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DFI AK-74AC KT133A Motherboard Review

DFI AK-74AC KT133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: DFI has released a series of Socket A boards based on the VIA KT133 and the KT133A chipsets the past few months. These being the AK74-SC, the AK74 EC and the AK74-AC. Although these boards look almost identical, they have some very significant differences.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: DFI Jun 26 2001   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > DFI AK-74AC

DFI AK-74AC KT133A Motherboard Review


DFI has released a series of Socket A boards based on the VIA KT133 and the KT133A chipsets the past few months. These being the AK74-SC, the AK74 EC and the AK74-AC. Although these boards look almost identical, they have some very significant differences.

After a few weeks after its initial release, DFI decided to abandon the AK74-AC as it was a 133 MHz board with a 2-phase CPU power supply which restricted supported AMD CPUs up to 1.2 GHz. As a replacement, they introduced the AK75-EC, a redesigned AK74-AC with a 3-phase power supply and multiplier tweaks.

In short, this motherboard supports upcoming AMD processors with a 133MHz (DDR) bus and the overclocking of current 100MHz parts by setting them as a 133MHz part via FSB settings. This means that we can overclock Socket A processors without any multiplier or physical modification.


First Impressions

Our AK74-AC package contained the following material:

· The system board
· One ATA-66/100 cable & FDD cable
· The board manual
· One CD with motherboard drivers, including a full version of the manual in PDF format, a system monitoring utility and PC-Cillin 2000 antivirus for Windows 95/98/98SE/NT Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 4 or later/2000 Professional


Available space around the CPU socket seems ample enough accommodate a rather large sized heatsink and the presence of 4 holes around the CPU socket allow proper cooling of over 1 GHz processors. The three fan connectors enhance cooling options further. DFI included a thermal sensor inside the CPU socket in order to protect the processor from overheating.

DIMM slots reside above the AGP socket about a half inch in order that memory can be uninstalled without having to remove the AGP video card. In some smaller ATX cases, the first front DIMM socket might not be easily accessible as it lies directly behind the CD-ROM unit. All PCI slots can handle full sized cards since the chassis connectors are rotated at a 90 degree angle. The operation of the board is supported by 12 x 1500µF and 10 x 1000µF capacitors.

While most manufacturers include very brief manuals, DFI's manual is worth mentioning. They have taken the time to explain things in a lucid manner and have included details regarding board features (parallel ECP, EPP modes, detailed info about each connector, etc). The BIOS allows us to set the FSB and CPU core voltage settings manually for easy overclocking. We installed Windows 98 without any trouble.

Test Bed Setup

· AMD Duron 600 MHz CPU
· Tested boards: DFI AK74-EC (KT-133, ATA-100), DFI AK74-AC (KT-133A, ATA-100), Soyo K7VTA-B (KT-133,ATA-100) and Soyo K7VTA (KT-133, ATA-100) paired with VIA 4 in 1 drivers 4.25a
· 128 MB PC-133 CAS-2 SDRAM
· ELSA Erazor (Nvidia Geforce 256 DDR), Detonator 6.31
· Western Digital 30GB ATA-66 hard drive, 5400rpm (WD307AA)
· Labway Xwave 6000 (sound card based on Yamaha 744b), 2013 drivers
· NEC 5500A DVD-ROM drive (8x/40x)

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Contents of Article: DFI AK-74AC
 Pg 1.  — DFI AK-74AC KT133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Winstone Performance

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