ASUS A7V8X-X - Page 9

..:: Asus A7V8X-X Conclusion ::..

Now comes the time where we look at everything the Asus A7V8X-X motherboard has going for it and make our final judgment call. But before we get into the actual conclusion for today's motherboard review, I must tell you that MBReview has a slightly new rating system which can be explained in further details here. Stephen and I will also be much stricter from now on when we rate products after putting it through it's paces.

The stability of a motherboard is crucial for any computer system. Even if a motherboard graced our labs with every integrated feature known to mankind and had an unbeatable price... if it isn't stable, it isn't worth a dime. Fortunately with the Asus A7V8X-X, I did not experience one single crash during benchmarking or torture tests.

The design and layout of the A7V8X-X isn't bad, but there are a few area of concerns I would like to restate. The biggest gripe is the memory/AGP issue. All three memory banks can easily be blocked with the required use of a video card in the AGP slot. Removing the sixth PCI slot and dropping all of the expansion slots down a notch would be the best thing that could happen for the A7V8X-X, or any other motherboard for that matter. Another issue is with the couple of capacitors that can easily get damaged because of placement. My next complaint is a bit picky, but the A7V8X-X looks very dull. Asus makes a variety of great looking video cards, so why should the motherboards they make look so plain? Asus should really start to follow other manufacturers like Soyo or Gigabyte, for example, and give the appearance of their motherboards a fresh and exciting new look.

The A7V8X-X is a motherboard targeted at consumers with a low budget, so as expected, the features included are rather slim. Asus does throw in 6-channel audio and integrated LAN into the mix which can save the consumer a nice hunk of change at the checkout counter if he or she wishes to use them. And as stated before, the user manual does not have a section for troubleshooting problems that could arise, so I am going to have to deduct a point or two here. I should also mention that this motherboard will not be able to support the new 400MHz FSB processors from AMD.

The BIOS for the A7V8X-X has enough options for most users looking for a deal. There are a few tweaks that you can play around with, but nothing to wet your pants over by any means.

Overclocking our hardware with the A7V8X-X was rather disappointing as well. Given that there are no AGP/PCI locks present with any KT400 motherboard, consumers will tend to look to platforms with an nForce2 chipset. Hopefully VIA will start to listen to the demands of enthusiasts and incorporate an AGP/PCI lock in every chipset they plan to release.

If I happened to review the A7V8X-X a few months ago, this motherboard would have gotten a few more points for the performance it demonstrated in the benchmarks, but with the recent release of the KT600 and new nForce2 Ultra 400 chipsets, a few points must be deducted from the overall score. Do not get me wrong though, we did see Asus stomp all over ECS' turf and give the L7VTA motherboard a black eye or two.

Now, with everything in mind, where does this put the A7V8X-X motherboard? I would have a hard time not recommending it to anyone looking for a low budget motherboard solution, especially from a manufacturer like Asus that has a great reputation for quality products. If Asus' A7V8X-X is any indication of how well their other "X-Series" line of motherboards will perform at such a low price, other manufacturers will have reasons to worry.

- Stability: 20/20
- Design: 14/20
- Features: 13/20
- BIOS: 7/10
- Overclocking: 7/10
- Performance: 15/20
Total: 76/100 Points