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ABIT VT6X4

Company: ABIT
Product:
VT6X4 Motherboard
Street Price: ~ $120
Complete Motherboard Spec's: http://www.abit.com.tw/english/product/vt6x4.htm
Complete Chipset Spec's:
http://www.via.com.tw/products/prod133a.htm
Date Reviewed:
April 1, 2000

 

First Impression:

Before I begin, I would like to thank Azzo for lending us this motherboard to test out. I was bugging him all week wanting to know if they had come, finally they did and he sent me one, along with some other stuff I bought. Right now Azzo has them in stock for $119, so get them while their hot! ABIT is even kind enough to include a CD of the Gentus Linux!

The VT6X4 motherboard is ABIT's latest creation using the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset. By using the VT82C694X and VT82C686A chips, many features have been integrated into the board with little or no extra cost. The VT6X4 actually looks like the VA6's identical twin, you be the judge: VT6X4 and VA6. As you can see from the picture, there is a non-keyed AGP slot, supporting 2x & 4x AGP, 5 PCI slots, and 2 ISA slots. Why they chose to add two ISA slots I will never know, personally I would of rather just had one or none, and moved all the other slots to the left one because when you have video card in the AGP slot, you can't swap out memory because the plastic handles come very close to the card. Other than that gripe, it's a very well designed motherboard that we have come to expect from ABIT. There is plenty of room between the CPU slot and the memory slots to fit a PEP66 with even a (very) little gap to spare. Also, there are two fan connectors near the CPU slot, each are RPM monitoring. This good thinking on ABIT's part to remember the people with the massive Alpha's & GlobalWin's, or just anyone with a dual fan heat sink. There is also another fan connector near the bottom of the board for whatever reason you may need it. The ATX power connector is tucked away behind the CPU slot so you don't have to worry about it interfering with your heat sinks or anything. Then there is the usual keyboard, mouse, 2 serial, parallel, 2 USB, and audio connections on the back. There is an additional connector on the motherboard for 2 more USB ports, which is good thinking on ABIT's part to fully utilize the VIA chipset's capabilities. Two temperatures are monitored, the board & the CPU. The CPU is monitored via a thermistor cable, and that plugs into the board between the CPU slot and the two fan connectors. Another thing I like is the location of the hard drive & floppy drive connectors, they are where they should be! On the Soyo 7VCA the floppy drive connector is down on the left side of the motherboard between the 4th & 5th PCI slot, this made it very difficult to use in a full tower case with the floppy on top, so make sure you have a long floppy cable if you are planning on using the Soyo 7VCA! Enough about the layout, you can see everything there is to tell in the picture, on to the BIOS!

ABIT decided to use the infamous SOFTMENUTM II along with the good old Award BIOS. I'm kind of disappointed that they didn't use the SOFTMENUTM III like they did in their Athlon board, then the VT6X4 would of kicked butt! But you take what you can get, the FSB settings that are available with this board are 66/75/83/100/103/105/110/112/115/120/124/133/140/150, and multipliers from 2 to 8 in .5 increments, and voltage adjustments from 1.3 all the way to 1.8. The rest of the BIOS was chock full of the normal features along with the bunches of little tweaks. I will get into more detail on some of the BIOS features later on when I show some benchmarks.

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