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The Iwill VD133Pro With IDE RAID

Introduction

Similar to the Iwill VD133PL, the Pro (non-lite version) boasts on board IDE RAID. While I did not test the RAID striping or mirroring functions, I did do "single drive" highpoint 368 benchmarks. I did experience some "glitches" with this MB, but have found that Iwill is dedicated both to the overclocking crowd and to regular BIOS updates. It certainly seems feasible that my niggle will be addressed in future BIOS's. I consider this MB of the WIP (work in progress) genre, but don't let that stop you from placing this in your short list.

*Update* The original review tested revision 1.1, which Iwill has just informed me has been replaced by a newer 1.2 revision. When I receive and test r1.2, I'll update this review with hopefully faster IDE performance (ATA66 support). *End of Update*

Factory Specifications
The Unit
  • VIA Apollo 133A chipset
  • IDE RAID 0, 1 capability
  • Socket-370 ATX design
  • AGP 4X, AGP ½ & PCI ¼ dividers
  • 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 0 ISA, 1 CNR slots
  • Onboard AC97 audio
  • 3 DIMM slots: 1.5GB max
  • 8 ATA66 IDE devices total, 2 USB headers (1 built in)
  • Hardware monitoring: 3 temps & 2 fans
  • Web price: $150 USD



http://www.iwill.com

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8/10 Rating

Description & Specifications

What isn't visible in the full size MB pic is the very bottom blue raid RAID connectors. For a close-up of the lowest PCI and ATA connectors, glance at the pictures section. If only standard scanner areas were a smidge longer...

Blue ATA connectors are everywhere, two at the upper right and two at the very bottom. All are supposed to be ATA66 compliant, with the RAID units being controlled by the on board highpoint 368 controller. This shouldn't be confused with the 366 controller, which was one of the early methods of placing ATA66 on MB's like the Abit BE6r2. The 368 controller only uses 1 IRQ, which is unfortunately linked to the 1st PCI & AGP slots.

AGP 4X compatibility has been the subject of much controversy as many factors must come together in order to achieve full 4X operational status. First, the MB must support it; second, the video drivers must support it; and third, in VIA's case, the AGP 4.03 drivers must be used as they are the first to support 4X and 133FSB modes. For this MB test, I did attempt 4X mode, but I needed a 4X hack to activate nVidia's drivers. Well, stability was a big problem at 4X and benchmarks showed no statistically significant improvement so I went back to the safe but boring 2X mode. Note that the stability difficulties were NOT caused by the 133Pro, they were the fault of nVidia's drivers. I hope nVidia fixes this soon.

Bus Speeds (FSB/PCI)
Low
Medium
High
66/33
100/33
133/33
68/34
103/34
135/33
75/37
105/35
138/34
80/40
110/36
140/35
83/31
112/37
144/36
90/30
115/38
150/37
95/31
124/31
155/38
 
130/32
160/40
   
166/41

 





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