Iwill VD133 Review

Introduction
   Iwill's XA100 Plus has steadfastly been regarded as one of the best super7 mainboards based on the ALi Aladdin V chipset. But can they work that same magic on a Slot-1 mainboard? 
   To best understand the full capabilities of the VD133, we must first take a look at the core logic it is built around.


   Powered by VIA's Apollo Pro 133, the Iwill VD133 supports high-end features similar to those of Intel's i820 (Camino).
   Support for the 133MHz front-side and memory bus, UltraATA/66, HSDRAM and asynchronous memory operation. With UltraATA/66 hard drives taking over the end user market, and the Intel's BX chipset lacking this support, the VIA Apollo Pro 133 gives you the option to make use of this performance enhancing interface without the need for an additional expansion card.

Another plus over mainboards equipped with Intel's BX chipset is that it can genuinely handle the 133MHz+ FSB. The AGP clock divider on the BX chip at 100MHz+ is set for a ratio of 2/3, or  a very high 88 MHz AGP speed at the 133MHz FSB setting. The Apollo Pro 133 however provides a 1/2 ratio AGP clock divider, which adjusts the AGP bus to 66MHz at the 133MHz FSB. Unfortunately, shortly after releasing the Apollo Pro 133, VIA announced the new Apollo Pro 133A chipset that included all the Apollo Pro 133’s features, but also adds support for AGP 4X.

VIA Apollo Pro 133 Chipset Features

Full Featured Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) Controller

PCI AGP CPU Mode
33 MHz 66 MHz  133 MHz 4x synchronous
33 MHz 66 MHz 100 MHz  3x synchronous
33 MHz  66 MHz 66 MHz 2x synchronous

Concurrent PCI Bus Controller

Advanced High-Performance DRAM Controller

VIA Apollo Pro 133 vs. Intel BX and Camino Chipsets:

Chipset VIA Apollo Pro 133 Intel® 440BX Intel® i820*
 FSB Bus  Settings 66/100/133MHz 66/100MHz 100/133MHz
 Memory
 Bus Settings
66/100/133MHZ 66/100MHz 100/600/700/800MHz
 Max. DRAM 1.5GB 1GB N/A
 PC133 SDRAM Y N N
 VCM133 /
 HSDRAM Support
Y/Y N/N N/N
 Max. DIMMs 4 4 3
 ATA 66 Y N Y
 USB Ports 2/4 2 2
 KBC/RTC Y/Y N/Y N/Y
 AGP 4X N/Y N Y
 Asynchronous
 Bus
Y N Y
 AC 97 Link for
 Audio/Modem
Y N Y
 Hardware
 Monitoring
Y N N

As you can see, the use of the Apollo Pro 133 offered Iwill an outstanding feature set to build upon and they took full advantage of it.

Specifications & Packaging

 
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