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Abit AT7 Motherboard Review - Features

The motherboard industry is all about innovation. Due to the fact that most boards that are based on the same chipset perform virtually identically, it is up to the manufacturer to include something that makes their board stand out from the rest. Abit have gone along way to improve innovation with their release of their MAX series of motherboards, which are legacy free. Abit's first MAX motherboard is their AT7 which is based on the VIA KT333 chipset for the Athlon platform. Follow Asher "Acid" Moses as he tells us if all this innovation is worth it, maybe it will be something we will see in the near future from other manufacturers, or maybe it isn't.

By: | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 15, 2002 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Abit

- Features


As far as features go, the AT7 does not disappoint. Firstly, it supports 4-channel ATA133 RAID through a HighPoint HPT374 controller, which means there is support for a maximum of 8 devices. The AT7 is also the first motherboard ever to feature a 4-channel onboard RAID controller and from past experience, the HPT374 is certainly among the best of its kind. With the regular 2-channel ATA133 support through the southbridge available as well, the AT7 supports a total of 12 IDE devices!



Secondly, 10/100 Ethernet is provided through a Realtek RTL8100B controller. This was a good choice by Abit and I found it to perform just as well as my PCI network cards. USB2.0 support is provided through a VIA VT6202 controller. There are two USB 2.0 ports and four USB 1.1 ports on the board. Two extra USB 2.0 ports can be enabled using the provided back plate.




Adding to the uniqueness of the AT7, IEEE 1394 or Firewire support is also available, with two firewire ports onboard. As well as this, 5.1 audio is available through a Realtek ALC650 controller. This controller provides playback at a sample rate of 96KHz. It features SPDIF OUT, line-in and centre/sub connectors, a front speaker connector and a mic in port. I found the sound quality from this controller to be very decent for an onboard chip, and most people, besides audiophiles, should be happy with the sound quality produced.




Cooling the northbridge is one of Abit's usual heatsink/fan units. The KT333 chipset does not require an active cooler, however, Abit are known to include them on their boards that are directed at the enthusiast market to make sure that northbridge heat does not become an issue whilst overclocking.



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