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Motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X architecture

Evgenie Rudometov,

On the basis of chip set VIA P4X533 ASUSTeK corporation develops and releases motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X oriented to creation of inexpensive computer systems which basis is made by processors of Intel of Pentium  of 4 NetBurst architectures with processing technique Hyper-Threading.

Modern motherboards, as well as processors, hard disks and videoadapters, concern the major accessories on which functional properties of computers substantially depend. Using the newest processing techniques, many corporations are engaged in their production and release. Some of them are widely presented in the Russian market, for example, ASUSTeK corporation. Its motherboards thanks to excellence well-known to domestic users. Recently this corporation releases not only production oriented to systems High-End, but also rather inexpensive products Low-End.

As an example of such products it is possible to result recently released motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X. A basis of this card is chip set VIAP4X533.

Motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X is oriented to development concerning the inexpensive desktop personal computers differing nevertheless rather by high efficiency and wide functionality. This card allows to realise advantages of the architecture of processors of Intel of Pentium 4 with processing technique Hyper-Threading. The processors created as on the basis of kernel Northwood (semiconducting tehprotsess 0,13 microns, the cache memory of second level L2 in size of 512 Kbytes), and Presciott (90 nanometers, 1024 Kbytes of cache memory L2) are thus supported     . High efficiency of motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X is reached thanks to support of the processor bus with transmission frequencies of the given 533 MHz and even 800 MHz, the truth, in a mode overclocking, and also DDR400 units of a subsystem of dynamic storage DDRSDRAM. The given support is carried out by the built in resources inexpensive now chip set VIAP4X533 on which parametres functionality of all computer system substantially depends.

Chip set VIAP4X533 of motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X

Fig. 1. Structure of the computer created on the basis of chip set VIAP4X533

Chip set VIA P4X533 of VIA Technologies corporation, Inc. (VIA corporation) it is oriented by the manufacturer of the given chipset of system logic to the architecture of high-powered desktop personal computers. This set represents intermediate solution of development of the architecture before released chip set VIA P4X400 to VIA PT800.

Chip set VIAP4X533 supports systems with processors of Intel of Pentium 4 (512 Kbytes of the cache memory of the second level). The given processors created on processing technique of 0,13 microns (kernel Northwood), are hooked up through Socket 478 plug which has become by the standard standard and work with bus FSB of type QPB (Quad-Pumped Bus) which clock rate for the given chip set can make 133 or 100 MHz. It provides data transfer with frequencies, accordingly, 533, 400 MHz, and addresses — 266, 200 MHz.

Chip set VIA P4X533 consists of two traditional components — NorthBridge South Bridge. These components are jointed by the special firm bus 8X V-Link to the capacity of 533 Mb per second developed and inserted in the products by VIA corporation. The given bus allows, according to its implementators, to use all potential of controllers of peripheral devices of the computer system.

NorthBridge component is presented by the appropriate chip containing, as all similar units, resources of interfaces of operation with the processor, AGP videoadapter, dynamic storage units, and also with chip South Bridge of a chip set. Link with the enumerated units is carried out by means of specialised buses.

Built in chip NorthBridge of chip set VIAP4X533 the memory controller provides support: memories of type DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM — SDRAM with data transfer on lobbies and back edges of clock pulses of the bus of memory), memory modules DDR400/333/266, a maximum memory size — to 3 Gbytes.

The built in controller of a drawing supports one arrangement 0,8/1,5 In AGP 3.0, working in modes AGP 8Х/4Х. Thus AGP 8X (AGP 3.0) is the specification for hooking up of the most high-powered now videoadapters, providing high capacity between them — to 2,12 Gbytes/with.

South Bridge component presented by chip VT8237, is characterised by a complete set of the network and communication characteristics which have become standard for similar units of the modern architecture of computers. Built in in South Bridge VT8237 controllers realise two channels IDE with support ATA 33/66/100 (to four arrangements IDE), two ports Serial ATA 150 with possibilities RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, eight ports USB 2.0, six PCI (32 bits/33 of MHz), LPC (Low Pin Count). Its other characteristics concern integrated VIA MAC for 10/100Mbps Ethernet, integrated support PCI, 6 or 8-channel sound Surround Sound AC ' 97 and MC ' 97 modem. Support of the expanded control functions energopotrebleniem is besides, provided, including ACPI/OnNow.

Usage as South Bridge component of chip VT8235 possessing a little smaller functionality in comparison with more perfect chip VT8237 is possible.

Considering link of chip sets VIA P4X533, VIA P4X400 and VIA PT800, the table with comparative characteristics of the given chipsets of system logic is more low resulted.

Table 1. Comparative characteristics of chips North Bridge of chip sets VIA P4X533, VIA P4X400 and VIA PT800



VIA P4X533

VIA P4X400

North Bridge








Hyper Threading




The processor bus












Move. Size, a Gbyte








Table 2. Comparative characteristics of chips South Bridge of chip sets VIA P4X533, VIA P4X400 and VIA PT800

South Bridge



The local bus

8X V-Link (533 Mb per second)

8X V-Link (533 Mb per second)


VIA Viny 5.1

VIA Viny 5.1

The modem

MC ' 97

MC ' 97


VIA MAC 10/100 Ethernet

VIA MAC 10/100 Ethernet




PATA, arrangements

To 4

To 4

SATA, arrangements




0, 1, 0+1


USB, ports



Super I/O



The main technical parametres of motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X

Fig. 2. Motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X package

Fig. 3. Motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X

Fig. 4. Motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X plugs

The processor

       support of processors of Intel of Pentium 4 (Northwood  — 512 Kbytes L2) in 478-contact tank mPGA with clock rate to 3,2 GHz +, processing technique Hyper-Threading and with bus FSB of type QPB providing transmission frequencies of data 400, 533, 800 MHz (800 MHz — a mode overclocking),

       support of processors of Intel Celeron in 478-contact tank mPGA,

       support of processors of Intel of Pentium 4 (Prescott  — 1024 Kbytes L2) with QPB, a providing transmission frequency of the given 533 MHz.

Chip set

       VIA P4X533 (North Bridge) and VIA VT8237 (South Bridge).

Dynamic storage

       three plugs for dynamic storage DDR SDRAM in konstruktive DIMM (184 contact electrodes, 2,5 In, unbuffered, without ECC);

       units of type DDR 400, DDR333, DDR266, maximum size of a subsystem of memory — to 3 Gbytes (for DDR 400 — to 2 Gbytes with support a maximum of two DIMM plugs).


       one general-purpose 1,5 plug or 0,8 In AGP 3.0 with support of mode AGP 8X/4X.


       an audiosubsystem on the basis of ADI corporation codec — AD1980 6-channel audio CODEC with support of interface S/PDIF.


       the integrated network controller of Realtek corporation — RTL8201BL 10/100 Mbps LAN PHY with an output on standard RJ45 plug.


       a maximum eight USB 2 plugs.

Interfaces of disk drives

       two connectors Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33;

       two connectors Serial ATA 150 c implementation of possibilities RAID 0, RAID 1;

       one Floppy port with support of arrangements in size to 2,88 Mb.

System BIOS

       AMI BIOS, 4 Mбит Flash EEPROM;

       ACPI, PnP, DMI 2.0, ASUS EZ Flash, ASUS MyLogo2.


       one AGP slot, five PCI slots.

Peripherals plugs external

       one PS/2 plug of the keyboard;

       one PS/2 plug of the mouse;

       one parallel port (Parallel);

       one serial port (COM);

       four USB 2.0 plugs;

       one RJ45 plug;

       one S/PDIF Out plug;

       audioplugs (Line-In, Mic-In, Line-Out).

Peripherals plugs internal

       two USB 2.0 plugs for four additional ports USB;

       plugs for cooling fans CpU/Korpus;

       20/4-контактные plugs for power supply unit ATX;

       CD/AUX plugs;

       GAME/MIDI plugs.

Monitoring of hardware

       monitoring of powers and temperatures.

Special functions

       AI Overclocking,

       ASUS C.P.R. (CPU Parameter Recall),

       ASUS EZ Flash,

       CrashFree BIOS 2,

       ASUS MyLogo.

Form factor

       ATX, the sizes 30,5 x 19,3 see

Structure of a package of motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X

Into package structure enter:

       a box;

       motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X;

       a compact disc with drivers and utilities;

       the user manual (User Guide) in English;

       the quick reference guide (Quick Start Guide) in five languages, including Russian;

       the cover plate of input/output corresponding to specification ATX;

       cable Floppy-dikovoda;

       cable UltraDMA 133/100/66;

       firm stickers.

Fig. 5. The description of the architecture and the firm processing techniques, presented on a box with motherboard ASUS P4VX-X

Estimating entirety and quality of a package of motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X, it is necessary to mark, that the accompanying documentation is traditionally complete. It allows not only to familiarise with potential possibilities of the motherboard, but also renders the essential help in customisation of hardware-software resources of the computer.

Features of the architecture and design of motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X

The design of motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X as a whole corresponds to referens-design of similar products, however possesses also some features, characteristic for some variants of motherboards of ASUSTeK corporation.

Fig. 6. Motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X structure

Motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X, which design, by the way, practically coincides with ASUSP4V800-X (chip set VIAPT800), is oriented to application in rather inexpensive computers. In the systems created on the basis of the given card, usage of processors of Intel of Pentium 4 and IntelCeleron is recommended . Thus according to guidelines of implementators of motherboard ASUSP4X8X-X probably usage of Intel of Pentium 4 with processing technique Hyper-Threading and the bus of 800 MHz providing reaching maximum now of a performance level of computers with processors of the corporation of Intel of NetBurst architecture. However frequency of 800 MHz for the processor bus for the used chipset is realised in a dispersal mode (overclocking).

It is necessary to mark, that together with motherboard ASUSP4X8X-X processors IntelPentium  4 created not only on the basis of kernel Northwood, but also Prescott, the truth, according to the order bookings with frequency of the bus of 533 MHz can be applied  .

Parsing possible variants of processors, it is necessary to remind, that, except high-powered models of processors, together with motherboard ASUSP4X8X-X probably usage and less efficient Intels Celeron.

One more path of rise of productivity — usage of high-speed models of the dynamic storage, which support is carried out by the resources integrated into chip North Bridge of a chip set. These resources provide high efficiency for the systems created on the basis of motherboard P4V8X-X.

Fig. 7. Chip NorthBridge of chip set VIAP4X533 with resources of cooling and the processor plug of standard Socket 478

Memory of the newest and the fastest standard DDR400 (PC3200) possesses now capacity to 3,2 Gb/with, providing the raised productivity of system. But can be used and DDR333 units, DDR266 and DDR200.

Operation of memory modules DDR SDRAM can be or synchronous — clock rate coincides with frequency FSB, or asynchronous — clock rate differs from frequency FSB. It is set in BIOS Setup — SDRAM Frequency.

It is necessary to add, that the built in resources of the motherboard allow to change a standard set tajmingov memory modules.

For handle of input\output devices chip South Bridge which is a part of the used chip set traditionally responds. As the given chip uses VIA VT8237.

Fig. 8. Chip North Bridge VT8237 of chip set VIA

Chip VIA VT8237 allows the user to build RAID 0, 1 arrays of two disks Serial ATA 150. Here it is necessary to remind, that Serial ATA is the standard ATA of a new generation providing scaled productivity, necessary for problem solving both today's, and tomorrow. Possessing capacity in 150 Mb per second, Serial ATA faster present traditional standard Parallel ATA, possessing thus 100 % a software compatibility with the last.

Fig. 9. A battery for CMOS BIOS, chip North Bridge, two Serial ATA plugs and the plug for a floppy disk

The modern computer is not thought any more without the developed multimedia possibilities. One of making multimedia are audioresources. AC ' 97 audio-codec ADI AD1980 (ADI AD1980 SoundMax 6-channel audio CODEC) provides playback volume 5.1 sounds on 6 channels in a dynamic range, according to the documentation on the codec, more than 90 db.

Fig. 10. Chips of 4  Mbit of flesh-memory PVXX1 with BIOS, SuperI/O Winbond W83627, ADI AD1980 SoundMax 6-channel audio CODEC

Network controller Realtek RTL8201BL is built in the motherboard architecture 10/100 Mbps LAN PHY. Data traditional for ASUSTeK corporation motherboards the built in network controller provides data transfer with frequency to 100 Mbit/with. He allows to hook up easily through built in RJ-45 plug the computer to a local area network or the broad-band Internet channel. It gives the chance to participate, for example, in network games, not being spent on acquisition of an additional map of the extension.

Fig. 11. A chip of network controller Realtek RTL8201BL 10/100 Mbps LAN PHY

Support to 8 ports of standard USB 2.0 is provided , the part from which is standardly output on a backboard. Estimating possibilities of the given ports, it is necessary to remind, that the bus of this standard USB 2.0 gives a high-speed way for hooking up of arrangements of a new generation. Providing return compatibility with arrangements USB 1.1, bus USB 2.0 in forty times faster the predecessor. Speed USB  2.0 makes 480 Mbit/with while USB 1.1 — 12 Mbit/with, therefore USB 2.0 is ideal solution for connection of peripherals to the computer motherboard on the big transfer rates.

Possibilities of dispersal (overclocking) are not ignored also. Clock rate of the bus of the processor can be changed over a wide range, since 100 MHz (400 MHz of data transfer) with step 1 MHz. Thus for sophisticated users processing technique ASUS Jumper-Free is provided. There is a possibility of correction of power both for the central processor unit, and for memory modules. Ratio CPU/DDR varies also. Well and as it is accepted in the architecture of modern motherboards, despite a variation of values of the enumerated parametres, there is a possibility of arresting of frequency of buses AGP and PCI, that promotes rise of stability of system at usage of modes of dispersal, especially in their extremal manifestations. It is necessary to add, that usage of value of 800 MHz (clock rate of 200 MHz) for the processor bus and consequently also high-powered models of processors from Intel, for the given motherboard became possible thanks to implementation of modes of dispersal. By the way, in a case of loss of stability of system operation in extremal modes of dispersal to the aid of admirers of such modes firm function ASUS C.P.R will come. (CPU Parameter Recall — return of parametres CPU). It will provide reboot with return of regular parametres that will return stability of system.

Paying considerable attention to rise of productivity of the products, implementators of motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X of the users, aspiring to decorate the screen of the computer have not forgotten. For such users function ASUS MyLogo2 is provided. By means of this function it is possible to substitute the built in map output in loadtime, any another. Earlier used for these purposes ASUS MyLogo allowed to use the maps containing to 16 colours. The new version of the given function which have received name MyLogo2, number of supported colours it is increased to 256. Thanks to this function users have a possibility samovyrazitsja and to improve appearance of system. However, it has no ratio to productivity and stability of system operation.

In the architecture of a firmware of motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X resources of rise of dependability and stability of operation of the computer system created on the basis of this card are provided. Even in case of glitch or loss of the information which sometimes occur by operation BIOS, processing technique ASUS CrashFree BIOS 2 allows to reboot and fulfil intellectual function of selfrecovery BIOS with the help a compact set of a disk of support of the motherboard. Firm development ASUS EZ Flash is intended the similar purpose

Rise of dependability and stability of operation is promoted by implementation of the hardware monitoring providing the control over supply voltages and operation of cooling fans. This possibility considerably simplifies the control over hardware of the computer in case of usage of modes of dispersal.

Following major parametres are inspected: power of processor Vcore, levels of standard power rails +3,3, +5 and +12 In; temperature of the processor and the motherboard, a rotating speed of two fans.

One more feature of ASUSP4V8X-X architecture is usage of a three-channel variant of a pulse converter of powers — VRM though many manufacturers of motherboards use already fourline solutions. Nevertheless, testing has shown high stability of operation of the card, that, generally speaking, was not unexpected for a product from the eminent manufacturer.

Fig. 12. A three-channel pulse converter of powers (VRM) motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X

By the way, layout VRM as, however, and orientation of the processor plug, differ from their traditional layout in standard dizajnah the motherboards recommended by implementators of a chip set and processors a little. The sheaf a socket-VRM is turned on 90 degrees clockwise. As a result of the given changes the processor plug has appeared drifted to card centre that allows to use coolers of the big size on a plan of implementators. Moving VRM, apparently, improves its thermal modes of maintenance as a part of the motherboard.

In a three-channel impulse surge protector of the processor which topology in many respects reminds, for example, VRM from ASUSP4С800 and ASUSP4С800 Deluxe, 7 capacitors on 1500 mkf and 3 on 1200 mkf are applied. On this card there are also separate stabilising devices of power supply of buses AGP and dynamic storage units.

In summary, it is necessary to mark, that on width of a package and a set of functional resources motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X though cannot compete, for example, with topovoj model ASUSP4С800 Deluxe, however it is much cheaper. It allows potential users to receive the efficient motherboard from the eminent manufacturer with all attributes linked, for example, with relying support. Thus all is gained for essentially more modest financial assets, than, for example, in case of High End-cards ASUSTeK. Besides, motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X possesses RAID functionality, ports Serial ATA, AGP 8Х, the integrated network adapter, ports USB 2.0, and also the unique functions ASUSTeK, facilitating customisation and computer maintenance. All these features realised in an inexpensive product from the eminent manufacturer, do the given card by very cost effective solution.

Testing has shown high stability of operation of card ASUSP4V8X-X and its rather high productivity, but about it in one of following articles.

Motherboard ASUSP4V8X-X can be recommended a wide range of users.

Motherboard ASUS P4V8X-X is given by the Moscow representation of ASUSTeK corporation

Article is published in log the Computer the Price (Computer Price).

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