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ASUS P3V4X motherboard review

The P3V4X represents one of Asus’ VIA chipset based motherboard. It is a combination of Asus’ technology & VIA’s Apollo Pro 133a chipset (VT82C694X & VT82C596B). On its face this motherboard offers the best of both worlds, support for the 133Mhz bus, PC133 RAM, AGP4 & in-built support for UDMA66.

Installation

Installing the motherboard was the general ho-hum uneventful affair (Hook up IDE, power & other connectors, etc.), until the power had to be turned on, when my system seemingly refused to acknowledge my keyboard, & hence any input from me. After a few hours on my old machine I spotted a FAQ on the P3V4X & it mentioned possible interference from an unused spacer in my case, which turned out to be the problem. After removing it everything was working properly.

For the first few hours I had quite a few problems (lockups), although these totally disappeared after installing the 4.24, 4-in-1 drivers from VIA. I installed the latest VIA drivers & BIOS update to ensure maximum compatibility & bug fixes/optimizations that they contain.

Other than these slight mishaps I encountered installation went according to plan, all devices were detected & installed appropriately in Windows 98 SE & Windows 2000.

Although in Windows 2000 (dual boot machine) I have one problem. My Hollywood Plus DVD decoder simply would not install, nor boot in Windows 2000 if in the BIOS I had Plug & Play OS set to Yes, setting it to No & the problem went away – installation went as normal as does boot up. Although now I toggle this setting On/Off depending on which OS I intend to boot. A minor inconvenience at the most though.

My system

For sake of convenience here is what my system consists of, & this is what was used during testing.

  • Pentium 3 450Mhz.

  • 128MB RAM (Generic PC-100).

  • Voodoo 5 5500 AGP.

  • Sigma Designs Hollywood Plus DVD decoder.

  • SoundBlaster Live! Platinum, with Live! Drive installed.

  • DTT 2500 Speakers.

  • 6X Pioneer DVD drive.

  • Generic floppy disk drive.

  • US Robotics Sportster Flash V90 modem – ISA.

  • 15” monitor.

  • Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer.

  • Generic keyboard.

All latest drivers are installed (Official drivers that is) & any other relevant updates. Unless noted otherwise BIOS settings & others were set as shown in the appropriate Tweaking guides.

 


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