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Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Good, bad, or indifferent. Whatever your thoughts and/or feelings may be of the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset, the fact remains that it has given a strong boost of support to Intel's newer range of processors.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Iwill Jun 11 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Iwill VD133Pro

Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review


Good, bad, or indifferent. Whatever your thoughts and/or feelings may be of the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset, the fact remains that it has given a strong boost of support to Intel's newer range of processors. Previously shunned by consumers and critical media for its "less than desired" performance in their BX chipset competitor, things are taking an upliftment of direction at VIA HQ. Interestingly enough, things took a turn for the worse for Intel as their 820 and 810 chipsets could not be everything for everyone .

Hardcore gamers had no reason to appreciate 810 based motherboards. The same is true for Celeron owners and the 820 chipset (and we all know how expensive RDRAM is). VIA welcomed such disgruntled users by presenting them with what appeared to be a universal solution. CuMine support, Celeron support, AGP 4X, etc., the VIA Apollo Pro 133A is so far the most flexible (and feature rich) chipset for Intel CPUs in the mainstream (with the i815 as a possible exception). Motherboard manufacturers quickly and widely accepted the AP133A with open arms.

IWill is no exception. Being a relatively "smaller" manufacturer of motherboards, it is quite interesting to know that their product line consists of a wide range of fresh products. In fact, Iwill is the only manufacturer which supplies i840-based boards with decent yields. So much for the smaller is insignificant theory, eh?

Reviewed here is IWill's VD133Pro Motherboard. With several other similar motherboards out on the market today, companies require a clear distinction which separates their product from the rest. So what does Iwill implement with their VD133Pro? Does IDE RAID catch your attention???

Specifications

- Socket 370 Interface (Reserved Socket418 space) for use with PPGA/FC-PGA Celeron's, FC-PGA Pentium III support (including "Coppermine" chips) and the Cyrix III CPU.
- Clock multipliers of 2x to 8x supported (increments of .5x).
- VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset (694X Northbridge + 686A Southbridge)
- Support for 66, 68, 75, 80, 83, 90, 95, 100, 103, 105, 110, 112, 115, 124, 130, 133, 135, 138, 140, 144, 150, 155, 160 and 166MHz front side bus speeds.
- Winbond W83781D Hardware Monitor Controller
- 3 x 168-pin 3.3V unbuffered PC-100 and PC-133 SDRAM from 8 MB up to 1.5 GB
- Dual Ultra DMA 33/66 IDE ports.
- On-board RAID subsystem. RAID 0 (striping) and 1 (mirroring) supported.
- HighPoint HPT368 RAID controller with RAID 0 / 1 / 0+1 supported
- 5 PCI / 0 ISA / 1 AGP / 1 AMR slots
- 2 x USB ports (optional -- 2 additional USB ports via USB external kit)
- Integrated AC97 audio CODEC
- ATX form factor
- Award Modular v6.00PG BIOS

What's Included


Along with the VD133Pro comes a decent 79-page users manual which covers each topic of hardware setup / configuration in a very simple manner. Standard components such as HDD / FDD cables are also included. A A CD consisting of motherboard drivers, on-line user's manual, PC-Cillin anti-virus software, hardware monitoring software, etc. comes along as well. A decent software bundle, but nothing that really sets it apart from other manufacturers.

What I found different from Iwill was their act of including a small bag of jumpers (jumpers with a protruding grip, allowing for easy removal with fingers rather than tweezers). What may seem so insignificant is actually quite useful. Big things come in small packages? I would think so...

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Contents of Article: Iwill VD133Pro
 Pg 1.  — Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  First Impressions
 Pg 3.  Installation
 Pg 4.  Winstone Performance
 Pg 5.  RAID 0 Performance
 Pg 6.  Overclocking / Stability

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