AMD Duron and Gigabyte's GA7ZM KT133 Motherboard

The AMD Duron and Gigabyte's GA7ZM KT133 Motherboard - Page 1

The AMD Duron
Gigabyte's GA-7ZM KT133 Motherboard

Compact Economy and Performance

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla

It looks as if AMD is here to stay with their X86 processor offering.  Finally there is a viable and worthy opponent to the all mighty Intel.  This year AMD is giving Intel a run for their money with a host of processors that compete head to head in every market segment that Intel's PC product line plays.  The AMD Duron Processor is their answer to the Intel Celeron.  By the way, have you ever thought about the "Duron" name?  "DuRON"... "CeleRON", you can bet that was intentional.  In any event, the Duron boasts 192K of on chip cache, 128K Level 1 and 64K L2.  With the integration of this full speed on chip cache, AMD's "Spitfire" core is well equipped to compete not only with Celerons but Coppermine Processors as well.

Durons in stock now at MicroX-Press!

Beyond that, the Duron's 200MHz. (100MHz. DDR) EV6 System Bus has a serious bandwidth advantage over the Celeron . We aren't going into a lot of detail with respect to the Duron specifications, you can reference this AMD side by side comparison to the Celeron, if you would like more detail.  Rather, this is a closer look at the current Motherboard Platform that supports the Duron, the VIA Apollo KT133 chipset and a motherboard that is designed around it, the Gigabyte GA-7ZM.

Specifications and Features Of The Gigabyte GA-7ZM
Micro ATX Economy - Duron Performance

(click for full view)

AMD? Athlon? /Duron? (K7) Socket A processor (256K/64K 2nd cache on die)
Supports 500MHz ~ 1GHz and faster
100/110*/115*/120*/124*/133* MHz FSB
AUTO detect CPU voltage

VIA VT8363 (KT133) Memory/AGP/PCI Controller
VIA VT82C686A PCI Super-I/O Integrated Peripheral Controller
AC97 codec

3 168-pin DIMM sockets
Supports PC-100 / PC-133 SDRAM and VCM SDRAM
Supports up to 1.5GB DRAM
Supports only 3.3V SDRAM DIMM

1 x AMR (Audio Modem Riser) slot (Inversely AMR card)
1 x AGP slot supports 4X mode & AGP 2.0 compliant
3 x PCI slots support 33MHz & PCI 2.2 compliant



2 x Ultra DMA 33/66 bus master IDE ports on board
1 x FDD, 2 x COM, 1 x LPT, PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 Mouse on board
1 x Joystick, 1 x Line-in, 1 x Line-out, 1 x MIC on board
2 x USB ports on board
2 x USB ports by cable (optional accessory)
IrDA TX / RX header ready

ATX power connector
Power-on by LAN, RTC, Modem & switch
Power-off by Windows® 95/98/2000 Shut down & Switch
Stop CPU fan during entering suspend mode

Micro ATX , 4 layer PCB (24.4 X 21.0cm)

CPU/System fan revolution detect
CPU/System temperature detect
System voltage detect (Vcore,VDD ,Vcc,+12V)
CPU overheat shutdown detect

Support Wake-On-LAN (WOL)
Support Internal/External modem ring on
Support USB K/B or mouse wake up from S3
Includes 3 fan power connectors
Poly fuse for keyboard over-current protection
Support STR (Suspend-To-RAM) function

Let's look at the obvious.  This is a "Socket A" board supporting Durons and Thunderbird Athlons (also Socket A with on die cache) only.  The VIA Apollo KT133 chipset that is driving this board has all of the exact same features as the VIA KX133 Slot A variety only it is setup to support the Socket A 462 pin PGA AMD processors. 

In addition, you get an ATA66 Controller, PC133 Memory support, AGP4X, on board sound (with the addition of  an AC97 Audio Codec) and health monitoring functions.  Yes, this is a "Micro ATX" board and while many of the HotHardware Elite may not be so high on the number of PCI slots (only 3), with its full list of features, this board could easily be the foundation of a budget base system that packs a wallop in performance.

You'll also notice that the board has several selectable Front Side Bus Speeds for over-clocking.  There is no multiplier setting however and no voltage adjustments to help your cause.  In addition, the FSB is set via a dip switch on the board itself versus the BIOS menu adjustments we have come accustomed to.  However, Gigabyte has a solution for this.

"Easy Tune III" makes its debute


Tags:  AMD, Gigabyte, Motherboard, T1, board, A7, AR, AM, and, K

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