for the
CUBX–PIII/700 MHz and Celeron 500 MHz processors, 64 MB SDRAM, and a Creative
GeForce AGP card with 32 MB VRAM. We also ran the same set of benchmarks–Business
Winstone99 for productivity applications, 3DWinbench99 for graphics performance,
and Quake III Arena and Intel Game Launcher for gaming performance. The CUV4X
was slightly lower than the CUBX in Business Winstone99–at 20.2 with a Celeron
and 25.3 with a PIII CPU. However, in graphics performance, the board actually
gave much lower scores than the CUBX motherboard. This was 617 for the Celeron
and 910 PIII in 3D Winbench99. Similarly, Quake III Arena gave 39-35 fps with
Celeron and 60-42 fps with the PIII. IGL gave scores of 91, 125, and 92 with the
Celeron and 218, 338, and 162 with a PIII in the three games. All these were
lower than the corresponding scores of the CUBX.

For a board that’s more feature-rich than the CUBX, this
large difference came as a shocking surprise. After lots of research and hunting
around, we came across a similar issue with another VIA chipset motherboard–the
Asus P3V4X. There, when the drivers for the chipset were upgraded, the
motherboard’s performance dropped considerably. Feeling that this might be the
case with our motherboard too, we changed its drivers to an older version–from
the current VIA 4-in-1 drivers version 4.2 to the 4.17 version. Unfortunately,
these drivers are not available on the Asus or VIA Websites. Luckily, we had a
P3V4X motherboard that had come for review (see page 184 in this issue), and the
older drivers were available with it.

The motherboard’s performance soared with the older
drivers. With the PIII, in Quake III at 600×800 resolution and 16-bit color
depth, we were able to get frame rates of 81 fps as compared to the earlier 60
fps. In IGL, the scores improved to 264, 352, 162 as compared to a previous 218,
338, 210 for Dispatched, Iron Strategy and Battlezone II respectively.

These numbers are still less compared to the CUBX, but are
nevertheless pretty good. And considering that it costs less than the CUBX, and
supports 133 MHz FSB as well, it’s a good buy. You will, however, need the
older VIA chipset drivers to see it in action, so check with your vendor for

The motherboard comes bundled with Asus PC Probe 2.11,
PC-Cillin98 anti-virus software, audio drivers, Yamaha XG Studio, and Adobe
Acrobat Reader 4.

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