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Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Good, bad, or indifferent. Whatever your thoughts and/or feelings may be of the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset, the fact remains that it has given a strong boost of support to Intel's newer range of processors.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Iwill Jun 11 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Iwill VD133Pro

Installation



As with any other VIA Apollo Pro 133A motherboard on the market, all that was required was an install of the 4-in-1 driver under Windows 98 and a brief process to verify that the drivers have been properly installed. Physical installation into a cabinet was no different from what one should expect. The only two things that need to be considered (for basic users) is to disable / enable the AC97 audio CODEC (if need be) as well as the RAID subsystem.

For those of you that may require running your system WITHOUT RAID support, it is recommended that you disable RAID functionality via jumpers. If nothing else, you will certainly shed a few seconds of boot time as a RAID options menu does appear after POSTing when RAID is enabled.

We had the pleasure of reviewing Iwill's SIDE-RAID66 controller card. The driver setup and configuration of RAID in the VD133Pro is no different. The following is taken from the SIDE-RAID66 review... Installation was very simple. Simply plug in the board and Windows 98 prompts you to feed in the drivers. In addition, the card has its own BIOS whose screen pops up just before booting into your operating system. Drivers for Windows NT, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 do come along with the unit. Within the BIOS are a number of options to select depending on whether your want striping, mirroring or both. Setup from this screen is a breeze. Just choose what you want and the BIOS does everything for you.

RAID

SCSI based RAID has had several years to evolve into what it has currently become. IDE RAID can be considered to be an extremely new concept targeted to the lower end of the market and focuses on bringing the fruits of RAID's concepts to the common user... without the costs which are commonly involved. Though the technology is so new, we are certainly pleased to see it implemented so well.

Iwill's VD133Pro RAID solution is based upon Highpoint's HPT368 which is capable of RAID 0, RAID 1 as well as RAID 0+1 operation.

The reason IDE RAID (as well as integrating it onto mainboards) is so attractive is primarily due to the fact that those who cannot afford SCSI based solutions, the concept of redundancy is now within reach. No longer must one spend lots of money to own a real time data backup solution. Coupled with mirroring, IDE RAID present on the VD133Pro also supports striping which greatly enhances data throughput performance while using 2 hard disk drives.

Test Bed Setup

In giving our results obtained from benchmarking, we have also added some performance figures of the IDE RAID subsystem as well. Below is a disclosure of the hardware used in our tests.

- Celeron 400 CPU
- Iwill VD133Pro Motherboard
- Soltek 67KV Motherboard
- Iwill SIDE-RAID66 card
- 128MB PC100 SDRAM
- 2 x 8.4GB Seagate U8 Hard disk
- Windows 98 (standard)
- Windows NT 4.0 Server

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Contents of Article: Iwill VD133Pro
 Pg 1.  Iwill VD133Pro VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  First Impressions
 Pg 3.  — Installation
 Pg 4.  Winstone Performance
 Pg 5.  RAID 0 Performance
 Pg 6.  Overclocking / Stability

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