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Technical Impressions

The 815TX auto detects the CPU type and automatically chooses the proper CPU voltage. You may play with the voltage manually by using the JP11 jumper. When set to SHORT the CPU voltage will be 0.05V higher than normal, you canít chose any other voltage than these two options. The voltage regulator on the 815TX is capable of 1.3V ~ 3.5V to support different Central Processing Units, but again no manual choices can be done.

The front side bus adjustments can be done via the DIP-switches, or via BIOS. In order to control them via the BIOS, you will have to set your standard FSB (66-100-133). For example: In order to choose the 140MHz FSB, you will have to adjust the dip switches to call the 133MHz bus, and just then the BIOS will display the 133MHz+ choices.

The expansion of the 815TX mainboard can be considered minimal as it only features four PCI slots. Let me point out that for a 815 solution 4 PCI slots is close to not being acceptable. The 815 chipset allows a maximum of six PCI slots, and I canít understand why AZZA didnít bother going further, unless they targeted their 815TX for a low end OEM market. The board also features an AMR slot. I personally would prefer an extra PCI slot instead, but an AMR could always come in handy one day.

Three well-positioned DIMM slots are located near the upper IDE connectors. Each can house up to 512MB each, resulting in up to 1.5GB in memory. The positioning of the HDD/FDD connector ports is very comfortable, as they are out of the way of all other components on the motherboard. The ATX power supply connector is conveniently located next to the right portion of the FDD port. The layout itself is very well suited.

The 815TX board features a built in 3D Audio Chip provided from the AC-97 codec. This particular audio set is very similar to the sound-blaster 16 card, and should satisfy most users. However, if you are playing a lot of games or use a multi-channel sound system, you would be better with a normal high end audio card such as the SBLIVE or MX400. The implanted audio solution features two different audio connectors on the PCB. These connectors allow you to receive stereo audio input from sound sources such as a CD-ROM drive and TV Tuners. All that external outputs-inputs are of course also present.

The BIOS used on the 815TX board are not the AWARD BIOS that are used in most of todayís boards; instead, AZZA used the PHOENIX BIOS Software. Phoenix is also a part of the AWARD BIOS company; itís just that Phoenix is generally targeted more for the low-end motherboards. I couldnít confirm it now, but if you look at the CPU-FPU benchmarks of the 815TX, the results in some scenes are weak. Could the PHOENIX BIOS cause the problem? Could a BIOS update resolve the problem? I couldnít comment on this one at the moment, but Il keep you up to date in the days to come when Il get the chance to talk to AZZAís personnel.

Maybe this is less important, but it is definitely worth mentioning: the placement of the CMOS reset jumper. Itís situated at the very bottom of the board and is very easy to access when compared to other motherboards, which in some cases, require removing the cards in order to access it.

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