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. |
Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A
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
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???
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
- Clock multipliers of 2x to 8x supported (increments of .5x).
VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset (694X Northbridge + 686A Southbridge)
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.
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)
- HighPoint HPT368 RAID controller with RAID 0 / 1 / 0+1
- 5 PCI / 0 ISA / 1 AGP / 1 AMR slots
- 2 x USB ports
(optional -- 2 additional USB ports via USB external kit)
- Integrated AC97
- ATX form factor
- Award Modular v6.00PG
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
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
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