Article Author :Ian Date : 27th Nov 2002 Comments :
VIA have long been making chipsets for a wide range of CPUs, more recently focusing on the AMD range of processors. With the debut of the P4X266 chipset (the revision before the one used in this motherboard), there were a few legal problems with Intel, claiming that VIA did not have the correct licenses required to produce a chipset for Intel's own P4 range of CPUs. With very few motherboard manufacturers basing a motherboard on this quite reliable chipset, VIA was forced to take matters in to its own hands and produce motherboards based on its own chipsets themselves (much like Intel already do). This motherboard is based on the newer revision of that very same chipset, now the P4X266A.
VIA P4PA Motherboard
This motherboard supports the latest P4 processors (478 Pin 400/533Mhz FSB) with integrated AC97 audio, LAN adapted, USB 2.0 and ATA-133 support - this is quite a hefty amount of onboard peripherals, but standard for any high end motherboard. Downloading the latest BIOS is highly recommended as it allows for 533Mhz FSB support on older versions of the board.
Socket 478 CPUs
Form Factor : 305mm x 225mm
3GB PC1600/2100 DDR SDRAM (3 Slots)
1.85V CPU Voltage Max
1 x AGP, 6 x PCI, 1 x CNR
ATA 66/100/133 support
Realtek 10/100 Onboard LAN (optional)
2 x USB 2.0 Ports, 2 x USB 1.1 Ports
VIA AC97 Onboard Audio
Strangely enough, VIA opt for the Realtek LAN adapter as opposed to their own brand - we aren't sure why this is, considering they would benefit from using their own. All of the integrated components are a good bonus, and most are certainly good enough - with the exception of the audio solution, as it is the most basic type available and would only really be suited to the most basic of systems.
2 Port USB 2.0 Bracket
1 x ATA133 Cable, 1 x ATA-33 Cable, 1 x Floppy Cable
Custom I/O Shield
Board Layout Sticker
CD Audio Cable
The P4PA comes in a standard motherboard box with standard extras included, although they do include a dual USB 1.1 bracket. The usual components are all included and allow you to get your system up and running without any extra cables.
The Custom I/O shield is needed for the LAN variant of the board, due to the LAN connection taking place above the USB ports. The standard version of the motherboard is PC99 compliant and will work with the usual ATX I/O shield.