User Manual
Product Name:
Manual Revision:
Release Date:
1.00 E1086
October 2002
Copyright © 2002 ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this manual, including the products and software described in it, may be reproduced,
transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in any
form or by any means, except documentation kept by the purchaser for backup purposes,
without the express written permission of ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. (“ASUS”).
Product warranty or service will not be extended if: (1) the product is repaired, modified or
altered, unless such repair, modification of alteration is authorized in writing by ASUS; or (2)
the serial number of the product is defaced or missing.
Products and corporate names appearing in this manual may or may not be registered
trademarks or copyrights of their respective companies, and are used only for identification
or explanation and to the owners’ benefit, without intent to infringe.
The product name and revision number are both printed on the product itself. Manual revisions
are released for each product design represented by the digit before and after the period of
the manual revision number. Manual updates are represented by the third digit in the manual
revision number.
For previous or updated manuals, BIOS, drivers, or product release information, contact
ASUS at: http://www.asus.com or through any of the means indicated on the following page.
About this guide
This user manual contains complete information for installing the ASUS
A7N8X motherboard.
How this guide is organized
Chapter 1: Product introduction. A summary of product features and
special attributes of new technologies.
Chapter 2: Hardware information. A list of hardware setup procedures
and descriptions of all jumpers and connectors on the motherboard.
Chapter 3: Powering up. Describes the power up sequence with
information on BIOS beep codes.
Chapter 4: BIOS setup. How to change system settings using onboard
BIOS firmware. Detailed descriptions of the BIOS parameters are supplied.
Chapter 5: Software support. A summary of contents on the
motherboard support CD ROM.
Appendix and Glossary. Optional components and technical definitions.
Conventions used in this guide
To make sure that you perform set-up tasks properly, take note of the following
symbols used throughout this manual.
WARNING! Information to prevent injury to yourself.
CAUTION! Information to prevent damage to the components.
IMPORTANT! Information that you MUST follow to complete a task.
NOTE! Tips and helpful information.
1. NVIDIA nForce Audio Panel Manual
2. Silicon Image Sil 3112 SATALink Controller Driver Installation
3. SATARAID Software User’s Manual
About this guide .......................................................................................... iii
How this guide is organized ............................................................... iii
Conventions used in this guide .......................................................... iii
Safety information ...................................................................................... vi
FCC/CDC statements ................................................................................. vii
ASUS contact information ......................................................................... viii
A7N8X Specifications summary ................................................................. ix
Chapter 1: Product introduction ............................................. 1
Welcome! .................................................................................................... 1
Package contents .............................................................................. 1
Core Specifications ........................................................................... 2
ASUS Special Features ..................................................................... 3
Motherboard Components ................................................................. 4
Special Features ............................................................................... 6
Chapter 2: Hardware information ............................................ 7
Motherboard installation .................................................................... 7
Layout contents ................................................................................. 9
Before you proceed ......................................................................... 10
Central Processing Unit (CPU) ........................................................ 11
System memory .............................................................................. 13
Expansion slots ............................................................................... 15
Jumpers .......................................................................................... 19
Connectors ...................................................................................... 22
Chapter 3: Powering up ......................................................... 35
Starting up for the first time .............................................................. 35
Vocal POST Messages ................................................................... 36
Powering-off the computer .............................................................. 38
Chapter 4: BIOS ..................................................................... 39
Managing and updating your BIOS .................................................. 39
BIOS Setup program ....................................................................... 42
Main Menu ...................................................................................... 46
Advanced Menu .............................................................................. 51
Advanced BIOS Features .................................................. 51
Advanced Chipset Features .............................................. 55
Integrated Peripherals ....................................................... 58
Power Management Setup ................................................ 61
PnP / PCI Configurations ................................................... 63
Security Menu ................................................................................. 65
Hardware Monitor Menu .................................................................. 66
Exit Menu ....................................................................................... 68
Chapter 5: Software support ................................................. 71
Install an operating system .............................................................. 71
Support CD information ................................................................... 71
A7N8X Motherboard Support CD .................................................... 72
Installation Procedure ........................................................ 72
Installation of PCI Drivers: Win98 ...................................... 73
ASUS PC Probe .............................................................................. 74
ASUS Live Update .......................................................................... 79
3Deep Color Tuner .......................................................................... 80
NVIDIA nForce Control Panel .......................................................... 82
Winbond Editor ................................................................................ 87
RAID 0/1 Configurations .................................................................. 90
Chapter 6: Appendix .............................................................. 93
Glossary .......................................................................................... 93
Troubleshooting ............................................................................... 97
Index ........................................................................................ 99
Safety information
Electrical safety
• To prevent electrical shock hazard, disconnect the power cable from the
electrical outlet before relocating the system.
• When adding or removing devices to or from the system, ensure that the
power cables for the devices are unplugged before the signal cables are
connected. Disconnect all power cables from the existing system before
you add a device.
• Before connecting or removing signal cables from the motherboard, ensure
that all power cables are unplugged.
• Seek professional assistance before using an adpater or extension cord.
These devices could interrupt the grounding circuit.
• Make sure that your power supply is set to the voltage available in your
• If the power supply is broken, contact a qualified service technician or your
Operational safety
• Before installing the motherboard and adding new devices, carefully read
all the manuals that came with the package.
• Before use ensure all cables are correctly connected and the power cables
are not damaged. If you detect any damage, contact the dealer immediately.
• To avoid short circuits, keep paper clips, screws, and staples away from
connectors, slots, sockets and circuitry.
• Avoid dust, humidity, and temperature extremes. Do not place the product
in any area where it may become wet.
• Mount the motherboard inside a standard PC enclosure.
• If you encounter technical problems with the product, contact a qualified
service technician or the dealer.
FCC/CDC statements
Federal Communications Commission Statement
This device complies with FCC Rules Part 15. Operation is subject to the
following two conditions:
This device may not cause harmful interference, and
This device must accept any interference received including interference
that may cause undesired operation.
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a
Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits
are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference
in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate
radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with
manufacturer’s instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio
communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not
occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful
interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by
turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the
interference by one or more of the following measures:
• Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
• Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
• Connect the equipment to an outlet on a circuit different from that to
which the receiver is connected.
• Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
The use of shielded cables for connection of the monitor to the
graphics card is required to assure compliance with FCC regulations.
Changes or modifications to this unit not expressly approved by the
party responsible for compliance could void the user’s authority to
operate this equipment.
Canadian Department of Communications Statement
This digital apparatus does not exceed the Class B limits for radio noise
emissions from digital apparatus set out in the Radio Interference
Regulations of the Canadian Department of Communications.
This class B digital apparatus complies with Canadian ICES-003.
ASUS contact information
150 Li-Te Road, Peitou, Taipei, Taiwan 112
Technical Support
Tel (English):
Tel (Chinese):
6737 Mowry Avenue, Mowry Business Center, Building 2
Newark, CA 94560, USA
Technical Support
Harkortstr. 25, 40880 Ratingen, BRD, Germany
sales@asuscom.de (for marketing requests only)
Technical Support
Support (Email):
MB/Others: +49-2102-9599-0
Notebook: +49-2102-9599-10
www.asuscom.de/de/support (for online support)
A7N8X specifications summary
Socket A for AMD Athlon XP/Athlon/Duron up to 2.8 GHz+
333 MHz FSB Support
Northbridge: NVIDIA® nForce2 SPP
Southbridge: NVIDIA® nForce2 MCP-T (Deluxe Model)/MCP
Front Side Bus (FSB)
3 x 168-pin DDR DIMM Sockets
Max. 3 GB unbuffered PC3200/2700/2100/1600 non-ECC
DDR RAM memory. Dual-Channel DDR400 support.
(Visit ASUS website for latest qualified DDR400 module list.)
Expansion slots
5 x PCI
1 x AGP Pro/8X (1.5V only)
2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33
Serial ATA (optional)
Silicon Image Sil 3112A Controller with 2 Ports
(Supports RAID 0/1) (Deluxe model only)
Audio (optional)
Realtek ALC650 6CH with built-in HP amplifier
Integrated APU (Audio Processor Unit) (Deluxe model only)
SoundStorm™/Dolby® Digital (AC-3) Encoder
(Deluxe model only)
LAN (optional)
2 Ports
MCP integrated NVIDIA MAC + Realtek 8201BL PHY
MCP integrated 3Com MAC + BroadCom AC101L PHY
(Deluxe model only)
1394 (optional)
2 Ports MCP-T integrated IEEE 1394a + Realtek PHY
8801B (Deluxe model only)
Special Features
ASUS Q-Fan Technology
ASUS POST Reporter (Deluxe model only)
ASUS C.O.P. (CPU Overheating Protection)
Power Loss Restart
CPU Throttle
Support S/PDIF in/out (optional)
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x Parallel
1 x Serial
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x S/PDIF out + 1 x Surround L/R audio jack + 1 x CNTR/
LFE audio jack (Deluxe model only)
1 x Audio I/O
2 x RJ-45 Port (3COM RJ-45 port - Deluxe model only)
4 x USB 2.0
(continued on the next page)
A7N8X specifications summary
Internal I/O
2 x USB 2.0 connector supports additional 2 USB 2.0 ports
Game connector
CPU/Power/Chassis FAN connectors
20-pin ATX Power connector
IDE LED connector, Power LED connector
2 x SATA connector (Deluxe model only)
2 x 1394 connector (Deluxe model only)
WOR, WOL, Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus, SIR
Headphone (optional)
Front MIC (optional)
CD / AUX / Modem audio in
Front Panel Audio connector (optional)
BIOS features
4Mb Flash ROM, Award BIOS, TCAV, PnP, DMI2.0, DMI,
Industry standard
PCI 2.2, USB 1.1/2.0.
DMI 2.0, WOL, WOR, Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus
Support CD contents
Device drivers
Trend Microtm PC-cillin 2002 anti-virus software
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
InterVideo WinCinema (optional)
User’s manual
Support CD
SATA cable (Deluxe model only)
2-port 1394 Bracket (Deluxe model only)
1 x UltraDMA 33 cable
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
FDD cable
9-pin COM cable
2-port USB/Game port bracket (Deluxe model only)
I/O shield
Form Factor
ATX form factor: 12 in x 9.6 in
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
Chapter 1
Product introduction
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
Thank you for buying the ASUS® A7N8X motherboard!
The A7N8X is powered by AMD® Athlon™, Athlon™ XP and Duron™ processors
and supplies advanced features to ensure long-lasting, superlative
performance. The ASUS® A7N8X motherboard is the prime choice for home
PCs and workstations.
~ Up to 3 GB of DDR RAM
~ New ultra-compact Serial ATA IDE connectors. (optional)
~ High-resolution graphics via an AGP 8X slot
~ Digital Audio Interface for 3D sound
~ Onboard LAN PHY for instant networking (optional)
~ Four USB ports plus one header for two more
~ UltraDMA133 data rates
The A7N8X is the perfect vehicle to get ahead in the world of power computing!
Package contents
Check your A7N8X package for the following items.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard (ATX form factor: 12 in x 9.6 in)
ASUS A7N8X support CD
ASUS 2-port USB / Game port module (optional)
40-pin 80 conductor UltraDMA133/100/66/33 IDE ribbon cable
Ribbon cable for a 3.5-inch floppy drive
COM 2 bracket
I/O shield
Bag of extra jumper caps
User Guide
2 pcs. Serial ATA Cable (optional)
2 pcs. ASUS IEEE 1394 2-port bracket (optional)
2 pcs. ASUS IEEE 1394 cable (optional)
If any of the above items is damaged or missing, contact your retailer.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Core Specifications
The A7N8X motherboard is designed and assembled according to the highest
standards. This ASUS motherboard represents the latest advances and
offers users the finest componentry available today...
AMD® Athlon™/ Athlon™ XP and Duron™ Socket A (462) Processor
North Bridge Chipset: the nVidia® nForce2™ SPP North Bridge controller
chipset. The controller supports a 64/128bit DDR memory controller and
up to 3 GB of 400/333/266/200MHz DDR memory. The 128bit memory
controller provides a exceptional 6.4 GB/second system memory
South Bridge Chipset: Features the brand new nVidia® nForce2™ MCP-T/
MCP integrated peripheral South Bridge controller operates at 800MB/
sec to communicate with the North Bridge for maximum bandwith required
for PCI, USB and support for Fast Ethernet devices. The chipset has an
integrated APU (Audio Processing Unit) for Dolby ™ digital
encoding(optional). The controller supports standard UltraDMA133/100/
66/33 for burst mode data transfer rates of up to 133MB/sec. Separate
data paths for each IDE channel are built-in for up to two IDE devices.
The controller supports 2 IEEE 1394 ports (optional), six USB ports, two
LAN ports (optional), and is PCI rev2.2 compliant. The MCP-T/MCP
supplies an LPC 1.0 interface along with AT legacy functions, a clock
synthesizer and meets ACPI 1.0 and PCI Power Management 1.1
PC3200 / PC2700 DDR Support: Equipped with three Double Data Rate
Dual Inline Memory Module (DDR DIMM) sockets to support up to 3GB of
DDR DRAM, the newest memory standard with the highest bandwidth
and lowest latency currently available. This new memory technology
supplies data transfer rates up to 6.4 GB/s for 400MHz DDR SDRAM
and 5.4GB/s for 333MHz DDR SDRAM.
UltraDMA133/100 Support: Comes with an onboard PCI Bus Master IDE
controller with two connectors that support four IDE devices on two
channels. Supports UltraDMA133/100/66/33, PIO Modes 3 & 4, Bus
Master IDE DMA Mode 2, and Enhanced IDE devices, such as DVDROM, CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, LS-120, and Tape Backup drives.
Multi-I/O Chipset: ITE IT8708 offers support for a variety of I/O functions.
Provides two high-speed UART compatible serial ports and one parallel
port with EPP and ECP capabilities. UART2 can also be directed from
COM2 to the Infrared Module for wireless connections. The Super I/O
controller supports a floppy disk drive, PS/2 keyboard, and PS/2 mouse.
Chapter 1: Product introduction
Connections: Parallel Port, PS/2 mouse Port, PS/2 keyboard, four USB
ports, two LAN ports (optional), Surround L/R audio jack(optional), CNTR/
LFE audio jack(optional), COM port, Microphone, Line In Jack, Line Out
Jack, S/PDIF_OUT (optional), ATX power.
Expansion: One AGP Pro 8X, a USB header, two serial ATA IDE connectors
(optional), two 1394 connectors (optional), COM port header, five PCI
slots, S/PDIF digital audio connector (optional), front audio panel
connector, game port header.
ASUS Special Features
ASUS POST Reporter™
A7N8X offers the ASUS POST Reporter™ to provide friendly voice
messages and alerts during the Power-On Self-Test (POST). Through
an added external speaker, messages inform you of system boot
status and causes of boot errors. Bundled Winbond™ Voice Editor
software helpsa you customize voice messages, and offers multilanguage support.
ASUS Q-Fan Technology
The ASUS Q-Fan technology smartly adjusts the fan speeds according
to the system loading to ensure quiet, cool, and efficient operation.
C.O.P. (CPU Overheating Protection):
With AMD® Athlon XP™ installed, the motherboard offers automatic CPU
Overheating Protection to prolong the life of the entire system. If the CPU
temperature exceeds the set criteria, the PC shuts down automatically.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Motherboard Components
Multi-I/O controller 9
Before installing the A7N8X motherboard, take time to familiarize yourself
with its configuration:
Socket A for AMD® Athlon™ and Duron™ Processors ....... 1
nVidia® nForce2™ SPP North Bridge ................................ 2
4Mbit Programmable Flash EEPROM ............................. 7
nVidia® nForce2™ MCP-T/MCP South Bridge .................. 8
Multi-I/O controller ........................................................... 9
Serial ATA Controller ...................................................... 18
1394 PHY Realtek 8801B .............................................. 22
Main Memory Maximum 3GB support
3 DDR DIMM Sockets ...................................................... 3
Expansion Slots 5 PCI Slots ..................................................................... 20
1 Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) Pro Slot ................. 31
System I/O 1 Floppy Disk Drive Connector ........................................ 5
2 IDE Connectors (UltraDMA133/100/66 Support) .......... 6
1 COM2 Header ............................................................. 10
1 Gameport Connector ................................................... 11
1 Infrared Connector ...................................................... 12
1 Panel Connector ......................................................... 13
1 SM Bus Connector ...................................................... 14
USB Headers (Ports 5/6) ............................................... 15
Serial ATA Headers ........................................................ 17
Modem Connector ......................................................... 21
IEEE 1394 Headers ....................................................... 23
S/PDIF Connector .......................................................... 24
1 PS/2 Mouse Connector .................................. (green) 32
1 PS/2 Keyboard Connector ............................ (purple) 45
RJ45 Connector (3COM LAN Controller) ...................... 33
RJ45 Connector (NVIDIA LAN Controller) ..................... 35
1 Parallel Port ................................................................ 34
USB Connectors (Ports 3/4) .......................................... 44
USB Connectors (Ports 1/2) .......................................... 39
1 Serial Ports (COM1) ................................................... 43
Hardware Monitoring System Voltage Monitor (integrated in ASUS ASIC) ...... 16
Special Feature Onboard LED (Green) ................................................... 19
Onboard AGP Warning LED (Red) ................................ 29
Network Feature Realtek 8201BL PHY .................................................... 28
BroadCom PHY ............................................................ 30
3Com LAN ..................................................................... 33
NVIDIA LAN ................................................................... 35
Audio Features Audio Codec .................................................................. 25
CD / AUX Audio Connectors .......................................... 26
Front Panel Audio Connectors ....................................... 27
1 Line In Connector .................................... (light blue) 36
1 Line Out Connector ........................................... (lime) 37
1 Microphone Connector ..................................... (pink) 38
1 S/PDIF out Connector ................................... (yellow) 40
1 Surround L/R audio Connector ....................... (violet) 41
1 CNTR / LFE Connector ................................ (orange) 42
Power ATX Power Supply Connector ......................................... 4
Form Factor ATX
Processor Support
Chapter 1: Product introduction
1.4.1 Component Locations
1 2
4 5
18 17
15 14
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Special Features
Serial ATA: Silicon Image supplies the Sil-3112A chipset, supporting the
ultra-compact 7-pin Serial-ATA IDE device support.
Dual LAN/DualNet: Two south bridge integrated 3COM and Nvidia LAN
controllers supply two separate outputs for the network. (optional)
IEEE 1394: Two header support a multiplicity of connections for IEEE 1394
compatible devices. (optional)
Temperature, Fan and Voltage Monitoring: CPU temperature is monitored
by ASUS ASIC through a thermal sensor mounted under the CPU. The
sensor signals the computer to prevent overheating and damage. The
CPU and system fans can be monitored for RPM and failure. System
voltage levels are monitored to ensure stable current to critical
motherboard components.
ACPI Ready: Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI) provides more
Energy Saving Features for operating systems that support OS Direct
Power Management (OSPM).
Concurrent PCI: Concurrent PCI allows multiple PCI transfers from PCI
master busses to the memory and processor.
Auto Fan Off: The system fans powers off automatically even in sleep mode.
Dual Function Power Button: Push the power button for less than 4 seconds
when the system is operating places the system into sleep or soft-off
modes; press the power button for more than 4 seconds, and the system
enters the soft-off mode regardless of the BIOS setting.
Dolby™ Integrated Audio: MCP-T South bridge integrated Audio Processing
Unit (APU) for Dolby™ Digital Encoding. (optional)
Dual Channel DDR 400: The 128-bit TwinBank DDR Memory architecture
doubles the DDR 400 (PC3200) bandwidth. System bottlenecks are
eliminated with balanced architecture and peak bandwidths up to
6.4 GB/s
Chapter 2
Hardware information
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
Motherboard installation
The A7N8X uses the ATX form factor, measuring 24.5 cm
(9.6 in.) x 30.5 cm (12.0 in.) - a standard fit for most large chassis.
WARNING! Unplug the power cord before installing the motherboard.
Failure to do so may cause you physical injury and damage motherboard
2.1.1 Placement direction
When installing the motherboard, take care to orient the chassis correctly:
The edge with external ports goes to the rear part of the chassis. Refer to the
image below. It may be more convenient to install major cables, the CPU
and modular components before fixing the motherboard inside the case frame.
2.1.2 Screw holes
Place nine (9) screws into the holes indicated by circles to secure the
motherboard to the chassis.
CAUTION! Do not overtighten the screws! Doing so may damage the
Place this side towards
the rear of the chassis
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
24.5cm (9.64in)
T: Mouse
B: Keyboard
Socket 462
USB1 RJ-45
Top:Line In
Center:Line Out
Below:Mic In
Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP Pro)
CR2032 3V
Lithium Cell
CMOS Power
30.5cm (12.0in)
DDR DIMM3 (64/72 bit, 184-pin module)
4 5
DDR DIMM2 (64/72 bit, 184-pin module)
DDR DIMM1 (64/72 bit, 184-pin module)
0 1 2 3
ATX Power Connector
USB3 RJ-45
with Hardware
Optional components are grayed in the above motherboard layout.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
Layout contents
CPU, Memory and Expansion Slots
1) Socket 462
p. 11 CPU Support
2) DIMM 1/2/3
p. 13 System Memory Support
3) PCI 1/2/3/4/5
p. 15 32-bit PCI Bus Expansion Slots
4) AGP Pro 8x
p. 18 Accelerated Graphics Slot
Motherboard Settings (Jumpers)
p. 19 Serial ATA Setting (3 pin)
p. 19 Keyboard Wake Up (3 pin)
3) USBPWR12, 34, 56 p. 20 USB Device Wake-up (2x3 pin)
p. 21 Clear RTC/CMOS RAM (3 Pin)
3) USB
4) COM2
5) RJ45
12) IR_CON1
13) CPU_FAN1
14) 1394HEAD
16) SMB
18) SPDIF1
19) USB_56
21) GAME
24) PWR_LED (Panel)
25) KEYLOCK (Panel)
26) SPEAKER (Panel)
27) SMI (Panel)
28) PWR (Panel)
29) RESET (Panel)
p. 22
p. 22
p. 23
p. 23
p. 24
p. 24
p. 25
p. 25
p. 26
p. 26
p. 27
p. 27
p. 28
p. 28
p. 29
p. 29
p. 30
p. 30
p. 31
p. 31
p. 32
p. 32
p. 33
p. 33
p. 33
p. 33
p. 34
p. 34
p. 34
PS/2 Mouse Port (6 pin female)
PS/2 Keyboard Port (6 pin female)
Universal Serial Bus Ports 1 & 2 (2 x 4 pin female)
Serial Port and Header (9 pin male, 10-1 pin male)
Fast-Ethernet Port Connector (4 pin) (Optional)
Parallel Port (25 pin female)
Audio Connectors (Six 1/8” jacks)
IDE Activity LED (Two 40-1 pin)
Floppy Disk Drive Connector (34-1 pin)
IDE Connectors (2 x 40-1 pin)
SATA Serial ATA Connectors (2 x 7-pin)
ASUS Front Panel Audio Connector (10 pin)
CPU Fan Connector (3 pin)
IEEE-1394 Header (8-pin) (Optional)
Power Supply Connectors (20 pin block)
SMBus Connector (6-1 pin)
Internal Audio Connectors (2 x 4 pin ) (Optional)
Digital Audio Interfaces (6 pin) (Optional)
USB Headers (10-1 pin)
Power Supply Thermal Sensor (2-pin ) (Optional)
Game Connector (16-1 pin)
Chassis Open Alarm Lead (4-1 pin)
Front Panel Audio (10-1 pin)
System Power LED Lead (3-1 pin )
Keyboard Lock Switch Lead (2 pin )
System Warning Speaker Lead (4 pin )
System Management Interrupt Lead (2 pin)
ATX Power Switch / Soft-Off Switch Lead (2 pin)
Reset Switch Lead (2 pin)
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Before you proceed
Take note of the following precautions before you install motherboard
components or change any motherboard settings.
1. Unplug the power cord from the wall socket before touching
2. Use a grounded wrist strap or touch a safely grounded object or to a
metal object, such as the power supply case, before handling
components to avoid damaging them due to static electricity.
3. Hold components by the edges and do not to touch the ICs on them.
4. Whenever you uninstall any component, place it on a grounded
antistatic pad or in the bag that came with the component.
5. Before you install or remove any component, ensure that the
ATX power supply is switched off or the power cord is detached
from the power supply. Failure to do so may cause severe damage
to the motherboard, peripherals, and/or components.
NOTE! When lit, the onboard GREEN LED indicates that the system is
ON, in sleep mode or in soft-off mode, not powered OFF. See the
illustration below. The RED LED warns if the AGP card is incorrectly
installed, or is the wrong type of card for this particular motherboard.
AGP Card
AGP Card
A7N8X Onboard LED
Chapter 2: Hardware information
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
2.4.1 Overview
The motherboard provides a Socket A (462) for CPU installation. AMD
processors offer gigahertz speeds to support all the latest computing platforms
and applications. The A7N8X supports Athlon™ XP processors with
“QuantiSpeed” data processing, large data caches, 3D enhancements and
333/266Mhz bus speeds.
A7N8X Socket 462
Each AMD CPU has a “marked” corner. This corner is usually indicated with
a notch, and/or a golden square or triangle. Refer to this indicator while
orienting the CPU. See the next page for installation details. A fan and
heatsink should be attached to the CPU to prevent overheating.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
2.4.2 Installing the CPU
Follow these steps to install a CPU:
1. Locate the Socket 462 and open it by
pulling the lever gently sideways away
from the socket. Then lift the lever
upwards. The socket lever must be fully
opened (90 to 100 degrees).
2. Insert the CPU with the correct
orientation. The notched or golden
corner of the CPU must be oriented
toward the inner corner of the socket
base nearest to the lever hinge.
CAUTION! The CPU should drop easily into place. Do not force the
CPU into the socket to avoid bending the pins. If the CPU does not fit,
check its alignment and look for bent pins.
4. Once completely inserted, press the CPU firmly and close the socket
lever until it snaps shut.
5. Place the CPU fan and heatsink on the CPU. The heatsink should entirely
cover the CPU. Carefully attach the heatsink locking brace to the plastic
clips on the socket base. With the added weight of the CPU fan and
heatsink locking brace, no extra force is required to keep the CPU in
CAUTION! Take care not to scrape the motherboard surface when
mounting a clamp-style processor fan, or else damage may occur. When
mounting a heatsink onto your CPU, make sure that exposed CPU
capacitors do not touch the heatsink, or damage may occur!
NOTE! Do not neglect to set the correct Bus Frequency and leave the
CPU Multiple setting at default to avoid start-up problems.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
System memory
2.5.1 Overview
This motherboard uses only Double Data Rate (DDR) Synchronous Dynamic
Random Access Memory (SDRAM) Dual Inline Memory Modules (DIMMs).
These sockets support up to 1GB system memory using non-ECC PC400/
333/266/200 DIMMs.
Each DIMM socket/module is two-sided: each side defines one “row” of
memory. DIMMs come in combinations of single or double-sided types
ranging through 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB to form a total memory size
of 64MB to 1GB.
~ Three (3)) sockets are available for 400MHz-PC3200, 333MHz-PC2700,
266MHz-PC2100, or 200MHz-PC1600 DDR DIMMs to form a memory size
of 64MB to 1GB.
104 Pins
80 Pins
A7N8X 184-Pin DDR
DIMM Sockets
CAUTION! DIMMs are keyed to fit into notches with only one direction.
DO NOT force a DIMM into a socket to avoid damaging the DIMM.
DIMMs with more than 18 chips are not supported.
ASUS motherboards support SPD (Serial Presence Detect)DIMMs.
This is the memory of choice for best performance vs. stability
BIOS shows DDR SDRAM memory on bootup screen.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
2.5.2 Memory configurations
Install DIMMs in any of the following combinations.
DIMM Location
184-pin DIMM (DDR)
Socket 1 (Rows 0&1)
64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1G
Socket 2 (Rows 2&3)
64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1G
Socket 2 (Rows 4&5)
64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1G
Total system memory (Max. 3GB)
Total Memory
NOTE: To enhance system performance, utilize dual-channel feature
when installing additional DIMMs. You may install the DIMMs in the
following sequence: Sockets 1 and 3 or Sockets 2 and 3 or Sockets 1,
2 and 3.
2.5.3 Installing a DIMM
CAUTION! Make sure to unplug the power supply before adding or
removing DIMMs or other system components. Failure to do so may cause
severe damage to both the motherboard and the components.
Installing a DIMM:
1. Unlock a DIMM socket by pressing the retaining clips outward.
2. Align a DIMM on the socket such that the notches on the DIMM exactly
match the notches in the socket.
3. Firmly insert the DIMM into the socket until the retaining clips snap back
in place.
NOTE: Visit the ASUS
website at www.asus.com
for the latest DIMM
Qualified Vendors List.
Make sure to use only
tested and qualified
Unlocked Retaining Clip
Locked Retaining Clip
Chapter 2: Hardware information
Expansion slots
The motherboard has three PCI slots and one Accelerated Graphics Port
(AGP) slot.. The following sub-sections describe the slots and the expansion
cards that they support.
WARNING! Unplug your power supply when adding or removing
expansion cards or other system components. Failure to do so may cause
you physical injury and damage motherboard components.
2.6.1 Installing an expansion card
Follow these steps to install an expansion
1. Before installing the expansion card, read
the documentation that came with it and
make the necessary hardware settings.
2. Remove the system unit cover (if your
motherboard is already installed in a
3. Remove the bracket opposite the PCI slot.
Keep the screw for later use.
4. Align the card connector with the slot and
press firmly until the card is completely
seated on the slot.
5. Secure the card to the chassis with the
screw you removed earlier.
6. Replace the system cover.
7. Set up the BIOS if necessary.
8. Install the necessary software drivers for your expansion card.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
2.6.2 Configuring an expansion card
Some expansion cards need an IRQ to operate. Generally, an IRQ must be
exclusively assigned to one function at a time. In a standard design
configuration, 16 IRQs are available but most are already in use. Normally,
6 IRQs are free for expansion cards. If the motherboard has PCI audio
onboard, an additional IRQ will be used. If your motherboard also has MIDI
enabled, another IRQ will be used, leaving 4 IRQs free. Sometimes IRQs
are “shared” by more than one function; in this case, IRQ assignments are
swapped automatically or adjusted through the BIOS firmware.
IMPORTANT! When using PCI cards on shared slots, ensure that the
drivers support “Share IRQ” or that the cards do not need IRQ
assignments. Otherwise, conflicts will arise between the three PCI groups,
making the system unstable and the card inoperative.
Standard Interrupt Assignments
Standard Function
System Timer
Keyboard Controller
Programmable Interrupt
Communications Port (COM2)
Communications Port (COM1)
Sound Card (sometimes LPT2)
Floppy Disk Controller
Printer Port (LPT1)
System CMOS/Real Time Clock
ACPI Mode when used
IRQ Holder for PCI Steering
IRQ Holder for PCI Steering
PS/2 Compatible Mouse Port
Numeric Data Processor
Primary IDE Channel
Secondary IDE Channel
*These IRQs are usually available for ISA or PCI devices.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
Interrupt Request Table for this Motherboard
PCI slot 1
PCI slot 2
PCI slot 3
PCI slot 4
PCI slot 5
Serial ATA
2.6.3 PCI slots
Three 32-bit PCI slots are available on this motherboard. The slots support
PCI cards such as a LAN card, SCSI card, USB card, and other cards that
comply with PCI specifications.
This figure shows a typical PCI card installed into a slot:
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
2.6.4 AGP slot
This motherboard provides an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP 8X) slot to
support AGP graphics cards. Take note of the notches on the card golden
fingers to ensure that they fit the AGP slot on your motherboard. Below is an
example of a +1.5V AGP card.
AGP Card without Retention Notch
20-pin bay
Rib (inside slot)
28-pin bay
A7N8X Accelerated
Graphics Port (AGP PRO)
CAUTION! To avoid damaging your AGP graphics card, your computer’s
power supply should be unplugged before inserting your graphics card
into the slot.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
The jumpers on the motherboard allow you to change some feature
settings to suit your customized system configuration.
1) Serial ATA Setting (3 pin SATA_EN1)
This jumper permits selection of the serial ATA headers for connection of
serial ATA hard disk drives and other serial IDE devices. The default setting
[1-2] enables the serial headers. Disable the serial headers by changing
the jumpers to [2-3].
2 3
1 2
A7N8X SATA Setting
2) Keyboard Wake Up (3 pin KBPWR1)
This allows you to disable or enable the keyboard power up function. Retain
the default setting of [1-2] to disable computer keyboard-wake-up function. If
you set to [2-3] you may use your keyboard by pressing <Spacebar> to
wake up your computer. This feature requires an ATX power supply that can
supply at least 1A on the +5VSB lead.
1 2
2 3
A7N8X Keyboard Power Setting
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
3) USB Device Wake-up (2x3 pin USBPWR12, 34, 56)
Set these jumpers to +5V to allow wake up from the S1 sleep state (CPU
stopped; RAM refreshed; system running in low power mode) using the
connected USB devices. Set to +5VSB to allow wake up from S3 sleep state
(no power to CPU; RAM in slow refresh; power supply in reduced power
mode). The default setting for the three jumpers is 1-2 to select +5V (because
not all computers have the appropriate power supply).
The USBPWR01 jumper activates the rear panel USB ports. The USBPWR23
jumper activates the internal header, USB23
2 3
1 2
A7N8X USB Device Wake Up
NOTE! This feature requires an ATX power supply that can supply at
least 2A on the +5VSB lead when these jumpers are set to +5VSB.
Otherwise, the system does not power up. The total current consumed
must NOT exceed the power supply capability (+5VSB) whether under
normal working conditions or in sleep mode.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
This jumper clears the Real Time Clock (RTC) RAM of date, time, and system
setup parameters in CMOS. The RAM data in CMOS is powered by the
onboard button cell battery.
To erase the RTC RAM:
1. Turn OFF the computer and unplug the power cord.
2. Remove the battery.
3. Move the jumper caps from [1-2] to [2-3] momentarily. Replace the
jumper cap to the original position, [1-2].
4. Re-install the battery.
5. Plug the power cord and turn ON the computer.
6. Hold down the <Del> key during the boot process and enter BIOS
setup to re-enter data.
1 2
2 3
Clear CMOS
5) Central Processing Unit FSB (CPU_FSB)
This jumper when set to 1-2 pins (default), enable support for Front Side
Bus 333/266. When set to pins 2-3, it sets support for FSB 200 only.
A7N8X CPU FSB Jumper Setting
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
This section describes and illustrates the internal connectors on the
WARNING! Some pins are used for connectors or power sources. These
are clearly distinguished from jumpers in the Motherboard Layout. Placing
jumper caps over these connector pins will cause damage to your
IMPORTANT! Ribbon cables should always be connected with the red
stripe to Pin 1 in the connector scoket.
1) PS/2 Mouse Port (Green 6-pin PS2KBMS)
The system automatically directs IRQ12 to the PS/2 mouse if one is detected.
If no mouse is detected, IRQ12 become available to expansion cards.
PS/2 Mouse (6-pin Female)
2) PS/2 Keyboard Port (Purple 6-pin PS2KBMS)
This connection is for a standard keyboard using an PS/2 plug (mini DIN).
This connector does not allow standard AT size (large DIN) keyboard plugs.
You may use a DIN to mini DIN adapter on standard AT keyboards.
PS/2 Keyboard (6-pin Female)
Chapter 2: Hardware information
3) Universal Serial Bus Ports 0 and 1 (Black four x 4-pin USB)
Four USB ports are available for connecting USB devices.
Universal Serial Bus
4) Serial Port and Header (Teal/Turquoise, One 9-pin COM1, One 10-1 pin
One serial port can be used for pointing devices or other serial devices. The
other is available as an onboard header. To enable these ports, see Onboard
Serial Port 1 / Onboard Serial Port 2 in 4.4.3 Integrated Peripherals for
the settings.
Serial Ports (9-pin Male)
A7N8X Serial COM2 Bracket
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
5) Fast-Ethernet Port Connector (Two x RJ45) (Optional)
These RJ45 connectors are located on top of the USB Ports 1/2 and 3/
4. The RJ45 supports connectivity for local area networks.
6) Parallel Port (Burgundy 25-pin PRINTER)
You can enable the parallel port and choose the IRQ through Onboard
Parallel Port (see 4.4.3 Integrated Peripherals).
NOTE! Serial printers must be connected to the serial port.
Parallel Port (25-pin Female)
Chapter 2: Hardware information
7) Audio Connectors (Three 1/8” AUDIO) (Optional)
For a 2-speaker audio output, the Line Out (lime) connects a headphone or
speakers. The Line In (light blue) connects a tape players or other audio
sources. The Mic (pink) connects a microphone.
For a 4 or 6 speaker audio output, the Line In (light blue) connects to other
audio sources. The Line Out (lime) connects to the Left/Right Front Speakers.
The Mic (pink) connects to a microphone. The Surround L/R audio connector
connects to the Left/Right Surround speakers. The Center/LFE connector
connects to the Center speakers or Bass speakers.
Line in
Front Speaker
Bass Speaker
Surround Speaker
NOTE! If you want to use 4/6 speaker output but only has 3 audio jacks
available on your back panel I/O, refer to Chapter 5.7.2.
8) IDE Activity LED (2-pin IDELED)
This connector supplies power to the cabinet’s IDE activity LED. Read and
write activity by devices connected to the Primary or Secondary IDE
connectors cause the IDE LED to light up.
TIP: If the case-mounted LED does not
light, try reversing the 2-pin plug.
A7N8X IDE Activity LED
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
9) Floppy Disk Drive Connector (34-1 pin FLOPPY)
This connector supports the provided floppy drive ribbon cable. After
connecting the single end to the board, connect the two plugs on the other
end to the floppy drives. (Pin 5 is removed to prevent inserting in the
wrong orientation when using ribbon cables with pin 5 plugged).
NOTE: Orient the red markings on
the floppy ribbon cable to PIN 1
A7N8X Floppy Disk Drive Connector
10) Primary (Blue) / Secondary (Black) IDE Connectors
(40-1 pin PRI_IDE1 and SEC_IDE1)
The Primary and Secondary IDE connectors support the IDE hard disk ribbon
cables supplied with the motherboard. Connect the cable’s blue connector
to the motherboard’s primary IDE connector (recommended) or the secondary
IDE connector. Connect the opposite end of the cable to your UltraDMA133/
100/66 device (hard disk drive). If a second hard disk drive is connected,
youmay reset its jumper to Slave or Master/Slave mode. Non-UltraDMA133/
100/66 devices should be connected to the secondary IDE connector. BIOS
supports specific device bootup (see 4.4.1 Advanced BIOS Features).
IMPORTANT! UltraDMA133 IDE devices require a 40-pin 80-conductor
cable and RAID arrays only operate with such cables.
NOTE: Orient the red markings
(usually zigzag) on the IDE
ribbon cable to PIN 1.
A7N8X IDE Connectors
Chapter 2: Hardware information
11) SATA Serial ATA Connectors (2 x 7-pin PRI_SATA1, SEC_SATA1)
Two headers support serial ATA133 devices including hard-drives and cdroms.
A7N8X SATA Connectors
12) Infrared Module connector (10-1 or 10-2 pin IR_CON1)
These connectors support an optional wireless transmitting and receiving
infrared module. The module mounts to a small opening on the system chassis
that support this feature. You must also configure the UART2 Use As
parameter in BIOS to set UART2 for use with IR.
Use the ten pins as shown in Back View and connect a ribbon cable from the
module to the motherboard SIR connector according to the pin definitions.
+5 V
Standard Infrared (SIR)
Front View
Back View
A7N8X Infrared Connector
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
13) CPU/Power/Chassis Fan Connectors (3-pin CPU_FAN1,
Three fan connectors support cooling fans of 350mA (4.2 Watts) or less.
Orient the fans so that airflow flows across the onboard heat sinks instead of
expansion slots. The fan wiring and plug vary depending on the type
employed. Connect the fan cable to the connector, ensuring that the black
wire matches the ground pin. (Use the “Rotation” signal only with a specially
designed fan with a rotation signal. You can monitor the Rotations Per Minute
(RPM) using ASUS PC Probe (see 5. SOFTWARE SUPPORT).
WARNING! Make sure to connect the fan cables to the fan connectors.
Lack of sufficient airflow within the system could cause damage to the
motherboard. These are not jumpers, do not place jumper caps over
these connectors!
A7N8X 12-Volt Cooling Fan Power
14) IEEE-1394 Header (8-pin 1394HEAD) (Optional)
This header supports an IEEE-1394 serial connector cable set that mounts
to a standard expansion slot in the computer case. 1394-compliant internal
fixed disk drives may also be connected to these headers.
A7N8X 1394 Headers
Chapter 2: Hardware information
15) Power Supply Connectors (20 pin block ATXPWR1)
This connector supports an ATX 12V power supply. The plug from the power
supply fits in only one orientation. Push down firmly ensuring that the pins
are aligned.
IMPORTANT! Make sure that the ATX 12V power supply offers at least
1A on the +5-volt standby lead (+5VSB). The minimum recommended
wattage is 230W or 300W for a fully configured system. The system may
become unstable and may experience difficulty powering up if the power
supply is inadequate.
A7N8X ATX Power Connector
16) SMBus Connector (6-1 pin SMB)
This connector supports SMBus (System Management Bus) devices. SMBus
devices communicate by means of the SMBus with an SMBus host and/or
other SMBus devices. SMBus is a multi-device bus that permits multiple
chips to connect to the same bus and enable each one to act as a master by
initiating data transfer.
A7N8X SMBus Connector
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
17) Internal Audio Connectors (Two x 4 pin CD1, AUX1, MODEM1)
These connectors allow you to receive stereo audio input from sound sources
as a CD-ROM, TV tuner, Modems, or MPEG card.
A7N8X Internal Audio Connectors
Right Audio Channel
AUX1 (White)
Left Audio Channel
Left Audio Channel
Right Audio Channel
CD1 (Black)
18) Digital Audio Interfaces (6 pin SPDIF1) (Optional)
This connector is for optional S/PDIF audio module that allows digital instead
of analog sound input and output.
A7N8X Digital Audio Connector
IMPORTANT! For S/PDIF out function, you may use either the module
or the S/PDIF connector at the back panel, but not both.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
19) USB Headers (10-1 pin USB_56) (Optional)
If the USB 2.0 port connectors on the back panel are inadequate, one USB
header is available for four additional USB port connectors. Connect a 2port USB connector set to a USB header and mount the USB bracket to an
open slot in the chassis. (The USB connector set is optional and does not
come with the motherboard package.)
A7N8X USB 2.0 Header
20) Power Supply Thermal Sensor (2-pin PWRTMP1) (Optional)
This header supports a thermal sensor for the power supply.
A7N8X Power Supply Thermal Connector
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
21) Game Connector (16-1 pin GAME)
This connector supports an external game port. An example of a PCI game
port is illustrated.
A7N8X Game Connector
22) Chassis Open Alarm Lead (4-1 pin CHASSIS1)
This lead is intended for a chassis designed to support intrusion detection.
The lead requires an external detection mechanism such as a chassis
intrusion monitor/sensor or microswitch. When any chassis component is
removed, the sensor is triggered and a high-level signal is sent to this lead to
record a chassis intrusion event. The event is then be processed by software
such as LDCM. When not using the chassis intrusion lead, place a jumper
cap over the pins (PINS 3-4) to close the circuit. Removing the jumper cap
will prevent the system from booting up.
(Power Supply Stand By)
Chassis Signal
A7N8X Chassis Open Alarm Lead
Chapter 2: Hardware information
23) Front Panel Audio connector (10-1 pin FPAUDIO1)
This is an interface for the Intel front panel audio cable that allow convenient
connection and control of audio devices.
Line out_R
Line out_L
A7N8X Front Panel Audio Connector
The following 20-pin PANEL illustration is for items 24-29.
Reset SW
SMI Lead
A7N8X System Panel Connectors
Power LED
Keyboard Lock
ATX Power
* Requires an ATX power supply.
24) System Power LED Lead (3-1 pin PWR_LED)
This 3-1 pin connector supplies the system power LED. The LED lights up
when the system power is on, and the LED blinks when the system is in
sleep or soft-off mode.
25) Keyboard Lock Switch Lead (2 pin KEYLOCK)
This 2-pin connector supplies the case-mounted key switch for keyboard
26) System Warning Speaker Lead (4 pin SPEAKER)
This 4-pin connector supplies the case-mounted speaker to sound system
beeps and warnings.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
27) System Management Interrupt Lead (2 pin SMI)
This 2-pin connector permits switching to suspend mode, or “Green” mode,
in which system activity is instantly decreased to save power and to expand
the life of certain system components. Attach the case-mounted suspend
switch this 2-pin connector.
28) ATX Power Switch / Soft-Off Switch Lead (2 pin PWR)
The system power is controlled by a momentary switch attached to this
connector. Pressing the button switches the system between ON and SLEEP,
or ON and SOFT OFF, depending on the BIOS or OS settings. Pressing the
button while in the ON mode for more than 4 seconds turns the system off.
29) Reset Switch Lead (2 pin RESET)
This 2-pin connector supports the case-mounted reset switch for rebooting
the system without turning off the power switch.
Chapter 2: Hardware information
Chapter 3
Powering up
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
3.1 Starting up for the first time
1. After making all the connections, replace the system case cover.
2. Be sure that all switches are off.
3. Connect the power cord to the power connector at the back of the
system chassis.
4. Connect the power cord to a power outlet that is equipped with a surge
5. Turn on the devices in the following order:
a. Monitor
b. External SCSI devices (starting with the last device on the chain)
c. System power (if you are using an ATX power supply, you need to
switch on the power supply as well as press the ATX power switch
on the front of the chassis).
6. After applying power, the power LED on the system front panel case
lights up. For ATX power supplies, the system LED lights up when you
press the ATX power switch. If your monitor complies with “green”
standards or if it has a “power standby” feature, the monitor LED may
light up or switch between orange and green after the system LED
turns on. The system then runs the power-on tests. While the tests are
running, the BIOS beeps or additional messages appear on the
screen. If you do not see anything within 30 seconds from the time you
turned on the power, the system may have failed a power-on test.
Check the jumper settings and connections or call your retailer for
Award BIOS Beep Codes
One short beep when
displaying logo
No error during POST
Long beeps in an endless loop
No DRAM installed or detected
One long beep followed by
three short beeps
Video card not found or video card
memory bad
High frequency beeps when
system is working
CPU overheated;
System running at a lower frequency
7. At power on, hold down <Delete> to enter BIOS Setup. Follow the
instructions in Chapter 4.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
3.2 Vocal POST Messages
This motherboard includes the Winbond speech controller to support a
special feature called the ASUS POST Reporter™. This feature gives you
vocal POST messages and alerts to inform you of system events and boot
status. In case of a boot failure, you will hear the specific cause of the
These POST messages are customizable using the Winbond Voice Editor
software that came with your package. You can record your own
messages to replace the default messages.
Following is a list of the default POST messages and their corresponding
actions, if any.
POST Message
No CPU installed
• Install an AMD Thoroughbred/Athlon
XP/Athlon/ Duron Processor
into the CPU socket.
System failed CPU test
• Check the CPU if properly installed.
• Call ASUS technical support for
assistance. See the “ASUS contact
information” on page x.
System failed memory test
• Install 184-pin unbuffered
PC3200/2700/2100/1600 DIMMs
into the DIMM sockets.
• Check if the DIMMs on the DIMM
sockets are properly installed.
• Make sure that your DIMMs are
not defective.
• Refer to section “2.5 System
memory” for instruction on installing
System failed VGA test
• Install a PCI VGA card into one of
the PCI slots, or an AGP card
into the AGP slot.
• Make sure that your VGA/AGP card
is not defective.
System failed due to CPU
• Check your CPU settings in BIOS
and make sure you only set to the
recommended settings. See section
“4.4.2 Advanced Chipset features.”
Chapter 3: Powering up
POST Message
No keyboard detected
• Check your keyboard if properly
connected to the purple PS/2
connector on the rear panel.
• See section “1.4.1 Major
components” for the location of the
No floppy disk detected
• Make sure you have connected a
floppy disk to the floppy disk
connector on the motherboard.
• See section “2.8 Connectors.”
No IDE hard disk detected
• Make sure you have connected an
IDE hard disk drive to the one of the
IDE connectors on the motherboard.
• See section “2.8 Connectors.”
CPU temperature too high
• Check CPU fan if working properly.
CPU fan failed
• Check the CPU fan and make sure
it turns on after you applied power
to the system.
CPU voltage out of range
• Check your power supply and
make sure it is not defective.
• Call ASUS technical support for
assistance. See the “ASUS contact
information” on page x.
System completed Power-On Self Test • No action required
Computer now booting from operating • No action required
You may disable the ASUS Speech POST Reporter™ in the BIOS
setup. See section “4.4.1 Advanced BIOS Features”.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
3.3 Powering off the computer
You must first exit the operating system and shut down the system before
switching off the power. For ATX power supplies, you can press the ATX
power switch after exiting or shutting down the operating system. If you
use Windows 95/98/2000/XP, click the Start button, click Shut Down, then
click the OK button to shut down the computer. The power supply should
turn off after Windows shuts down.
The message “You can now safely turn off your computer” does not
appear when shutting down with ATX power supplies.
Chapter 3: Powering up
Chapter 4
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
4.1 Managing and updating your BIOS
4.1.1 Using the computer system for the first time
It is recommended that you save a copy of the original motherboard BIOS
along with a Flash Memory Writer utility (AWDFLASH.EXE) to a bootable
floppy disk in case you need to reinstall the BIOS later. AWDFLASH.EXE is
a Flash Memory Writer utility that updates the BIOS by uploading a new
BIOS file to the programmable flash ROM on the motherboard. This file
works only in DOS mode. To determine the BIOS version of your motherboard,
check the last four numbers of the code displayed on the upper left-hand
corner of your screen during bootup. Larger numbers represent a newer
BIOS file.
1. Type FORMAT A:/S at the DOS prompt to create a bootable system disk.
DO NOT copy AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS to the disk.
2. Type COPY D:\AWDFLASH\AWDFLASH.EXE A:\ (assuming D is your
CD-ROM drive) to copy AWDFLASH.EXE to the boot disk you created.
NOTE! AWDFLASH works only in DOS mode. It does not work in the
DOS prompt within Windows, and does not work with certain memory
drivers that may be loaded when you boot from the hard drive. It is
recommended that you reboot using a floppy disk in order to open DOS
3. Reboot the computer from the floppy disk. To use AWDFLASH.EXE
must be operated from the ROOT directory. Therefore, copy the
AWDFLASH.EXE program and the NEW BIOS file to the root directory
on the hard disk drive; for example: type, “COPY A:\AWDFLASH.EXE
WARNING! If you encounter problems while updating the new BIOS,
DO NOT turn off the system because this may cause boot problems.
Just repeat the process, and if the problem persists, load the original
BIOS file you saved to the boot disk, or try to clear the CMOS memory
(see section 2.7, Jumpers). If the Flash Memory Writer utility is not able
to successfully update a complete BIOS file, the system may not boot. If
this happens, call the ASUS service center for support.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.1.2 Updating BIOS procedures
CAUTION! Update the BIOS only if you have problems with the
motherboard and you are sure that the new BIOS revision will solve your
problems. Careless updating may create more problems !
The Binary Input/Output System (BIOS) can be updated using the built-in
Flash Memory Writer utility or using a bootable floppy disk with the
executable Flash Memory Writer Utility (AWDFLASH.EXE). The following
sub-sections explain the steps in flashing your BIOS. Updating BIOS via Built-in AwardBIOS Flash Utility
1. Download the latest BIOS file from the ASUS website (see ASUS contact
info on Page viii). Save the copy to a floppy disk.
NOTE! Write down the BIOS file name on a piece of paper. You need to
type the exact BIOS file name at the Award BIOS Flash Utility.
2. Reboot the computer.
3. To use AwardBIOS Flash Utility, press <Alt> + <F2> during POST to
display the following screen.
NOTE! The BIOS information in the above screen is for reference only.
what you see on your screen may not be exactly the same as shown.
4. Insert the disk that contains the new BIOS file into the floppy drive. You
will receive the error message, “WARNING! Device not ready!” if you
proceed to step 5 without the disk in the drive.
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
5. Type the name of the new BIOS file, for example: “AW0702.BIN” then
press <Enter>. The program asks if you want to save the previous BIOS.
Select <Y> since it is advisable to back-up the original BIOS in case you
need to reprogram it.
6. The program asks to save the previous BIOS to a separate file. Type a
file name for the old bios and then press <Y>. The AWDFLASH
program backs-up the file.
7. AWDFLASH proceeds to check the new BIOS file and asks the user to
program (flash) the new BIOS file to the motherboard.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
8. Type <Y> and Press <Enter> to flash the new Bios file. NOTE: Do not
shut off system power or unplug the supply during the flash process.
9. The BIOS flashes and displays the results. Press <F1> to restart. Updating BIOS via Bootable Floppy Disk
1. Boot from the floppy disk.
2. At the “A:\” prompt, type “C:\” and then press <Enter>.
3. At the “C:\” prompt, type “AWDFLASH /qi BIOSFILE” and then <Enter>.
For example: “AWDFLASH /qi aw0702.bin” The AWDFLASH screen
appears, and the BIOS file appears in the space, “File Name to Program”.
4. Type the name of the new BIOS file, for example: “AW0702.BIN” then
press <Enter>. The program asks if you want to save the previous BIOS.
Select <Y> since it is advisable to back-up the original BIOS in case you
need to reprogram it.
5. Follow steps 6 to 9 in “ Updating BIOS via Built-in Award BIOS
Flash Utility.”
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
4.2 BIOS Setup program
This motherboard supports a programmable FLASH ROM that you can update
using the provided utility described in section “4.1 Managing and updating
your BIOS.”
Use the BIOS Setup program when you are installing a motherboard,
reconfiguring your system, or prompted to “Run Setup”. This section explains
how to configure your system using this utility.
Even if you are not prompted to use the Setup program, you may want to
change the configuration of your computer in the future. For example, you
may want to enable the security password feature or make changes to the
power management settings. This requires you to reconfigure your system
using the BIOS Setup program so that the computer can recognize these
changes and record them in the CMOS RAM of the FLASH ROM.
The FLASH ROM on the motherboard stores the Setup utility. When you
start up the computer, the system provides you with the opportunity to run
this program. Press <Delete> during the Power-On Self Test (POST) to enter
the Setup utility, otherwise, POST continues with its test routines.
If you wish to enter Setup after POST, restart the system by pressing <Ctrl>
+ <Alt> + <Delete>, or by pressing the reset button on the system chassis.
You can also restart by turning the system off and then back on. Do this last
option only if the first two failed.
The Setup program is designed to make it as easy to use as possible. It is a
menu-driven program, which means you can scroll through the various submenus and make your selections among the predetermined choices.
NOTE! Because the BIOS software is constantly being updated, the
following BIOS setup screens and descriptions are for reference purposes
only, and may not exactly match what you see on your screen.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.2.1 BIOS menu bar
The top of the screen has a menu bar with the following selections:
Use this menu to make changes to the basic system
ADVANCED Use this menu to enable and make changes to the
advanced features, including BIOS, Chipset, Peripheral,
Power and PnP/ PCI configurations.
SECURITY Use this menu to set the Supervisor and User passwords.
HARDWARE Monitor the status of vital components, including voltages
and fan speeds.
Use this menu to exit the current menu or to exit the Setup
MONITOR program.
To access the menu bar items, press the right or left arrow key on the keyboard
until the desired item is highlighted.
4.2.2 Legend bar
At the bottom of the Setup screen is a legend bar. The keys in the legend bar
allow you to navigate through the various setup menus. The following table
lists the keys found in the legend bar with their corresponding functions.
Navigation Key(s)
Function Description
Displays the General Help screen
Jumps to the Exit menu or returns to the main
menu from a sub-menu
Left or Right arrow
Selects the menu item to the left or right
Up or Down arrow
Moves the highlight up or down between fields
Page Down and – (minus) Scrolls backward through the values for the
highlighted field
Page Up and + (plus)
Scrolls forward through the values for the highlighted field
Brings up a selection menu for the highlighted
Saves changes and Exit
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
General help
In addition to the Item Specific Help window, the BIOS setup program also
provides a General Help screen. You may launch this screen from any menu
by simply pressing <F1> or the <Alt> + <H> combination. The General Help
screen lists the legend keys and their corresponding functions.
Saving changes and exiting the Setup program
See “4.7 Exit Menu” for detailed information on saving changes and exiting
the setup program.
Scroll bar
When a scroll bar appears to the right of a help window, it indicates that
there is more information to be displayed that will not fit in the window. Use
<PgUp> and <PgDn> or the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the
entire help document. Press <Home> to display the first page, press <End>
to go to the last page. To exit the help window, press <Enter> or <Esc>.
Note that a right pointer symbol (as shown on
the left) appears to the left of certain fields.
This pointer indicates that you can display a
sub-menu from this field. A sub-menu contains
additional options for a field parameter. To
display a sub-menu, move the highlight to the
field and press <Enter>. The sub-menu
appears. Use the legend keys to navigate and
enter values within each sub-menu as you
would within a menu. Use the <Esc> key to
return to the main menu. Take some time to
familiarize yourself with the legend keys and
their corresponding functions. Practice navigating through the various menus
and sub-menus. While moving around through the Setup program, note that
explanations appear in the Item Specific Help window located to the right of
each menu. This window displays the help text for the currently highlighted
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.3 Main Menu
When you enter the Setup program, the following screen appears.
System Date [mm/dd/yy]
Sets the system to the date that you specify (usually the current date). The
format is month, day, year. Valid values for month, day, and year are Month:
(1 to 12), Day: (1 to 31), Year: (up to 2084). Use the <Tab> or <Shift> +
<Tab> keys to move between the month, day, and year fields.
System Time [hh:mm:ss]
Sets the system to the time that you specify (usually the current time). The
format is hour, minute, second. Valid values for hour, minute and second are
Hour: (00 to 23), Minute: (00 to 59), Second: (00 to 59). Use the <Tab> or
<Shift> + <Tab> keys to move between the hour, minute, and second fields.
Legacy Diskette A [1.44M, 3.5 in.]
Sets the type of floppy drive installed. Configuration options: [None] [360K,
5.25 in.] [1.2M , 5.25 in.] [720K , 3.5 in.] [1.44M, 3.5 in.] [2.88M, 3.5 in.]
Legacy Diskette B [None]
Sets the type of floppy drive installed. Configuration options: [None] [360K,
5.25 in.] [1.2M , 5.25 in.] [720K , 3.5 in.] [1.44M, 3.5 in.] [2.88M, 3.5 in.]
Halt On [All Errors]
This field sets the system to halt on errors according to the system functions
specified in each option. Configuration options: [All Errors] [No Errors] [All,
But Keyboard] [All , But Diskette] [All, But Disk/Key]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
4.3.1 Primary Master/Slave
IDE HDD Auto-Detection [Press Enter]
Press enter to automatically detect an IDE hard disk drive, if the hard drive is
not already detected. In cases of undetected HDDs, pressing enter will detect
the HDD and then open access to both the IDE Primary Master and Access
Mode fields.
IDE Primary Master/Slave [Auto]
Select [Auto] to automatically detect an IDE hard disk drive. If automatic
detection is successful, the setup BIOS automatically fills in the correct values
for the remaining fields on this sub-menu. If automatic detection fails, this
may be because the hard disk drive is too old or too new. If the hard disk was
already formatted on a previous system, the setup BIOS may detect incorrect
parameters. In these cases, select [Manual] to manually enter the IDE hard
disk drive parameters. See Access Mode below and refer to the next page
for more details. If no drive is installed or if you are removing a drive and not
replacing it, select [None]. Configuration options: [None] [Auto [Manual]
Access Mode [Auto]
The default [Auto] automatically detects an IDE hard disk drive. Select [CHS]
in coordination with the [Manual] setting of the IDE Primary Master in order
to enter the Hard Disk Drive values manually.
CAUTION! Before attempting to configure a hard disk drive, make sure
you have the correct configuration information supplied by the drive
manufacturer. Incorrect settings may cause the system to fail to recognize
the installed hard disk.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
[Manual] & [CHS] Settings
Manually enter the number of cylinders, heads and sectors per track for the
drive. Refer to the drive documentation or on the drive label for this information.
NOTE! After entering the IDE hard disk drive information into BIOS, use
a disk utility, such as FDISK, to partition and format new IDE hard disk
drives. This is necessary so that you can write or read data from the hard
disk. Make sure to set the partition of the Primary IDE hard disk drives to
After making your selections on this sub-menu, press the <Esc> key to return
to the Main menu. When the Main menu appears, the hard disk drive field
displays the size for the hard disk drive that you configured.
Access Mode [Auto]
Select the hard disk drive type in this field. When Logical Block Addressing
(LBA) is enabled, the 28-bit addressing of the hard drive is used without
regard for cylinders, heads, or sectors. Note that LBA Mode is necessary for
drives with more than 504MB storage capacity. Select [CHS] to make manual
entries for configuring the fields below. Configuration options: [CHS] [LBA]
[Large] [Auto]
This field configures the number of cylinders. Refer to the drive documentation
to determine the correct value. To make changes to this field, set the IDE
Primary Master field to [Manual] and the Access Mode to [CHS].
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
This field configures the number of read/write heads. Refer to the drive
documentation to determine the correct value. To make changes to this
field, set the IDE Primary Master field to [Manual] and the Access Mode to
This field displays the precompressed volumes on the hard disk, if any, in
Landing Zone
This field displays the drive’s maximum useable capacity as calculated by
the BIOS based on the drive information you entered.
This field configures the number of sectors per track. Refer to the drive
documentation to determine the correct value. To make changes to this field,
set the Type field to [User Type HDD] and the Translation Method field to
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.3.2 Secondary Master/Slave
IDE HDD Auto-Detection [Press Enter]
Press enter to automatically detect an IDE hard disk drive, if the hard drive is
not already detected. In cases of undetected HDDs, pressing enter will detect
the HDD and then open access to both the IDE Primary Master and Access
Mode fields.
IDE Secondary Master/Slave [Auto]
Select [Auto] to automatically detect an IDE hard disk drive. If automatic
detection is successful, the setup BIOS automatically fills in the correct values
for the remaining fields on this sub-menu. If automatic detection fails, this
may be because the hard disk drive is too old or too new. If the hard disk was
already formatted on a previous system, the setup BIOS may detect incorrect
parameters. In these cases, select [Manual] to manually enter the IDE hard
disk drive parameters. See Access Mode below and refer to the next page
for more details. If no drive is installed or if you are removing a drive and not
replacing it, select [None]. Configuration options: [None] [Auto [Manual]
Access Mode [Auto]
The default [Auto] automatically detects an IDE hard disk drive. Select [CHS]
in coordination with the [Manual] setting of the IDE Primary Master in order
to enter the Hard Disk Drive values manually.
CAUTION! Before attempting to configure a hard disk drive, make sure
you have the correct configuration information supplied by the drive
manufacturer. Incorrect settings may cause the system to fail to recognize
the installed hard disk.
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
4.4 Advanced Menu
Advanced menu items
The Advanced menu accesses five important sub-menus:
Advanced BIOS Features
These fields set the functional properties of CPU caches, as well as boot
devices, security and operational modes.
Advanced Chipset Features
These fields set chipset and CPU functions, including system and AGP
caches, boot devices, memory settings, voltages and frequencies.
Integrated Peripherals
These fields set the functional properties of the IDE channels, Master/Slave
PIOs, USB, IEEE 1394, audio, network and modem support, as well as serial,
game, midi and parallel addresses.
Power Management Setup
These fields set the functional properties of the ACPI, system power
management, HDD power, network “wake-up” and “power-on” options.
PnP/PCI Configuration
These fields set the capacity of the BIOS to reset data configurations and to
automatically configure the system along with PCI/VGA properties. IRQ
resources are accessed from this menu.
To access the menu bar items, press the up and down arrow keys and then
press <enter> to view the desired menu.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.4.1 Advanced BIOS Features
(Scroll down to view all items on the menu.)
Boot Virus Detection [Disabled]
This field enables boot virus protection by default. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
CPU Level 1 Cache [Enabled]
This field enables the CPU level 1 cache by default. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
CPU Level 2 Cache [Enabled]
This field enables the level 2 cache by default. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
Quick Power On Self Test [Enabled]
This field enables the power on test. Configuration options: [Enabled]
First Boot Device [Floppy]
This field sets the priority of the first boot device; by default, the system
boots up on the floppy diskette drive. Configuration options: [Floppy] [LS120]
[HDD] [SCSI] [CDROM] [ZIP100] [LAN] [Disabled]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
Second Boot Device [HDD]
This field sets the priority of the second boot device; by default, the system
boots up on the hard disk driver if the floppy drive is not present. Configuration
options: [Floppy] [LS120] [HDD] [SCSI] [CDROM] [ZIP100] [LAN] [Disabled]
Third Boot Device [LS120]
This field sets the priority of the third boot device; by default, the system
boots up on the LS120 if the flopyy and hard disk drive are not present.
Configuration options: [Floppy] [LS120] [HDD] [SCSI] [CDROM] [ZIP100]
[LAN] [Disabled]
Boot Other Device [Enabled]
By default, this field enables the detection of other devices, aside from the
first three priority devices. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Boot-up Floppy Seek [Enabled]
If enabled, this field speeds up the Power On Self Test (POST) routine by
skipping and retesting a second, third and fourth time. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
Boot-up NumLock Status [On]
This field sets the capability of the NumLock light/key to display/activate the
system. Configuration options: [On] [Off]
Gate A20 Option [Fast]
This field sets the gate A20 rate. The default is [Fast]. Configuration options:
[Normal] [Fast]
Typematic Rate Setting [Disabled]
This field enables or disable permission to change the rate of keystroke
registration and display. By default, the rate cannot be changed. Change to
[Enabled] to make settings in the nextt field. Configuration options: [Enabled]
Typematic Rate Setting (Char/Sec) [6]
This field determines the number of keystrokes per second that the system
can register. Configuration options: [6] [8] [10] [12] [15] [20] [24] [30]
Typematic Delay (Msec) [250]
This field determines the delay time ( in milliseconds ) between registering a
keystroke and displaying it onscreen. Configuration options: [250] [500] [750]
APIC Mode [Enabled]
This field enables or disables the APIC mode. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
OS/2 Onboard Memory > 64MB [Disabled]
This field enables or disables the 64MB onboard memory set for OS/2.
Configuration options: [Disabled] [Enabled]
Full Screen LOGO Show [Enabled]
This field enables or disables display of the full screen logo for environmental
protection, which is disabled by default.
Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
POST Complete Report [Enabled]
This field enables or disables display of the Power On Self Test (POST)
complete report, which is [Enabled] by default.
Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Speech POST Reporter [Enabled]
This field enables or disables the ASUS POST Reporter TM feature.
Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
4.4.2 Advanced Chipset Features
(Scroll down to view all items on the menu.)
CPU External Frequency (MHz) [100MHz]
This field sets the external frequency ratio of the CPU. The system normally
auto-detects the frequency capability based on the type of CPU installed.The
Front Side Bus (FSB) is equal to 2 times this field value. Frequency ranges
are adjustable in increments of 1, 2, 3 and/or 5 MHz. Configuration options:
[100 MHz]... [200 MHz] [204 MHz] [207 MHz] [211 MHz]
CPU Frequency Multiple Setting [Auto]
This field sets the frequency multiple between the CPU’s internal frequency
(CPU speed) and external frequency. Set this field in conjunction with CPU
Frequency (MHz) to match the speed of the CPU.
CPU Frequency Multiple [5.0x]
This field is available to unlocked processors only. For unlocked processors,
this field sets the frequency multiple between the CPU’s internal frequency
(CPU speed) and the external frequency. Configuration options: [5.0x] [5.5x]...
...[11.5] [12.0] [12.5x/13.0x]
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
System Performance [Optimal]
This field permits change of mode for system performance. When set to
[Optimal], the system uses the most stable settings. When you want to use
overclocked settings for higher performance but with higher risk of instability,
set to [Aggressive] and to allow full customization of performance options
set to [Expert]. Configuration options: [Optimal] [Aggressive] [User Defined]
CPU Interface [Optimal]
This field sets the mode for CPU/FSB parameters usage. Select [Aggressive]
if you want to use overclocked CPU/FSB parameters. Otherwise, the default
value is [Optimal] where it uses the most stable CPU/FSB parameters.
Configuration options: [Optimal] [Aggressive]
Memory Frequency [By SPD]
This field sets the type of memory frequency based on the type of DDR
(Double Date Rate) memory module installed. Resulting frequency can vary
depending on percentage setting which is multiplied by the FSB frqequency.
Normally, the default, by SPD, permits autodetection. Configuration options:
[By SPD] [50%] [60%] [66%] [75%] [80%] [83%] [Sync] [120%] [125%] [133%
[150%] [166%] [200%]
Resulting Frequency
This field displays the resulting memory frequency.
Memory Timing [Optimal]
This field permits change of memory timing mode for system performance.
When set to [User Defined], the next four fields can be set manually. Set to
[Aggressive] for higher performance. Use default [Optimal] to use most stable
settings. Configuration options: [Optimal] [Aggressive] [User Defined]
SDRAM Active Precharge Delay [7]
Row-active delay.
SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay [1]
RAS-to-CAS. This item controls the latency between the SDRAM Active
command to the SDRAM.
SDRAM RAS Precharge Delay [1]
Row-precharge delay.
SDRAM CAS Latency [2.5T]
This field sets the override clock cycle for the latency time between the
SDRAM read command and the moment that the data actually becomes
available. Normally, the system determines the rate automatically by default.
FSB Spread Spectrum [Disabled]
Configuration options: [Disabled] [0.50%] [1.00%]
AGP Spread Spectrum [Disabled]
Configuration options: [Disabled] [0.50%] [1.00%]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
CPU Vcore Setting [Auto]
This field determines if the CPU Vcore is automatically scaled or set manually
by the user. The default for this field is [Auto], therefore, the CPU vcore
voltage is set for maximum performance without stressing the CPU.
Configuration options: [Auto] [Menu]
CPU Vcore [1.850V]
When the CPU VCore Setting parameter is set to [Manual], this field permits
selection of specific CPU core voltages. This field is not accessible if the
above CPU VCore Setting parameter is set to [Auto]. Configuration options:
[1.100V] [1.125V] ... [1.825] [1.850V]
Graphics Aperture Size [64M]
This field sets the size of mapped memory ( in megabytes ) for AGP graphic
data. Configuration options: [32M] [64M] [128M] [256M] [512M]
AGP Frequency [Auto]
This field sets the frequency of the AGP controller. The default, [Auto],
permits automatic selection of optimal AGP frequencies. Configuration
options: [50, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86,
87, 90, 93, 95, 97, 100MHz]
System BIOS Cacheable [Disabled]
This field establishes whether or not the BIOS is cacheable. Disabled by
default. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Video RAM Cacheable [Disabled]
This field establishes whether or not the video RAM is cacheable. Disabled
by default. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
DDR Reference Voltage [ 2.6V]
This field sets the voltage limits for the voltage supplied to the DDR memory.
Note that increasing voltage to the DDR can cause premature failure of system
components. Configuration options: [2.6V] [2.7V] [2.8V]
AGP VDDQ Voltage [1.5V]
This field sets the voltage limits for the voltage supplied to the AGP controller.
Note that increasing voltage to the AGP controller can cause premature failure
of system components.
Configuration options: [1.5V] [1.6V] [1.7V]
AGP 8X Support [Enabled]
This field enables or disables the AGP 8X support.
Configuration options: [Disable] [Enable]
AGP Fast Write Capability [Enabled]
This field enables or disables the AGP Fastwrite function.
Configuration options: [Disable] [Enable]
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4.4.3 Integrated Peripherals
(Scroll down to view all items on the menu.)
Primary VGA BIOS [PCI VGA Card]
This field sets the priority for the display of VGA signals. Change from the
PCI VGA Cardt default to AGP VGA Card if using an AGP card.
Configuration options: [PCI VGA Card] [AGP VGA Card]
USB Controllers [V1.1+V2.0]
This field sets the protocols for OnChip processing of USB outputs. The
default accomodates USB protocols 1.0 and 2.0. Configuration options:
[Disabled] [V1.1 +V2.0] [V1.1]
USB Legacy Support [Disabled]
This field sets support for USB keyboards0. The USB keyboard is disabled
by default. Enable this field to use a USB keyboard. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
USB Mouse Support [Disabled]
This field sets support for USB keyboards0. The USB keyboard is disabled
by default. Enable this field to use a USB keyboard. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
Onboard AC97 Audio Controller [Auto]
This field permits auto selection of AC97 audio codec processing by default.
Configuration options: [Auto] [Disabled]
Onboard AC97 Modem Controller [Auto]
This field permits auto selection of AC97 modem support by default.
Configuration options: [Auto] [Disabled]
Onboard Lan (nVIDIA) [Auto]
This field permits auto selection of MAC Lan (nVidia) support by default.
Configuration options: [Auto] [Disabled]
Onboard Lan (3COM) [Auto]
This field permits auto selection of MAC lan (3COM) ethernet. Configuration
options: [Auto] [Disabled]
Onboard 1394 Device [Enabled]
This field sets the on chip suppot for IEEE 1394 signal outputs by default.
Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Floppy Disk Access Controller [Enabled]
This field enables the FDA Controller by default. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
Onboard Serial Port 1 [3F8/IRQ4]
These fields set the addresses for onboard serial port 1. Serial Port 1 and
Serial Port 2 must have different addresses. Configuration options: [Disabled]
[3F8/IRQ4] [2F8/IRQ3] [3E8/IRQ4] [2E8/IRQ3] [Auto]
Onboard Serial Port 2 [2F8/IRQ3]
These fields set the addresses for onboard serial port 2. Serial Port 1 and
Serial Port 2 must have different addresses. Configuration options: [Disabled]
[3F8/IRQ4] [2F8/IRQ3] [3E8/IRQ4] [2E8/IRQ3] [Auto]
UART use as [COM Port]
This field selects the device assignment for UART2 mode. The default is
[COM Port]. Select [IR] to activate the next field, “UR2 Duplex Mode”.
Configuration options: [IR] [COM Port]
Onboard Parallel Port [378/IRQ7]
This field sets the address of the onboard parallel port connector to 378/
IRQ7 by default. Disabling the port makes the parallel port unavailable.
Configuration options: [Disabled] [378/IRQ7] [278/IRQ5] [3BC/IRQ7]
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Parallel Port Mode [SPP]
This field sets the operation mode of the parallel port. The default, SPP,
enables normal-speed operation but in one direction only; EPP enables
bidirectional parallel port operation; ECP enables the parallel port to operate
in bidirectional DMA mode; ECP+EPP enables normal speed operation in a
both ECP and EPP modes. Select [ECP] to access the next field, “ECP
Mode Use DMA”. Configuration options: [SPP] [EPP] [ECP] [ECP +EPP]
ECP DMA Select [3]
This field sets the parallel port DMA channel for the selected ECP mode.
The default setting is 3. This selection is available only if you select [ECP] or
[ECP+EPP] in Parallel Port Mode above. Configuration options: [1] [3]
Onboard Game Port [201]
This field sets the address of the game port t0 201 by default. Disabling the
game port makes the port unavailable.
Configuration options: [Disabled] [201] [209]
Onboard MIDI I/O [330]
This field sets the address of the MIDI I/O port to 330 by default.
Configuration options: [Disabled] [330] [300]
Onboard MIDI IRQ [10]
This field sets the IRQ address of the MIDI port to 10 by default.
Configuration options: [5] [10]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
4.4.4 Power Management Setup
ACPI Suspend to RAM [Disabled]
This field enables or disables suspension to RAM. Configuration options:
[Enabled] [Disabled]
Video Off Method [DPMS Support]
This field defines “video off” features. The DPMS support option (Display
Power Management System) permits the BIOS to control the video display
card if it supports the DPMS feature. Blank Screen option blanks the screen;
use blank screen for monitors without power management or “green” features.
[V/H SYNC+Blank] blanks the screen and turns off vertical and horizontal
scanning. Configuration options: [Blank Screen] [V/H SYNC+Blank] [DPMS
HDD Down In Suspend [Disabled]
This field sets whether or not the HDD is automatically shut down in suspend
mode. The default disables power to the HDD in suspend mode.
Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
PWR button < 4 Secs [Suspend]
This field sets the delay after which the system powers off after depressing
the external case-mounted power button. The default setting powers off the
system instantly. Configuration options: [Soft-Off] [Suspend]
Power Up on PCI Device [Enabled]
This field enables Wake-On-LAN from soft-off mode. The default disables
this option. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Wake-Power Up On Ext. Modem [Disabled]
This field allows either settings of [Enabled] or [Disabled] for powering up the
computer when the external modem receives a call while teh computer is in
Soft-off mode. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Automatic Power Up [Disabled]
This field sets to enable or disable the automatic power up based on the time
settings in the Power-On by Alarm field.
Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Time (hh:mm:ss) of Alarm 0:00:00
This field sets the time for automatic power up. Enter the hour, minute and
second based on the 24 hour clock. The Power-On by Alarm field must be
enabled to use this feature.
AC Power Loss Re-Start [Disabled]
This allows you to set whether or not to reboot the system after power
interruptions. [Disabled] leaves your system off while [Enabled] reboots the
system. [Previous State] sets the system back to the state it was before the
power interruption. Configuration options: [Disabled] [Enabled]
[Previous State]
Power On By PS/2 Mouse [Disabled]
When set to [Enabled], this parameter allows you to use the PS/2 mouse to
turn on the system. This feature requires an ATX power supply that provides
at least 1A on the +5VSB lead. Configuration options: [Disabled] [Enabled]
Power On By PS/2 Keyboard [Disabled]
This parameter allows you to use specific keys on the keyboard to turn on
the system. This feature requires an ATX power supply that provides at least
1A on the +5VSB lead. Configuration options: [Disabled] [Any KEY]
[Power Key]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
4.4.5 PnP / PCI Configurations
Reset Configuration Data [Disabled]
The Extended System Configuration Data (ESCD) contains information about
non-PnP devices. It also holds the complete record of how the system was
configured the last time is was booted. Enable this feature if you want to
clear data during the Power-On-Self-Test (POST). The default disables this
feature. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
Resources Controlled By [Auto(ESCD)]
This field sets control over the IRQ resources by the automatic (ESCD) system
or manual assignment of IRQ channels. The default enables automatic
(ESCD) control. Configuration options: [Auto(ESCD)] [Manual]
NOTE: Selecting Manual access the IRQ Resources sub-menu; see the next
PCI/VGA Palette Snoop [Disabled]
This field enables the PCI/VGA palette snoop. This feature is disabled by
default. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.5 Security Menu
The BIOS Setup program permits two different passwords to control access
to the BIOS during system startup: a Supervisor password and a User
password. Passwords are not case sensitive, meaning, passwords can be
typed in either uppercase or lowercase letters. The table below describes
the authority level when setting Supervisor or User Password.
TABLE 4.6.1 Supervisor/User Set Password
Security Option
Supervisor Password
User Password
A password is required
for booting and entering
into the CMOS setup and
all items can be modified.
A password is required
for booting and entering
into the CMOS setup and
only “Date” and “Time”
could be modified. All
other items in the CMOS
are displayed only.
A password is required
to enter into the CMOS
and items can be modified.
A password is required
to enter into the CMOS
and only “Date” and
“Time” could be modified.
All other items in the
CMOS are displayed only.
TABLE 4.6.2 User Set Password only
Security Option
Supervisor Password
User Password
A password is required
for booting and entering
into the CMOS setup and
all items can be modified.
A password is required
to enter into the CMOS
setup and all items can be
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
Security Option [Setup]
This field sets the security options. The default enables the setup option for
security. Configuration options: [Setup] [System]
Set Supervisor Password / Set User Password
To set a password, highlight the appropriate field and press <Enter>. Type
in a password then press <Enter>. You can type up to eight alphanumeric
characters; symbols and other characters are not useable. To confirm the
password, type the password again and press <Enter>. The password is
now set to [Enabled]. This password permits full access to the BIOS Setup
menus. To clear the password, highlight this field and press <Enter>. The
same dialog box as above appears. Press <Enter>. The password is set to
Forgot the password?
If you forget a password, you can clear it by erasing the CMOS Real Time Clock (RTC)
RAM. The RAM data containing the password information is powered by the onboard button
cell battery.
NOTE: See section “2.7 Jumpers” for more information about how to erase the RTC RAM.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.6 Hardware Monitor Menu
The Harware Monitor menu displays all vital system statistics.
MB, CPU Temperature [xx C / xx F]
The onboard hardware monitor automatically detects the MB
(motherboard) and CPU temperatures.
VCORE Voltage, +3.3V Voltage, +5V Voltage, +12V Voltage
The onboard hardware monitor automatically detects the voltage output
through the voltage regulators.
CPU Fan Speed xxxx RPM or 0 RPM
CHASSIS Fan Speed xxxx RPM or 0 RPM
POWER Fan Speed xxxx RPM or 0 RPM
The onboard hardware monitor automatically detects the CPU, power and
chassis fan speeds and displays the fan speeds in revolutions per minute
(RPM). If any of the fans is not connected to the fan connectors on the
motherboard, the specific field will show N/A.
Q-Fan Control [Disabled]
This field allows you to enable or disable the ASUS Q-Fan feature that
smartly adjusts the fan speeds for more efficient system operation. When
this field is set to [Enabled], set the appropriate Fan Speed Ratio and
Speed Up/Down Response Time. Configuration options: [Disabled]
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
Fan Speed Ratio [10/15]
This item allows you to select the appropriate fan speed ratio for the
system. The default [10/15] is the minimum fan speed ratio. Select a
higher ratio if you installed additional devices and the system requires
more ventilation. This item is required to be set when the Q-Fan Control
field is [Enabled]. Configuration options: [10/15] [11/15] [12/15] [13/15] [14/
15] [Full Speed].
Speed Up/Down Response Time [4 Sec/8 Sec]
This item indicates the time period before the fan speeds adjust to the vale
set in the Fan Speed Ratio field. This item is required to be set when the
Q-Fan Control field is [Enabled]. Configuration options: [1 Sec/2 Sec]
[2 Sec/4 Sec] [3 Sec/6 Sec] [4 Sec/8 Sec]
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
4.7 Exit Menu
After making all selections from the various menus in the Setup program,
save the changes and exit Setup.
NOTE! Pressing <Esc> does not immediately exit this menu. Select
one of the options from this menu or <F10> from the legend bar to exit.
Exit & Save Changes
Choose this option from the Exit menu to ensure the selected values are
saved to the CMOS RAM. When selecting this option, a confirmation window
appears. Select [Yes] to save changes and exit. The CMOS RAM is sustained
by an onboard backup battery and stays on even when the PC is turned off.
NOTE! If attempting to exit the Setup program without saving changes,
the program prompts with a message asking if you want to save your
changes before exiting. Pressing <Enter> saves the changes while
Exit & Discard Changes
Select this option only if you do not want to save the changes that you made
to the Setup program. If you made changes to fields other than system date,
system time, and password, the BIOS asks for a confirmation before exiting.
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
Load Setup Defaults
This option allows you to load the default values for each of the parameters
on the Setup menus. When you select this option, a confirmation window
appears. Select [Yes] to load default values. Select Exit Saving Changes or
make other changes before saving the values to the non-volatile RAM.
Discard Changes
This option allows you to discard the selections you made and restore the
previously saved values. After selecting this option, a confirmation appears.
Select [Yes] to discard any changes and load the previously saved values.
Save Changes
This option saves your selections without exiting the Setup program. You
can then return to other menus and make further changes. After you select
this option, a confirmation window appears. Select [Yes] to save any changes
to the non-volatile RAM.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Chapter 4: BIOS Setup
Chapter 5
Software support
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
Install an operating system
This motherboard supports Windows 98/98SE/ME/ and 2000/XP operating
system (OS). Always install the latest OS version and corresponding updates
so you can maximize the features of your hardware.
5.1.1 Windows first time installation
When you start Windows for the first time after installing the motherboard,
Windows 98 detects all Plug-n-Play devices devices. Follow the Add New
Hardware wizard to install the necessary device drivers. When prompted to
restart, select No. Refer to the following sections in this chapter to install the
software and drivers contained in the support CD.
NOTE! Because motherboard settings and hardware options vary, use
the setup procedures presented in this chapter for general reference only.
Refer to your OS documentation for more information.
Support CD information
The support CD that came with the motherboard contains useful software
and several utility drivers that enhance the motherboard features.
NOTE! The contents of the support CD are subject to change at any
time without notice. Visit the ASUS website for updates.
5.2.1 Running the support CD
To begin using the support CD, simply insert the CD into your CD-ROM
drive. The CD automatically displays the welcome screen and the installation
menus if Autorun is enabled in your computer.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
5.3 A7N8X Motherboard Support CD
NOTE: The support CD contents are subject to change without notice.
To begin using your support CD disc, just insert it into your CD-ROM drive
and the support CD installation menu should appear. If the menu does not
appear, double-click or run D:\ASSETUP.EXE.
5.3.1 Installation Procedure
Click on the name of the driver or program group to begin installation. Follow
the instructions that appear on the setup screens. All drivers and programs
install automatically. Refer to 6. Software Reference for operating instructions.
5.3.2 Available Installation Menus
• NVIDIA nForce Drivers: Installs the NVIDIA nForce drivers.
• Silicon Image Serial ATA driver: Displays step-by-step installation
information of Silicon Image Serial ATA driver for various operating
• 3COM PCI Lan Driver: Installs a driver for integrated 3COM LAN
• Silicon Image Serial ATA Utility: Install software utility to monitor and
manipulate Silicon Image Serial ATA.
NOTE! You may need to reboot the system more than once during
Chapter 5: Software support
• ASUS PC Probe: Installs a smart utility to monitor your computer’s fan,
temperature, and voltages.
• Install ASUS Update: Instals a program that can help you update
BIOS or download a BIOS image file.
• Microsoft DirectX Driver: Installs basic drivers to enable compatibility
with audio and other special functions.
• PC-Cillin 2002: Installs the latest PC-cillin virus protection software.
View online help for more information.
• ADOBE Acrobat Reader: Installs the Adobe Acrobat Reader software
necessary to view user’s manuals saved in PDF format. Updated or
other language versions of this motherboard's manual is available in
PDF format at any of our web sites.
• Winbond Voice Editor: Installs a convenient utility to customize vocal
POST messages. (optional)
• ASUS Screen Saver: Installs a nifty ASUS screen saver.
• E-Color 3Deep: Installs the 3Deep software. 3Deep is the first
application that gives online games the competitive edge in multiplayer skirmishes. this application removes dark washed-out graphics
to deliver true vibrant colors.
• A list of addresses, phone numbers and ASUS website locations.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
ASUS PC Probe is a convenient utility to continuously monitor your
computer system’s vital components, such as fan rotations, Voltages, and
temperatures. It also has a utility that lets you review useful information about
your computer, such as hard disk space, memory usage, and CPU type,
CPU speed, and internal/external frequencies through the DMI
5.4.1 Starting ASUS PC Probe
When ASUS PC Probe starts, a splash screen appears allowing you to select
whether or not to show the screen the next time you open PC Probe. To
bypass this startup screen, clear the Show up in next execution check
To start ASUS PC Probe, click the Windows Start button, point to Programs,
and then ASUS Utility, and then click Probe Vx.xx.
The PC Probe icon
will appear on the taskbar’s system tray indicating
that ASUS PC Probe is running. Clicking the icon will allow you to see the
status of your PC.
Chapter 5: Software support
5.4.2 Using ASUS PC Probe
Monitor Summary
Shows a summary of the items being
Temperature Monitor
Shows the PC’s temperature.
Temperature Warning
threshold adjustment
(Move the slider up to increase the
threshold level or down to decrease
the threshold level)
Fan Monitor
Shows the PC’s fan rotation.
Fan Warning
threshold adjustment
(Move the slider up to increase the
threshold level or down to decrease
the threshold level)
Voltage Monitor
Shows the PC’s voltages.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Lets you set threshold levels and
polling intervals or refresh times of
the PC’s temperature, fan rotation,
and voltages.
CPU Cooling System Setup
Lets you select when to enable
software CPU cooling. When When
CPU Overheated is selected, the
CPU cooling system is enabled
whenever the CPU temperature
reaches the threshold value.
Lets you record the current
monitoring activity of a certain
component of your PC for future
Hard Drives
Shows the used and free space of
the PC’s hard disk drives and the file
allocation table or file system used.
Chapter 5: Software reference
Shows the PC’s memory load,
memory usage, and paging file
Device Summary
Shows a summary of devices in your
DMI Explorer
Shows information pertinent to the
PC, such as CPU type, CPU speed,
and internal/external frequencies,
and memory size.
Lets you run programs outside of the
ASUS Probe modules. To run a
program, click Execute Program.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
5.4.3 ASUS PC Probe Task Bar Icon
Right-clicking the PC Probe
icon will bring up a menu to
open or exit ASUS PC Probe
and pause or resume all
system monitoring.
When the ASUS PC Probe
senses a problem with your
PC, portions of the ASUS PC
Probe icon changes to red, the
PC speaker beeps, and the
ASUS PC Probe monitor is
Chapter 5: Software reference
ASUS Live Update
ASUS LiveUpdate is a utility that allows you to update your motherboard’s
BIOS and drivers. The use of this utility requires that you are properly
connected to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
1. Start ASUS Update. Launch the
utility from your Windows Start
2. Select an update method.
3. If you selected “downloading from
the Internet,” you will need to select
an Internet site. Choose the site that
is closest to you or click Auto Select.
4. From the FTP site, select the BIOS
version that you wish to download.
Click Next.
5. Follow the instructions on the
succeeding screens to complete the
update process. If you selected the
option to update the BIOS from a file,
a window pops up prompting you to
locate the file. Select the file, click
Save, then follow the screen
instructions to complete the update
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
3Deep Color Tuner
The 3-Deep color tuner is designed to match your CRT or LCD color
monitor to maximize the color quality of all graphical applications. Users
may also tune their internet applications to match “true” internet source colors
with the color displayed on the monitor.
Simply run the setup program from the start menu and follow the instructions
on the various setup/test screens.
5.6.1 3Deep Color Tuning
1. Select the type of monitor
connected to the computer, either
2. Follow the instructions to manually
adjust the brightness level of the
3. Select the faintest of the three
colors: blue, red and green.
Chapter 5: Software reference
4. Select the color squares which
most closely blend and match with
the background.
5. The next step repeats
the color matching
process to achieve
full color quality.
6. The tuning process is complete. Click on the bottom left button to
connect to the internet and follow the instructions.
5.6.2 The 3Deep Control Panel
Using the Windows Start button, activate the 3Deep Control Panel
program from the 3Deep Applications group on the Main Program menu.
The control panel offers access to the
Color Wizard tuning program, a Game
Gamma setting and a Tweak slider for
brightness adjustment.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
5.7 NVIDIA nForce Control Panel
The nVidia nForce Control Panel is a suite of five convenient applications
to help you get the most from all your computer controlled audio systems.
After installing the nVIDIA® nForce Driver, look for an nVIDIA® nForce APU
icon on the taskbar status area. Double-clicking the icon
opens the NV nForce Control Panel, a set of tools
for you to set audio-related configuration.
5.7.1 Main
The Main page includes the primary
sliders for adjusting the volume of
all sound sources, recording input
levels, equalization settings (and
presets), as well as a signal meter
to visually verify that sound is being
5.7.2 Speaker Setup
The Speaker Setup page is where
you go to configure and setup your
hardware. This page helps identify
how the speakers are connected to
the audio device, as well as what
format to use when sending audio
signals out of the PC. Here the
number of speakers can be applied,
the type of connection (digital or
analog), individual volume levels for
each speaker (balancing), and a host of specialty features. A wizard is also
available to help guide the user through the process.
Click the Speaker Setup Wizard to setup audio output.
If you only have 3 audio jacks, it is recommended to use the Speaker Setup
Wizard to switch the output from Line_In jack to Rear Speaker Out and the
output from Mic_In jack to Center Speaker Out, Subwoofer (Center/LFE
output).If your back panel I/O have 5 audio jacks, refer to Chapter 2.8 “Audio
Connectors” for details. No need to use Speaker Setup Wizard to switch
audio jack outputs.
Chapter 5: Software reference
Connector Settings and Functions
(audio jack switching for motherboards with 3 audio jacks only)
Headphone/2 Speaker
Line Out/
Front Speaker Out
Line Out/
Front Speaker Out
Line Out/
Front Speaker Out
Light Blue
Line In
Rear Speaker Out
Rear Speaker Out
Mic In
Mic In
Center Speaker Out, Sub-woofer
Here are some of the features on the Speaker Setup:
• Dolby® Surround Encoding - enables audio to be encoded for playback
on home theater receivers (using analog stereo outputs only)
• Dolby® Digital Encoding - Enables audio to be encoded for playback on
5.1 home theater receivers (using digital SPDIF output only)
This optional S/PDIF audio module allows digital instead of analog sound
input and output.
RCA / Optical connectors
S/PDIF internal header
IMPORTANT! For S/PDIF out function, you may use either the module
or the S/PDIF connector (optional) at the back panel, but not both.
• Create Center Channel - Generates a center channel for audio content
that does not have it natively (like MP3s, WMAS, etc.)
• Create Channel 3D Pan - Allows game sounds to be panned through the
center speaker when they pass between the left and right speakers (only
works for DirectSound3D games)
• Create LFE Channel - Generates a subwoofer signal for speaker systems
that require it (like Dolby Digital receivers or home theaters with discreet
subwoofer inputs)
• Rear Speaker Phase Shift - Adjusts the output of the rear speakers so that
sounds don’t ‘cancel out’ and remove the bass channel or cause a ‘tinny’
sound (primarily older 4 channel PC speaker systems)
• LFE Crossover Frequency - Adjusts the amount of bass signal removed
from the main speakers and sent specifically to the subwoofer output
(increment in hertz).
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
5.7.3 MIDI
This tab allows you to change
settings to MIDI playback. A MIDI
song can be tested at the Audition
section using all available effects or
just the highted effect. The
Download Sounds section allows
the loading and unloading of DLS
or SoundFont sample banks from
system memory. These banks
provide the instrument sounds for
any MIDI files played on the system. Finally, at the bottom we have the effects
panel. Since this panel is very similar to the Environment tab.
5.7.4 Environment
The Environment page is the most
powerful section of the application.
Like the MIDI page, a song or WAV
fiel can be tested, and an
environment can be applied using
a preset at the Environment
Presets drop down box. The power
comes in the next section where you
have the ability to add or remove effects to construct and environment of our
own liking.
5.7.5 Applications
The Applications page is used to
put audio application shortcuts. It is
just a quick way to get at their
favorite audio applications from
within the Control Panel.
Applications can be added or
removed by using the buttons in the
lower right hand corner of this page.
Chapter 5: Software reference
5.7.6 Information
The Information page shows the
details of the APU (optional),
hardware and software revisions,
driver revisions, currect DirectX
version, and in “Advanced” mode
the DSP and voice utilization. This
is the first place to look when you
are verifying what drivers you are
running and the last place to look
when you want to know what is
going on at the lower levels of the APU.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
5.7.7 Troubleshooting Q & A :
1. How can I get 5.1 channels audio?
• You must have a 5.1 speaker system.
• The audio source must be 5.1 channel soundtracks.
• Click Speaker Setup Wizard in the Speaker Setup tab of NVIDIA nForce
Control Panel to setup your 5.1 audio channel.
2. Why I can’t hear 5.1 channels audio when playing a CD or MP3 file?
Because the audio source is a two channel audio.
3. Is “S/PDIF” equal to “Dolby Digital”?
S/PDIF (Sony®/Philips ® Digital Interface) is a digital audio transfer
standard. It defines the physical layer for the transmission media interface
and the data format. Audio or non-audio data can transmit by S/PDIF.
But only the audio data encoded in Dolby® Digital format is Dolby® Digital
5.1 audio developed in the Dolby® Lab.
4. Can I get Dolby® Digital audio from Analog out?
It depends on the audio source. If the audio source is stored in Dolby®
Digital audio format, and you have a Dolby® Digital Software decoder,
then Dolby® Digital audio is possible from the Analog out source.
Chapter 5: Software reference
5.7.8 Audio Glossary
Dolby® Surround is an audio encoding process. When a Dolby® Surround
soundtrack is produced, four channels of audio information — left, center,
right, and surround — are matrix-encoded onto two audio tracks. These two
tracks are then recorded onto stereo program sources, like videotapes and
TV broadcasts.
Dolby® Digital 5:1 (AC-3) is an audio encoding process that simulates the
illusion of total surround sound. The system consists of five speakers and
one bass unit, hence the name 5:1. Normally, the listener is faced by two
front speakers and surrounded by two rear speakers; both pair of speakers
supply full stereo output. An additional, center speaker, facing the listener, is
mainly used for dialogue between actors and actresses.
The Dolby® Digital 5:1 AC-3 coder is designed to take advantage of natural
human auditory masking. AC-3 coding is essentially a very selective and
powerful noise reduction filter. The coder system divides the audio spectrum
of each channel into narrow frequency bands of precise proportions, each
one optimized with respect to the innate frequency selectivity of human
hearing. Coding noise is filtered out by matching its frequency to the “blind
spots” of human hearing. By reducing coding noise, the sound quality of the
original signal can be preserved and enhanced.
S/PDIF: S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) is a standard audio transfer
file format. It is usually built-in to the digital processors of audio equipment
such as DAT recorders or audio processing devices. It facilitates transfer of
audio data from one file to another without conversion to and from the analog
format, which could degrade signal quality. The most common connector
used with an S/PDIF interface is the RCA jack, the same one used for many
consumer audio-visual products. An optical connector is also available.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Winbond Voice Editor (optional)
The Winbond Voice Editor software allows you to customize the vocal
POST messages. Install the software from the software menu in the
support CD.
IMPORTANT! To avoid conflicts, do not run the Winbond Voice Editor
while running the ASUS PC Probe.
Follow these steps to use the Winbond Voice Editor.
Launching the program
Launch the program either from the Winbond Voice Editor icon on your
desktop, or from the Windows Start menu, Programs/Winbond Voice Editor/
Voice Editor.
The Winbond Voice Editor screen appears.
Default Messages
POST Events
Playing the default wave files
To play the default wave files, simply click on a POST event on the left
side of the screen, then click the Play button.
NOTE: The default language setting is English.
Chapter 5: Software reference
Changing the default language
1. Click on the Load button. a
window showing the available
languages appears.
2. Select your desired language then
click Open. The event messages
for the language you selected
appear on the Voice Editor screen.
NOTE: For some languages, not all events have a corresponding
message due to file size constraints.
3. Click on the Write button to update
4. Click Yes on the confirmation
window that appears.
The next time you boot your computer, the POST messages are
announced in the language that you selected .
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
RAID 0/RAID 1 configurations
The motherboard includes the Silicon Image Sil 3112A controller chipset
and two Serial ATA interfaces to support Redundant Array of Independent
Disks (RAID) configuration. This feature supports Serial ATA hard disks.
Use the SATARaid™ utility to configure the RAID sets.
RAID 0 (called data striping) optimizes two identical hard disk drives to
read and write data in parallel, interleaved stacks. Two hard disks perform
the same work as a single drive but at a sustained data transfer rate,
double that of a single disk alone, thus improving data access and
RAID 1 (called data mirroring) copies and maintains an identical image of
data from one drive to a second drive. If one drive fails, the disk array
management software directs all applications to the surviving drive as it
contains a complete copy of the data in the other drive. This RAID
configuration provides data protection and increases fault tolerance to the
entire system.
5.9.1 Install the hard disks
The Sil 3112A chipset supports Serial ATA hard disk drives. For optimal
performance, install identical drives of the same model and capacity when
creating RAID sets.
• If you are creating a RAID 0 (striping) array for perfomance, use two
new drives.
• If you are creating a RAID 1 (mirroring) array for protection, you can use
two new drives or use an existing drive and a new drive (the new drive
must be of the same size or larger than the existing drive). If you use two
drives with different sizes, the smaller capacity hard disk will be the base
storage size. For example, hard disk A with an 80 GB storage capacity
and hard disk B with 60 GB storage capacity, the maximum storage
capacity for your RAID 1 set will be 60 GB.
Chapter 5: Software reference
Follow these steps to install the hard disks for RAID configuration.
1. Install the Serial ATA hard disks into the drive bays.
2. Connect one Serial ATA HDD to each Serial ATA connector, using
separate serial ATA cables.
4. Connect the power cable to the power connector on each drive.
5. Make sure that the Serial ATA jumpers are set to enabled. See “2.7
Jumpers, Serial ATA Setting (3-pin SATA_EN1)” for more detailed
information on jumper settings.
6. Proceed to 5.9.2 for the next procedure.
5.9.2 Creating and Deleting RAID sets
Creating and deleting RAID sets is a built-in function found in the BIOS.
The following sub-sections describes how to use the RAID Configuration
Loading the RAID Configuration Utility
During POST, press <CTRL+S> or F4 to enter RAID configuration utility.
The following menu options will appear.
Create RAID Set
Delete RAID Set
Rebuild RAID Set
Resolve Conflicts
Below this menu items are the listed drives installed on the system. The
top right half of the screen displays the directions and comments for the
user. The bottom right half lists the command keys.
Select Menu
Previous Menu
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
91 Creating RAID Sets
1. Select “Create RAID Set”
2. Choose either a “Striped” or “Mirrored” RAID Set.
3. Select if you want the utility to Auto Configure the RAID Set or if you
want to manually configure the RAID set. For Striped Sets, you can
change the chunk size. For Mirrored Sets, you assign which is the
Source and Target drives, as well as if you want a Disk Copy.
• What is a chunk? The chunk size is the “stripe” on each disk. It is the
unit of storage equivalent to one stripe on a RAID 0 set. Available
chunk sizes: [2] [4] [8] [16] [32] [64] [128]
• When manually setting the chunk size for your RAID set, it is
recommended to use the smaller chunk size for server applications
and the larger chunk size for AV applications.
• What is Disk Copy? if the disk assigned as the source disk has been
partitioned and has data stored on it, and a second disk is added, the
data on the source drive can be copied to the destination drive, so
the disks are identical, and all subsequent data will be written to both
drives as a Mirrored set. If, however, the source disk does not have
data stored on it, there is no need for Disk Copy.
4. The utility will ask “Are You Sure? (Y/N)” before completing the
configuration. Press “Y” to confirm or “N” to go back to the
configuration options. Deleting RAID Sets
1. To remove one or more RAID sets, select “Delete RAID Set”
2. Select desired set and press “Y” when asked “Are You Sure? (Y/N)” Resolving Conflict
When a RAID set is created, the metadata written to the disk includes
drive connection information (Primary Chanel, Secondary Chanel). If, after
a disk failure, the replacement disk was previously part of a RAID set (or
used in another system), it may have conflicting metadata, specifically in
reference to the drive connection information. If so, this will prohibit the
RAID set from being either created or rebuilt. In order for the RAID set to
function properly, this old metadata must be first overwritten with the new
metadata. To resolve this, select “Resolve Conflict” and the correct
metadata, including the correct drive connection information, will be written
to the replacement disk.
Chapter 5: Software reference
Chapter 6
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
1394 is the IEEE designation for a high performance serial bus tht offers data transfers
at 100/200/400 Mbps. This serial bus defines both a back plane physical layer and a
point-to-point cable-connected virtual bus. The primary application of the cable version
is the integration of I/O connectivity at the back panel of personal computers using a
low-cost, scalable, high-speed serial interface. The 1394 standard also provides new
services such as live connect/disconnect capability for external devices including disk
drives, printers and hand-held peripherals such as scanners and cameras. This is a
new standard to complement the slower USB interface and to compete with the more
expensive SCSI interface.
AC97 (Audio Codec '97)
AC '97 is the next step in enabling PCs with audio quality comparable to consumer
electronics devices. The specification defines new cost-effective options to help
integrate the components necessary to support next-generation auto-intensive PC
applications such as DVD, 3-D multiplayer gaming and interactive music. The
specification also defines new extensions supporting modem and docking to help both
desktop and mobile manufacturers adopt these new technologies more quickly and
cost-effectively. This specification uses software emulation to compete with the PCI
SoundBlaster specification.
ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
The ACPI specification defines a cross-platform interface designed to support many
operating systems. ACPI defines a flexible and abstract hardware interface that
provides a standard way to integrate power management features throughout a PC
system, including hardware, operating system and application software. This enables
the system to automatically turn ON and OFF peripherals such as CD-ROMs, network
cards, hard disk drives, and printers, as well as consumer devices connected to the PC
such as VCRs, TVs, phones, and stereos. With this technology, peripherals will also be
able to activate the PC. For example, inserting a tape into a VCR can turn on the PC,
which could then activate a large-screen TV and high-fidelity sound system.
AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port)
An interface specification that enables high-performance 3D graphics on mainstream
PCs. AGP was designed to offer the necessary bandwidth and latency to perform
texture mapping directly from system memory.
Bus Frequency
Data Transfer Rate
AGP 4x
Backup. A copy of a file, directory, or volume on a separate storage device from the
original. This copy is for the purpose of data retrieval in case the original is accidentally
erased, damaged, or destroyed.
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)
BIOS is a set of routines that affect how the computer transfers data between computer
components, such as memory, disks, and the display adapter. The BIOS instructions
are built into the computer’s read-only memory. BIOS parameters can be configured by
the user through the BIOS Setup program. The BIOS can be updated using the
provided utility to copy a new BIOS file into the EEPROM.
Bit (Binary Digit)
A bit is he basic unit of digital data used by the computer. A bit equals either: 0 or 1.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Boot means to start the computer operating system by loading it into system memory.
When the manual instructs you to “boot” your system (or computer), it means to turn ON
your computer. “Reboot” means to restart your computer. When using Windows 95 or
later, selecting “Restart” from “Start | Shut Down...” will reboot your computer.
Bus Master IDE
PIO (Programmable I/O) IDE requires that the CPU be involved in IDE access and
waiting for mechanical events. Bus master IDE transfers data to/from the memory
without interrupting the CPU. Bus master IDE driver and bus master IDE hard disk
drives are required to support bus master IDE mode.
Byte (Binary Term) One byte is a group of eight contiguous bits. A byte is used to
represent a single alphanumeric character, punctuation mark, or other symbol.
Cache Memory. A type of RAM that allows a faster from the CPU than a regular RAM.
The cache memory eliminates the CPU wait state. When the CPU reads data from the
main memory, a copy of this data is stored in the cache memory. The next time the
same address, the data is transferred from the cache memory instead of from the main
CODEC (Compressor/Decompressor). A software component that translates video or
audio between its uncompressed form and the compressed form in which it is stored.
COM Port
COM is a logical device name used by to designate the computer serial ports. Pointing
devices, modems, and infrared modules can be connected to COM ports. Each COM
port is configured to use a different IRQ and address assignment.
Concurrent PCI
Concurrent PCI maximizes system performance with simultaneous CPU, PCI and ISA
bus activities. It includes multi-transaction timing, enhanced write performance, a
passive release mechanism and support for PCI 2.1 compliant delayed transactions.
Concurrent PCI provides increased bandwidth, reduced system latencies, improves
video and audio performance, and improves processing of host based applications.
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
The CPU, sometimes called “Processor,” actually functions as the “brain” of the
computer. It interprets and executes program commands and processes data stored in
memory. Currently, there are socket 370 (for Pentium III FC-PGA and Celeron-PPGA),
socket 7 (for Pentium, AMD, Cyrix, IBM), slot 1 (for Pentium II and III), slot 2 (for Xeon),
and slot A (for AMD) processors.
Device Driver
A device driver is a special set of instructions that allows the computer’s operating
system to communicate with devices such as VGA, audio, printer, or modem.
DOS (Disk Operating System)
DOS is the foundation on which all other programs and software applications operate,
including Windows. DOS is responsible for allocating system resources such as
memory, CPU time, disk space, and access to peripheral devices. For this reason, DOS
constitutes the basic interface between you and your computer.
DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
A type of RAM that requires refresh cycles to prevent the loss of the data stored in it.
There are several different types of DRAM such as, EDO DRAM (Extended Data Output
DRAM), SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM), and RDRAM (Rambus DRAM) and DDR
DRAM, (Double-Data Rate DRAM).
Flash ROM
non-volatile memory device that retains its data even when power is removed. This
device is similar to EPROM, but unlike EPROM which can be erased only using an
ultra-violet light, flash ROM can be electrically erased. Flash ROM is normally used for
system BIOS, which initiates hardware devices and sets up necessary parameters for
the OS. Since the flash ROM contents can be modified, users can easily update the
Chapter 6: Appendix
IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics)
IDE devices integrate the drive control circuitry directly on the drive itself, eliminating the
need for a separate adapter card (in the case for SCSI devices). UltraDMA/33 IDE
devices can achieve up to 33MB/Sec transfer.
I/O (Input/Output)
The data transfers from the input devices like a keyboard, mouse, or scanner, to the
output devices like a printer or the monitor screen.
I/O Address
The specific memory location for a particular device. Two devices cannot share the
same I/O address space.
IrDA (Infrared Data Association)
An internaltional organization that creates and promotes inter-operable, low cost,
infrared data interconnection standards that support a walk-up, point-to-point model.
The IrDA protocol is designed to support transmission of data between two devices over
short-range point-to-point infrared at speeds between 9.6Kbps and 4Mbps.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company that provides customer access to the Internet and the World Wide Web for a
fee. The ISP also provides Internet utilities and services like e-mail, newsgroup,
weather reports, and a host of others. The user can connect to the ISP using a modem
installed in the computer and connected to a phone line.
LPT Port (Line Printer Port)
Logical device name reserved by DOS for the computer parallel ports. Each LPT port is
configured to use a different IRQ and address assignment.
A set of 57 new instructions designed to accelerate multimedia and communications
applications, such as 3D video, 3D sound, video conference.
A device that allows a computer to talk to another computer through the phone system.
An interconnected computer system linked by telephone wires, or other means.
The OnNow design initiative is a comprehensive, system-wide approach to system and
device power control. OnNow is a term for PC that is always ON but appears OFF and
responds immediately to user or other requests. The OnNow design initiative involves
changes that will occur in the Microsoft Windows operating system, device drivers,
hardware, and applications, and also relies on the changes defined in the Advanced
Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification.
This is an industry-standard designation for memory capacity as a measure of the
speed of the memory bus. New platform requirements ensure that memory does not
become a bottleneck to system performance.
PCI Bus (Peripheral Component Interconnect Local Bus)
PCI bus is a standard specification that defines a 32-bit data bus interface.
PCI Bus Master
The PCI Bus Master can perform data transfer without local CPU help and the CPU can
be treated as one of the Bus Masters. PCI 2.1 supports concurrent PCI operation to
allow the local CPU and bus master to work simultaneously.
POST (Power On Self Test)
Powering on the computer initiates the POST, a series of software-controlled diagnostic
tests. The POST checks system memory, the motherboard circuitry, the display, the
keyboard, the diskette drive, and other I/O devices.
PS/2 Port
PS/2 ports are based on IBM Micro Channel Architecture. This type of architecture
transfers data through a 16-bit or 32-bit bus. A PS/2 mouse and/or keyboard may be
used on ATX motherboards.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Developed by Rambus, Inc., this type of memory can deliver up to 1.6GB of data per
second. RDRAM is the first interface standard that can be directly implemented on high
performance VLSI components such as, CMOS DRAMs, memory controllers, and
graphics/video ICs.
RAM (Random Access Memory). The computer’s primary storage area used to write,
store, and retrieve information and program instructions which are passed to the CPU
for processing. The information in RAM can be repeatedly re-written with new data.
Compared to other storage media like magnetic tape, floppy disk, and hard disk, RAM
has an extraordinarily fast access rate. RAM, however, is volatile, which means that the
data stored in it are lost when the system power is turned off, or if power glitches occur.
See also DRAM and SDRAM.
ROM (Read Only Memory)
ROM is nonvolatile memory used to store permanent programs (called firmware) used
in certain computer components. Flash ROM (or EEPROM) can be reprogrammed with
new programs (or BIOS).
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
High speed multi-threaded I/O interface defined by the X3T9.2 committee of the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for connecting many peripheral devices.
The standard started from 10MBytes/sec to 160MBytes/sec available today.
SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM)
A type of DRAM with access signals that are synchronized with the CPU clock,
eliminating the delay associated with data transfers between the CPU and memory.
SDRAM takes memory access away from the CPU control; internal registers in the
memory accept the request, and lets the CPU do something else while the data
requested is assembled for the next time the CPU talks to the memory.
SPD for SDRAM module
Serial Presence Detect (SPD) is most like an ID detect for SDRAM module, it using a
EEPROM component on DIMM module for storing module configuration information
inside. The Serial Presence Detect function is implemented using a 2048 bit EEPROM
component. This nonvolatile storage device contains data programmed by the DIMM
manufacturer that identifies the module type and various SDRAM organization and
timing parameters.
System Disk
A system disk contains the core file of an operating system that boots up the operating
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). The communications
protocol used by the UNIX system and the Internet. TCP checks for lost packets, puts
the data from multiple packets into the correct order, and requests that missing or
damaged packets be resent.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
A 4-pin serial cable bus that allows up to 127 plug and play computer peripherals such
as keyboard, mouse, joystick, scanner, printer, modem, and monitor to share a
bandwidth through a host scheduled token based protocol. This allows attaching or
detaching while the host and other peripherals are in operation. Supports synchronous
and asynchronous transfer types over the same set of wires up to 12Mbit/sec. USB 2.0
provides twice the transfer rate compared to USB 1.0 and competes with the 1394
Computer will automatically wake-up upon receiving a wake-up packet through a
Network interface when it is under power soft-off, suspend or sleep mode.
Chapter 6: Appendix
1. Windows 2000™ system fails to run the FIFA 2000™ video game: the
program exits after start up. However, the FIFA 2002™ version of the
video game functions flawlessly.
2. If the NEC® FDA-5101 USB keyboard is used to install Windows XP™,
the keyboard cannot be detected during the installation process.
3. If installing a PCI card with a game port, the PCI game port cannot be
used due to a limitation of the nVidia® chipset. However, the game port
on the MB will always function.
4. This motherboard does not support PCI VGA cards due to an nVidia®
chipset limitation.
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Chapter 6: Appendix
ASUS A7N8X motherboard
Internal Audio 9, 30
Panel 33
Parallel Port 24
PS/2 Keyboard 22
PS/2 Mouse 22
Serial Port 23
SMBus 29
USB 31
3Deep Color Tuner
Using 80
Using 74
ASUS Update
Using 79
Advanced Menu 51
Beep Codes 35
Exit Menu 68
Legend Bar 44
Main Menu 46
Menu Bar 44
Power Menu 61
Setup Program 43
Sub-menu launching 45
Updating 40
BIOS Beep Codes 35
expansion card
installation 15
Expansion slots 15
Central Processing Unit (CPU) 11
installation 12
Chip Configuration 55
Clear RTC RAM jumper 9, 21
Audio 25
Chassis Fan 9, 28
CPU Fan 9, 28
Floppy Disk Drive 9, 10, 26
IDE 26
installing 14
Floppy Disk Drive Connector 9, 26
Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)
Cylinders 48
Heads 49
Primary Master/Slave 47
Secondary Master/Slave 50
Sectors 49
IDE Activity LED 25
IDE Connectors 26
Clear RTC RAM 9, 21
Keyboard Wake Up 19
ASUS A7N8X motherboard user guide
Serial ATA Setting 19
USB device wake-up 20
Connector 22
Keyboard Wake Up jumper 19
LiveUpdate 79
Using 79
IRQ Table 17
layout 8
placement 7
screws 7
Connector 22
NVIDIA nForce Control Panel 82
Onboard LED 10
Operating system
installation 71
Clearing 21
Serial Ports
Connectors 23
AGP 18
PCI 17
SMBus Connector 29
Support CD 71
System Date 46
System memory
configurations 14
System Time 46
Troubleshooting 86, 97
UART2 59
Universal Serial Bus (USB) 23
Ports 23
3Deep Color Tuner 80
ASUS LiveUpdate 79
NVIDIA nForce Control Panel 82
PC Probe 74
Parallel Port Connector 24
Supervisor 64, 65
User 64, 65
PC Probe
Using 74
PCI Configuration 63
PS/2 Keyboard 22
PS/2 Keyboard Port 4
PS/2 Mouse 22
PS/2 Mouse Port 4
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