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upgrading mobo: Abit NF7

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August 9, 2003 5:03:45 PM

Upgrading my MSI KT3 Ultra to a newer motherboard, and the choice is Abit's NF7.

Now, I'm thinking the Abit because of its performance ratings versus the other NForce2 boards in its price range, it supports 400Mhz FSB, has the four mounting holes around the CPU socket and has a nice gap between the first PCI slot and the AGP for my heatsink and soon-to-be-waterblock. Its got tons of onboard audio connectors, though no SATA (which would be useless to me presently, though I would have liked an SATA drive for a future upgrade, I nonetheless don't forsee it too soon). Also would have liked a RAID controller, but I can always get a PCI card controller for cheap, though all I really need are the extra channels. Well, I'd love to hear some opinions about this motherboard, or any other that might interest you that competes with the NF7, essentially which one you would suggest and why.
Thanks

<b>don't hold strong opinions about things you don't understand</b>
August 9, 2003 8:07:40 PM

Didn't like that remark about the CPU fan in Toms though.
Hope that's cleared up.

<A HREF="http://www.lostcircuits.com/motherboard/abit_nf7-s12/3...." target="_new"> Lost Circuits</A> <<<-Possible voltage reporting problems

These guys conclude:
<A HREF="http://www.digital-daily.com/motherboard/abit-nf7sd" target="_new"> digital-daily</A>

Quote:

<b>Pros:</b>
Good stability and performance;
2-channel SerialATA-RAID controller;
Integrated 6.1 audio (nForce APU) and LAN;
Supports USB2.0 (6 ports) and IEEE-1394 (Firewire, 2 ports);
Hardware protection against overheating - Abit H.T.P.
Rich package bundle.
<b>Cons:</b>
Integrated audio is not free of noises (Has been fixed in later revisions)<A HREF="http://www.techview.nl/reviews/3062" target="_new">TechReview</A>.
Minor flaws in the BIOS and user's guide.

<A HREF="http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/abit..." target="_new"> NeoSeeker </A>
Feel the board is a little underrated.

<A HREF="http://www.vr-zone.com/reviews/ABIT/NF7-S/page9.htm" target="_new">vr-zone</A><<Editors silver - Since it costs considerably less than ASUS A7N8X, a better buy.

<A HREF="http://www.vr-zone.com/reviews/ABIT/NF7-S/" target="_new"> vr-zone NF7-s </A>--<A more recent review
Quote:
To sum it up, the overclocking on the ABIT NF7-S is remarkable. The board is extremely versatile, has the best and most feature rich BIOS I've ever encountered, and of course yielded phenomenal overclocking results

<A HREF="http://www3.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/motherboards/art..." target="_new"> Sharky </A>
Quote:

<b>Pros:</b>
High-End Performance
Super Onboard Feature Set
Nice Layout & Ease of Use

<b>Cons: </b>
More Features = Higher Price

<A HREF="http://www.amdmb.com/article-display.php?ArticleID=227" target="_new">Amdmb</A> <<--Fence sitting.

Some contrast:
<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.html?i=1840" target="_new"> DFI NFII </A>

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.html?i=1759&p=1" target="_new">Anandtech Roundup</A>

<A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20030721/index..." target="_new">tomshardware</A>

I've used Abit before. They have a good "feel" to me. I'd be happy to get this board.

The loving are the daring!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Flinx on 08/09/03 04:17 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 9, 2003 8:51:54 PM

thanks a lot for all those linkes dude - i've been reading review after review for the past few days and these helped, thanks. originally i had thought the a7n8x due to its original hype, but after seing that so many manufacturers had caught up i realised that i could get a cheaper yet better solution.. then took a look at the MSI K7N2 Delta L, since I liked my KT3 Ultra so far, but it just seems like its a mid-range nothign special board, so f#ck that.. just debating whether its worth me upgrading my RAM while I'm at it.. I've got 333Mhz Samsung with CL 2.0, running at 342Mhz (though I could probably push it a little more on another motherboard), but I'm thinking PC3200 now... though I don't have the funds to get OCZ, Kingston Hyper X or anything fancy other than Samsung, standard Kingston, Infinion or Micron 400Mhz RAM, but with a Case Latency of 3.0, which I'm really not interested in... do you think I'd get a performance boost with some PC3200 at CL3.0 versus my Samsung 333Mhz CL 2.0 ??

<b>don't hold strong opinions about things you don't understand</b>
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August 9, 2003 9:10:43 PM

Maybe you can find a buyer for ur old equipment and when you do you could get the memory you want. I'd try to sell off my older stuff and make at least making a partial recovery. You might start looking like a PC recyler otherwise :wink: , I know I'm starting to look that way.
If you want to upgrade at some later time, maybe when DDR-II starts to come out the prices of stuff ur looking at will fall :smile: .

Gonna let someone else answer your question about performance difference but all I can say is that I keep reading that it is more important to get a couple MegaHertz of performance than changing the latency.

I don't know if ur in a hurry. U have to know that.

-----------------
I'm in the process of saving up for some major graphics/mobo/memory upgrades. I'm still running PC133 (sigh) on one of those combo boards with an XP2200+ and also slower stuff like 1400 Celeron.

I was considering an NF7 for myself too. Was happy to walk through the reviews. Was also thinking that Abit's use of the best capacitors (or at least they said they would) may make their boards particularly likely of being long lived. The sound problem seemed to have gotten cleared up. Don't see many people complaining about memory problems with them either (maybe because they are not so popular).

The loving are the daring!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Flinx on 08/09/03 05:19 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 9, 2003 9:41:10 PM

well i'm a resller/system builder, so i try to cycle through my gear every few months... the cpu is like 2 months old, but the motherboard is the older part, close to a year now.. the ram is like 6 months old too. basically, the price it'll cost me to upgrade the mobo and CPU is like $20 so its worth it to stay on top, and I can get rid of the RAM, just don't know if I want to, heh... i think i might google myself an answer with reagards to Mhz vs latency.. or start up another post, heh.

<b>don't hold strong opinions about things you don't understand</b>
August 10, 2003 12:37:14 PM

Here is something that kind of slapped me though!
I wonder if this limitation still holds and if it applies to other Mobos!!!!
Also it is does not correspond to the specification on the Abit site which claims 2Dimm Max 2GB (Maybe it's just Kingston Memory)

<A HREF="http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator/modelsinfo..." target="_new">Kingston</A>

Only 2x256MB of 400MHz DDR??
Quote:

Using 266MHz DDR modules:
Virtually any configuration up to 3GB can be reached using any combination of Kingston's 128, 256, 512MB, and 1GB modules.
Using 333MHz DDR modules:
Supports only two banks at 333MHz using two 256MB (single bank) modules, one 512MB (double bank) module, or one 1GB (double bank) module.
Using 400MHz DDR modules:
Supports only two banks at 400MHz using two 256MB (single bank) modules or one 512MB (double bank) module.

The loving are the daring!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Flinx on 08/10/03 08:53 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 10, 2003 6:58:59 PM

interesting.. hmmm, i saw the likes of this on Abit's site as well, though I believe their updated board supports up to 2Gb PC3200, and 3Gb for PC2700/2100.. but you know what? no matter which manufacturer's board i go with its a characteristic of the NForce chipset... besides, as long as I can get a gig or RAM out of it this board's never going to see any higher anyways (before I upgrade again) so yeah..

probably gonn go with some TwinMos or Samsung anyways (i really don't like Kingston) so we'll see

<b>don't hold strong opinions about things you don't understand</b>
!