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Asus A7M266-D, MSI K7D Master-L and Tyan Tiger MPX in the test: First look at AMD's dual mainboards

Asus A7M266-D, MSI K7D Master-L and Tyan Tiger MPX in the test: First look at AMD's dual mainboards

The A7M266-D from Asus

The second dual AMD board after the Tyan Tiger MP, apart from the expensive Tyan Thunder models, on the market. The revision before us still has the Southbridge bug, recognizable by the revision number B1, which prompted Asus to deactivate the on-board USB interfaces. A USB 2.0 PCI card is included with the mainboard as a replacement. You will also look in vain for a LAN interface on the A7M266-D.

Asus A7M266-D
Asus - Northbridge
Asus -Southbridge

When unpacking the mainboard, one immediately notices the mighty Northbridge cooler, which is sufficient for normal everyday use, but gets very hot at 57 degrees. You will look in vain for mounting wholes for screwed coolers. However, these would also be useless, as there is not enough space around the CPU socket to mount a large 80s cooler, the capacitors are too close to the socket. The assembly of a cooler with an intermediate size, such as the Thermaltake Volcano 7 with its 70mm x 68mm footprint, creates problems, as you have to protect the heat sink in some places with insulating tape from direct contact with the capacitors.

Asus - fan environment
Asus - Northbridge 2
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Asus - Volcano

For the power supply, the now mandatory 3 power plugs are required, which the two processors and the AGP-Pro slot with enough Supply electricity. Here you can also see the 'hole' in which the two USB ports should actually be located.

Asus - power connection

The jumpers for adjusting the CPU voltage are a bit unfortunate. Right at the bottom under the last PCI slot. This would certainly not be so bad if you expanded the board every time. But the built-in jumper block is only 1 cm from the floor of the tower, and you need a little skill and long tweezers to re-attach the four jumpersposition. As can be read in the manual, however, the adjustment of the voltage only has an effect on CPU 1. The voltage of CPU 2 remains unchanged, as can be checked in the BIOS.

Asus - Vcore Jumper

Equipment & scope of delivery

The A7M266-D is delivered with only a few accessories. This includes the already mandatory cables for the floppy drive and for the IDE connection. A USB 2.0 PCI card with four ports is included for connection to USB devices. You need that too, because the A7M266-D unfortunately has no on-board USB ports. A comprehensive manual for the board, a small manual for the USB card and a quick setup guide, which also contains a German part, are also included, as is a so-called quick reference card, which you can use in connection with the Quick Setup Guide, can provide a quick overview of the location of the various connections and components on the mainboard. In addition, there is a driver CD, an extra driver disk for the USB card and a cover plate for the external connections, which can be built into the PC housing and is precisely matched to the connections of the A7M266-D.

Asus - scope of delivery

The features of the Asus A7M266-D in detail

  • Form factor
    • Socket 462 ATX (30.5cm x 24.5cm)
  • Processor
    • Supports dual (Socket462) AMD Athlon MP/Duron MP
  • Chipset
    • AMD 760 MPX chipset
    • AMD 762 Northbridge (passively cooled)
    • AMD 768 Southbridge
  • RAM
    • 4x 184 pin DIMMS (DDR RAM)
    • Supports PC1600/2100DDR RAM with 2.5V
    • Max. Memory size: 4GB Registered DDR SDRAM or 2GB Unbuffered DDR SDRAM (Slot 1+ 2)
  • Expansion slots
    • 1x AGP Pro 4x slot
    • 2x 64 bit/66 MHz PCI slots
    • 3x 32 bit/33 MHz PCI slots
    • 4x fan connections (monitor capable)
    • 2 IDE ports (UDMA 33/66/100)
  • External connections
    • 1x parallel port
    • 2x serial ports
    • 4 USB 2.0 ports (via external PCI card)
    • 1x microphone in
    • 1x line in
    • 1x line out
  • Internal connections
    • 1x microphone in
    • 1x line in
    • 1x headphone connection
    • infrared transmitter/receiver connection
    • SMB bus connection
    • ASUS iPanel connection
    • Front panel audio connection
    • Chassis intrusion detection
  • Bios
    • 2 MBit Award Bios
    • Front Side Bus adjustable in 1 MHz steps in Bios (100-200MHz)
    • PC Health Monitoring
  • Special features
    • Dolby Digital 6-channel C-Media CMI8738 Sound
    • Asus COP
    • DDR RAM voltage adjustable 2.5V, 2.6V, 2.7V
  • Others Functions
    • Keyboard Power-On, Suspend To RAM
    • Wake-On-LAN, Wake-On-Modem, Wake-on USB-Device
    • CPU voltage adjustable via Jumper 1.075 to 1.85 V

The BIOS

Now we come to the BIOS of the Asus A7M266-D. As usual from Asus, almost nothing is left to be desired. Be it that you can check the status of the mainboard using the hardware monitor or that you can adapt the various memory timings perfectly to your memory. The overclockers were also thought of again. You can adjust the Front Side Bus (FSB) here in one MHz steps. The voltage of the CPUs is further increased with jumpers directly on the mainboard to 1.85 V. Unfortunately, however, it is not possible to adjust the multiplier of the CPUs.

On the next page: The MSI K7D Master-L