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Azza KT133BX Socket A Motherboard

AMD's socket A Duron and Thunderbird processors are taking the industry by storm. While the Duron was marketed as a value oriented CPU it outperforms the Pentium III in many tests. Needless to say that the Thunderbird has taken on the crown as the performance processor. One of the biggest selling points for these processors has been their low price. In many instances we find equal speed processors from AMD priced at half what the comparable speed CPU from Intel costs. The one problem for consumers who wanted to migrate to the AMD camp has been that the cost of a socket A motherboard can be quite expensive when compared to the low price they paid for their CPU. Another factor here is that socket A motherboards have been slow in coming from many manufacturers, which left the adventurous first converts getting any board they could get their hands on. We've had some good experiences with Azza and their motherboards in the past and now Azza has sent in their forthcoming KT133BX board for review. A similar board, the KT133TX has been in production for socket A CPUs for some time, but the BX features something that will be of great interest to users who aren't looking to upgrade their board every few months: ATA100 support.

Features
The Board
  • Socket A AMD CPU support
  • VIA KT133+686B chipset
  • Award System BIOS
  • 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 1 ISA, 1 AMR
  • 3 Dimm slots
  • 3D PCI sound on board
  • 305mm x 210mm


http://www.azza.com.tw

(+,-) $140 USD

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8/10

First Impressions

I was quite surprised at how quickly the board showed up after my request for it. As soon as I opened the package there were several things I noticed that already put a smile on my face. We've seen some manufacturers place connectors on their boards in strange places. Some locations - like a floppy connector located between the ISA and PCI slots, were simply senseless. The KT133BX has none of those strange problems. The two IDE connectors are located next to the floppy connector - and on the edge of the board no less. The ATX power connector is located below and to the left of the CPU socket. This lends to easy power connector routing that doesn't block access to the memory or CPU. A note to other manufacturers in this regard: if you place your connectors toward the interior of the board it may help with ease of construction but users will quickly tire when their cables obstruct access to the peripheral cards or block airflow to the CPU's heatsink. Kudos to Azza for the intelligent layout of their board. Although a lot of people won't worry about this I'd like to let everyone know that Azza packs all their boards with top-notch documentation. It never fails that with every installation I have to do a quick review of a section to find out a detail about hooking something up - and the layout of this manual and its completeness are very comparable to manuals I've seen from Abit and Soyo. There were two cables shipped with the board: a floppy cable and one 80-pin IDE ribbon cable for ATA66/ATA100 use. Since ATA100 is compatible with all past standards feel free to use any HD you have with this board.

 





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