Abstract: For the entry-level / budget conscious user, manufacturers have provided a solution to this market in the form of integrated motherboards. With onboard graphics, audio (usually in the form of an AC97 audio CODEC) and at times including RAID, SCSI, or an Ethernet solution, all-in-one motherboards have been accepted and implemented on a relatively wide scale. |
First Impressions / Installation
Iwill's packaging of the WS133
motherboard is nothing less than superb. A strong box with a additional internal
shield protects the motherboard quite well during transit. Included along with the board are an ATA/66 hard disk
cable, a floppy drive cable and a small pouch with 3 extra jumpers are
included in case you find yourself misplacing those which are already on board.
Though this evaluation sample did not include it, retail pieces do have
an ATX I/O plate as the board does not totally conform to the typical ATX
Being an 810e board, the
video-out connector takes the place of the COM2 connector found in ATX boards
without on-board graphics. Naturally, a separate serial port riser is included
with its backplate which will reside in one of your cabinet expansion slots. The
CPU retention module is already fitted on the board which will save you the time
(and the hassle) of having to install it yourself. As an added feature, Iwill
decided to incorporate two thermistor headers. Quite neat really!
82-page manual which is included with the board is one of the most thorough that
I have ever seen. Stark black and white photography shows you how to install
your motherboard and its components step by step. Detailed instructions are what
make this manual one of the most user friendly guides out there, something which
many manufacturers out there can learn from.
Layout wise, this board
sports a very clean, simple and organized design. Its ATX headers are similar to
what you would expect aside from the video out connector which replaces the
usual COM2 port. Wisely, Iwill chose to add the COM2 header on the far left side
of the board away from the proximity of any cables, components or jumpers. The
hard disk and floppy headers reside in front of the DIMM slots and in my
cabinet, the HDD and floppy cables did not overlap the SDRAM modules by a great
degree. Addition and removal of DIMM's proceeded without
Adjoining the CPU slot are eleven 1200uF capacitors to aid in
the delivery of a clean CPU signal. If that isn't enough, you can find 7 1200uF
caps in the immediate vicinity of the DIMM slots. Iwill certainly did not spare
any expense here.
In short, the Iwill WS133 adheres to the philosophy of
assemblers and computer enthusiasts alike in terms of ease of access and optimal
Being an 810-based board, installation of drivers went
smoothly. In this case, I downloaded the latest drivers from the Intel website.
For those of you familiar with 810 installation, you will recall the need to
install software which actually served as a "pre-install" for the actual INF
files. Since then, Intel has combined the 810 chipset driver and the INF setup
files in one.
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