Asus A7A266-E in the test: The 3rd generation of the ALi MAGiK 1

Asus A7A266-E in the test: The 3rd generation of the ALi MAGiK 1


Not only more or less successful cinema films are enjoying one or the other sequel that is only slightly different from their predecessor. Recycling and tuning of existing technologies is also and especially in the chipset sector. In addition to VIA, who caused a sensation with their neatly refurbished KT266A, ALi was not too happy for an infusion of the MAGiK 1, the C1 stepping. Using the Asus A7A266-E, we were able to get an idea of ​​the increase in performance of the new edition.

The chipset: ALi MAGiK 1 - 'C1 Stepping'

When we did the first We examined the version of the ALi MAGiK 1 on the basis of the Asus A7A266 in our test computer, but we had two-part opinions about the ALi chip. On the one hand, its six 'INT inputs' made the chip or its southbridge one of the most compatible of all, on the other hand, the performance could only impress us to a limited extent; Overall, the MAGiK 1 turned out to be the slowest DDR RAM chipset.

However, according to ALi, a remedy was already being planned with the help of the socalled B0 steppings. However, this version never appeared on the market and more than a handful of hardware sites have never seen the revision. In the end, the third version, the C1-Settings, made it to market readiness, which Asus was worth a remake of the A7A266 board, the A7A266-E.

Unfortunately, unlike VIA, ALi didn't think so necessary to provide information about the changes and innovations in the quilting and so we can only speculate. It is likely that the MAGiK 1 has also received a new or at least improved memory interface, as an optimized memory throughput has a direct effect on the overall performance of the system. The chip features, however, have remained the same and still include the plus point of the MAGiK 1. This has six and not four INT inputs and can therefore assign its own IRQ to each PCI slot. The 'sharing', which often leads to problems, is no longer necessary, and IRQ conflicts should be a thing of the past. For a better overview we have listed the properties of the current chipsets again in the following table.

The current DDR RAM chipsets
Comparison point SiS735 AMD760 KT266A MAGiK 1 Supported CPUs (AMD) Duron/Athlon Duron/Athlon Duron/Athlon Duron/Athlon Socket Socket A Socket A Socket A Socket A CPU Front Side Bus 200/266 MHz 200/266 MHz 200/266MHz 200/266MHz Memory type DDR Yes Yes Yes Yes SDR Yes - Yes Yes VC -SDRAM - - Yes - RAM clock SDR 100/133MHz Yes/Yes - Yes/Yes Yes/Yes DDR 200/266MHz Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Asynchronous operation Yes No Yes Yes Maximum memory expansion 1.5 GB 4 GB 4 GB 3 GBDIMM slots 3 (6 banks) 4 (8 banks) 4 (8 banks) 3 (6 banks) AGP 2x/4x Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Extras I/O Link (1GB/s) Super Bypass V-Link (266MB/s) - PCI slots 6 6 6 5 ISA bus - Yes - - ATA 33/66/100 Yes Yes Yes Yes USB ports 6 4 6 6 Integrated modem solution Yes Yes Yes Yes Integrated sound solution Yes Yes Yes Yes AMR/CNR Yes Yes Yes Yes Lan Yes - Yes No

If you have any further questions about the ALi MAGiK 1 chipset, please refer to the corresponding review of the A7A266 .

On the next page: Scope of delivery and documentation