ABIT VA6 Apollo 133 Motherboard
Every once and a while, companies such as Intel and AMD
tend to give overclockers surprise gifts. Take the Intel Pentium III 550E for
example. As many of you know, it's one VERY highly overclockable processor. With
the right hardware you can easily overclock it past 800+ MHz. That's pretty
amazing considering that you can effectively reach 300 MHz over the processor's
Of course, in order to reach such speeds, you will need a very good motherboard along with some good RAM and a bit of luck. So why are we talking about the P3 550E when this is a motherboard review? We'll get to that in a minute. Today we are going to be taking a look at ABIT VA6 which is based on the Apollo 133 chipset. Let's take a closer look:
CPU Support Slot -1
Chipset Via Apollo 133
Memory 3 168-Pin DIMMs, Max Mem 768 MB
L2 Cache On-Chip (256K/512K)
Form Factor ATX
Expansion Slots 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 2 ISA
Bus Speeds Supported 66, 75, 83, 100, 105, 110, 112, 115, 120, 124, 133, 140, 145, 150
Multipliers Supported 3.5x-8x
As we mentioned earlier the motherboard is based on the Via Apollo 133 chipset, therefore it sports onboard sound for the people with a budget in mind, AGP 2X, dual ATA-33/ATA-66 capable hard drive controllers, four USB ports, although only two stick out of the back, and of course ABIT's famous Soft Menu II which allows you to configure/tweak the CPU without having to mess around with jumpers. I was a bit disappointed about the inclusion of Soft Menu II instead of the Soft Menu III which is included with the BE6-II.
One thing to keep in mind with this motherboard is the location of the mounting holes. After I tried to install it into a case that was previously occupied with an ABIT BP6, I found that some of the stand-offs were positioned right in the middle of the motherboard PCB which of course is BAD MOJO. Not a big deal, just don't assume that all the holes are going to line up with the existing stand offs.
ABIT's very annoying placement of the motherboard power connector still remains with us even with this motherboard. Maybe I'm just a little too picky, but I have an issue with the power cable going over my CPU.
The motherboard's footprint is relatively small, so I don't see a problem with fitting it in any "normal" case.
As always, the manual included with the motherboard is top notch. Every feature and function about the motherboard is described in detail inside it. Along with the drivers disk, the floppy and ATA-66 cables, ABIT even included a copy of their very own version of Linux, Gentus Linux.