Gigabyte's GA-7VX KX-133 Based Motherboard
Does the tradition live on?

By, Marco “BigWop” Chiappetta
September 22, 2000

In the "Athlon Community", there was much anticipation for a chipset that would really let the performance of AMD's new flagship processor stand out.   The original Iron-Gate chipset was marred with a few minor glitches that disappointed many power users.  Not being able to run their new high-end graphics card at AGP 2X or constantly having to upgrade chipset drivers only to have a new incompatibility arise was a real turn off. 

Enter VIA Technologies.  With Intel floundering after the launch of the i820, VIA had a string of success with their Apollo Pro series of chipsets.  The Apollo 133a was released at the perfect moment, offering AGP4X, UDMA/66 and true 133MHz FSB support.  At the time, the Apollo 133a was arguably the best all around platform for Intel Coppermine processors; it had more features than the BX chipset and all of the features of the i820 without having to sell a limb to buy RDRAM. So, why not bring all of these features to the AMD platform? Well, VIA did just that with the KX133 Chipset and the AMD -vs.- Intel battle raged on.

Today we'll be taking a look at one of Gigabyte's KX133 Athlon motherboards, the GA-7VX.  Gigabyte is well known for building top-shelf, well rounded products and the GA-7VX is just that.  Here's a quick rundown of what the GA-7VX brings to the table...

Specifications of the Gigabyte GA-7VX
Slot A with features to spare...

Gigabyte's GA-7VX Specifications


  • Slot A for AMD-K7 Athlon 200MHz FSB processors

  • 100/110*/115*/120*/124*/129*
    /133*/138*/143* MHz FSB 

  • AUTO detect CPU voltage


  • VIA KX133 North Bridge

  • VIA 686A South Bridge

  • Creative CT5880 PCI sound


  • 32MB to 1.5GB memory size

  • 3 x DIMM sockets

  • Supports 32/64/128/256/512 MB SDRAM DIMM module

  • Supports ECC type DIMM module (72bits)


  • 1 x AMR (Audio Modem Riser) slot

  • 1 x AGP slot supports 2X/4X mode

  • 5 x PCI slot supports 33MHz & PCI 2.2 compliant

  • 1 x ISA slot


  • 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


  • VIA 4 in 1 service pack utility

  • Creative PCI sound driver

  • Hardware monitor utility




  • ATX power connector

  • Power-on by LAN, RTC, Modem & switch

  • Power-off by Windows® 98 Shut down & Switch

  • Supports USB device wake-up

  • 3 level ACPI LED support

  • Stop CPU fan during entering suspend mode


  • Auto speed down and Alarm when CPU overheat or Fan failure (OS independent & Driverless)

  • 3 fan power & speed detection connectors

  • Stop CPU fan during entering suspend mode

  • System health status detect & report by BIOS

  • H/W detect +5V, +12V, CPU voltage & CMOS battery status


  • Includes DualBIOS™ Technology; 2Mbit Flash RAM

  • AMI BIOS with enhanced ACPI feature for PC98 / Win98/Win2000 compliance, Green, PnP, DMI, INT13 (>8.4GB) & Anti-Virus functions

  • IDE#1~#4, SCSI, LS120, ZIP & CD-ROM bootable

  • AC recovery ON/OFF control

  • Auto-detect & report system health status


  • ATX , 4 layer PCB (30.8* 22.0 cm)


  • Suspend-To-RAM (STR)

  • Includes Wake-On-LAN Header (WOL)

  • Includes Wake-On-Ring (WOR)

  • Poly fuse for keyboard, USB & game overcurrent protection

The specifications of the GA-7VX are fairly impressive.  There are two points that need to be brought to everyone’s attention though.  The GA-7VX isn’t an ideal choice for overclockers because it lacks FSB choices between 100MHz.-110MHz. and then jumps from 110MHz.-115MHz. And on up from there.  The second thing that may disappoint the overclocking crowd is that the limited set of FSBs are only selectable via dip switches on the board…sort of...more on this later.


 Installation, Setup and Overclocking