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ABIT VT7 Motherboard - VIA PT880 Done Right - Overclocking

We have a review of the ABIT VT7 motherboard today which is based on VIA's PT880 chipset for Pentium 4. We compare against motherboards from MSI and Gigabyte which are also based on the same Dual Channel chipset. The VT7 is ABIT's answer to budget yet overclockable computing with the VIA chipset.

By: | Socket AM3/AM3+ in Motherboards | Posted: May 24, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.5%Manufacturer: ABIT



ABIT has been the pioneer in software based overclocking. Back in the Socket 7 days, ABIT pioneered the Softmenu system. Then it was more of a jumper-free design then overclocking, however, when overclocking started to take off, ABIT modified its Softmenu systems to accommodate overclockers and has become the motherboard of choice amongst a lot of hardcore users around the world. Under the Award/Phoenix 6 BIOS is the Softmenu selection - it is here you will find all your overclocking options.


From here you can control your CPU FSB, AGP/PCI Ratio, DRAM Ratio, CPU voltage, DRAM voltage as well as the AGP voltages:


- First off the ranks are the FSB adjustments. ABIT, being the pioneers of overclocking, first introduced 1MHz FSB increment jumps - this holds true in the VT7 BIOS with setting from 100MHz all the way up to 300MHz in 1MHz increments.


- AGP/PCI Ratio selection is one of the new features finally added to the VIA chipsets. Intel, SiS and nVidia have all incorporated PCI/AGP locks, it has been VIA who have lagged behind in this field. The PT880 is the first to give these options and you have a selection from Auto, 33/66 up to 40/73Mhz. Locking the divider at 33/66 will keep the PCI/AGP within specs, allowing for a much better overclocking experience.


- With CPU voltages, on other PT880 motherboards this has been a disappointment, ABIT stems this with a selection from 0.9v up to 1.85v in 0.025v increments. This gives Prescott, Northwood and even Willamette users enough CPU voltage to play with for best results.


- DRAM voltage is quite handy; ABIT has maxed out the settings at 2.9v. The IC7 MAX3 allowed up to 3.2v - maybe its time for and VT7 MAX3?


In testings, we managed to hit 265MHz FSB with DRAM at 1:1 ratio. This is just under the 275MHz stable we managed on the IC7 MAX3 which, with all things considered, is quite good.




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