Like the KT4 Ultra, the ASUS A7V8X is an Athlon XP board that uses the VIA KT400 chipset. It packs in a truckload of extras, such as Serial ATA, FireWire, Gigabit LAN, AGP 8X and even RAID.
Like the KT4 Ultra, the ASUS A7V8X is an Athlon XP board that uses the VIA KT400 chipset. It packs in a truckload of extras, such as Serial ATA, FireWire, Gigabit LAN, AGP 8X and even RAID. Some of these are useful now (FireWire and LAN) but a lot of the high-end stuff is more a future-proofing technique. Serial ATA hard drives, for example, won't see widespread distribution until at least next year.
The A7V8X fell behind the KT4 Ultra in benchmarks, but never by more than 1%. The performance difference between the two is marginal at best, and you're not sacrificing anything choosing one over the other.
When it comes down to it, there's not a lot to distinguish these two boards. On the basis of a value alone, however, the A7V8X comes out in front - FireWire and LAN functionality are easily worth the extra $20.
On a side note, VIA has recently undertaken the task of revising the KT400 chipset. The new version is due out by December, so prospective buyers might want to check whether their board of choice has been updated. If you're looking to upgrade right now to an Athlon-based system, the A7V8X is still a very worthy option.
This Review appeared in the December, 2002 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine