KT7A RAID system parts compatability

I'm moving quickly towards building a system based on the KT7A-RAID mobo, and wanted to run it through here to make sure the parts are compatible and good choices. I've heard good things about the KT7A being a good, stable, mature mobo, which is why i chose it. Here's the parts:

Abit KT7A-RAID mobo
Athlon 1 GHZ C (266 FSB)
128 MB Corsair 133 memory
2-30 GB IBM Deskstar 7200 RPM HDD's
ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder 32 MB AGP Graphics card
Pioneer 16x DVD Slot (EIDE)
Plextor 40/16/10 CD-RW EIDE
Panasonic Floppy drive
Creative Labs Soundblaster LIve Value sound card
Enlight Mid-Tower w/ 300W PS
Viewsonic VP181 LCD Monitor

Am i missing anything important? This is my first system build, so i'm not sure what comes with what. Do these parts include all necessary cables and such? Do I need to buy a heatsink and fan, or does it come with the processor? Also, does the 1 GHZ athlon suffer the same heat issues the higher speed athlons have? Any other details/compatibility issues i need to consider?

Also, any advice on the sound card and video card are welcome. I'm not really a gamer, but i would like a nice, high end multimedia video card, thus the All-In-Wonder choice. But any input as to which All-In-Wonder card to choose is welcome. Same with the sound card. I'm not an audiophile, so as long as it'll run my little Monsoon speakers and subwoofer left from my last system, i'm happy.

For the floppy drive, any advice on a quality product? They all seem to be within a few dollars of each other, so price isn't really an issue. Thanks for any input and expertise you're able to share!! Hopefully i'll be able to save myself some headaches.


"It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear."
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  1. Your system looks very similar to mine. Here's my input:

    MoBo-Watch out for the new bios update, as the KT133A chipset has some problems, like moving large files or not working with some video cards. Check the Abit website for updates.

    Proc-Good choice...try to get one with the AXIA batch code. You might have to pay retail for the privilege of browsing someones inventory, but there's a good chance that 1GHz will run at 1.5 no sweat.

    RAM-Little on the low side. With high quality 256MB chips running less than US$120, it seems silly not to go at least that much.

    HD-Deskstars are great drives, but I went with the 40GB Quantum Fireball Plus AS. Their liquid bearing technology hooked me. But I had planned on the IBM until then.

    Vid card-Can't go wrong with the All-In-Wonder. Try to get the 64MB version, you'll be happier with your multimedia performance.

    DVD-No experience there. I haven't found the allure of DVD on computer yet. I'll wait till they build games that come on DVD.

    CDRW-Excellent choice. Plextor makes a great CDRW, and who wouldn't love to burn CDs 7 minutes at a time.

    Floppy-Who cares...buy the cheapest one you can find. If it craps out, you can find a replacement for less than US$10 at any computer show.

    Sound card-Good, solid card. Cheap, and they perform great.

    Case-This is perhaps the most personal, intimate choice a person has to make when building a computer. This is the visual representation of your computer, the part you'll be looking at day after day. Do you like them fair, or swarthy? Do you like the slender waif, or one you can wrestle against, possibly losing? Just make sure it's easy to get into and that everything fits snugly, but you still have room to maneuver.
    Ok, so I rambled...just pick one that's easy to open up, has good airflow, and lots of room. And DON'T skimp on the power supply. For me, I went with the Antec SX1030. Check out the 2CPU website at www.2cpu.com/Hardware/SX1030/sx1030_1.html

    Monitor-I LOVE Viewsonic monitors. They just look so much crisper than the others. However, I've never been able to afford one of my own. However, I'm no fan of LCD screens. They've come a long way, but they still can't handle motion very well. I always get a sense of blurring, like in a 70s B action movie.

    As for the fan/heat issue, I decided on the Swiftech MC370-0A, with a little Arctic Silver thermal goop. It's big, it's loud, but it'll keep the heat down. However, if noise is an issue, try the Global Win FOP32-I or the Elan Vital's FSCUG 3. Read Tom's review of them in his CPU guide.


    Though the monkey dresses in silk, it remains a monkey.
  2. not a bad system for your first build! Some comments tho:

    I have the same m'board, processor and sound card - very quick!

    1) get more memory - ie a 256Mb PC133 module is more cost-effective...
    2) HDD is good - I have the IBM deskstar 45Gb 7200rpm.
    3) if you want to run new 3D games ie Quake 3 Arena etc, forget the ATI Radeon as it tries to do too much in some areas, but not enough in the 3D department. Instead, get a 64Mb nvidia GForce based card from various manufacturers, and look at the reviews on the Toms Hardware pages.
    3) I have a combination Ricoh CD/CDR/CDRW/DVD drive as well as a generic 40x CD drive, which is good for making backup copies ;-) Make sure you put your 2 HDD's on different IDE channels and the CD/DVD and CDRW drives on different ones too - ie put one HDD and the CD on one IDE, and the other HDD and DVD on the other. the m'board manual mentions this anyway. Otherwise, you can't copy from the Cd/DVD to the CDRW.
    4) S'blaster Live works ok for games and MP3s, but if you're after a 'high-end' system then maybe the Soundblaster Live 5.1 would be better (5 channels + subwoofer). the 'value!' one is cheap, but not _that_ good for good music. You could also look at other brands - ie Turtle Beach etc for much better audio.
    5) 300W power supply is required, at least for upgradability for new devices. Make sure it's an ATX form factor case, as required for the m'board.
    6) forget the LCD screen for game play... they might be nice and clear for text and applications, but they are too slow to handle the fast refresh rates that a 3D game would require. If you don't need games, it might be ok - dunno about running DVD on them tho'. check it out before you get one.
    7) The m'board would normally come with all the IDE cables required for your drives, while the case should come with all the screws and motherboard mounts you need.
    8) the processor may or may not come with a fan and heatsink - check out the package before you buy. get a good heatsink, preferably not an aluminium one - cheap and not a good conductor of heat.
    9) having the same processor, I haven't had any overheating problems, even with the basic heatsink and fan. If you plan to overclock the processor, prevent any overheating problems by buying more internal fans - make sure your case can allow for another 2 fans, ie one to draw air in and another to draw it out.
    10) get any floppy drive... they are _almost_ unneeded, but you'd be surprised when you really need one! any cheap one will do - but check your case first to see if it has a 'proper' 3.5" external slot, or if it has a 'moulded' slot in the case. If it's the latter, you'll have to get a specific floppy drive without the faceplate.

    Now for the fun bits - PROBLEMS! This motherboard does have some - I had one with a Hercules 3D Phophet II GTS PRO 64 graphic card. This card is fantastic, but isn't compatible with the m'board, as the PC won't boot at all with it in... I had to send mine back to get a 'modified' one that now does work with the m'board.

    Also, the board is based on the Via chipset, which does have problems, particularly with the USB ports, drivers and USB devices. There is plenty of info around on these problems, but very little (ie none) in the way of fixes (yet) from Via or Abit. The simplest option at the moment seems to be to (unfortunately) spend more money on a PCI USB adapter card for around US$30, which gets around the problem. See www.usbman.com, www.viahardware.com for more info.

    I hope this helps!

  3. I just built a KT7A-RAID/1.2Ghz@1.46Ghz. I refuse to go through the SBLive crap because it doesn't get along with the hpt370 raid controller. If I were you, I'd get a turtle beach or herculese sound card. Not for sound quality as much as for ease of installation and the fewest conflicts. Go to Icrontic and look for posts on SBLive vs KT7A-RAID. You'll thank me later!!
    Good Luck
  4. Thanks for y'alls advice. I ended up purchasing the system with 256 MB of RAM, like everyone advised. As far as the monitor and video card, I'm not really a gamer (i.e. i'm still working on beating the Warcraft II expansion pack) so i'm not too worried about frame rates and such. I chose the LCD because desk real estate (actually, living area as a whole) is a big issue for me right now. That, and there's a certain ammount of a cool factor to an LCD monitor =) The video card I'm hoping to use for more multi-media choices, like downloading and editing video from my camcorder and such. Thus the all-in-wonder.

    As far as putting it together (since the parts are on the way), anyone have any advice for things I need to be sure to do or look out for as I assemble it? This is my first build, so any experience for a newbie is appreciated! I picked up a static strap from the work the other day. Any good points on general computer building? Again, thanks for any info.


    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear."
  5. YES! .. be VERY VERY careful about putting on the heatsink/fan on your new CPU. Depending on which one you get you may have to put quite a bit of pressure on it.
    The trick is to put it on slowly. Don't force down in one huge push. Also, if your heatsink has a little nob where you can stick a flat-head screwdriver into it you need to push down and away and then in (this is because the notches on the socket are curved downwards.. most people don't notice this).

    Hmm.. red strip on all HDs/CDROMs/DVDs/CDRWs goes to the pin closest to the power plug. But its the reverse for a 3.25" floppy drive.

    I think that covers that major stuff. Good luck!
  6. Go to Radio Shack and pickup a tube of Heat Sink Compound.
    (Part #: 276-1372) and apply a SMALL DAB to the center of your CPU before you strap on the heatsink.

    You should put the CPU and RAM on the motherboard before putting it in your case. (This should be done with a piece of cardboard and anti-static foam or other "shock absorbing" material under the motherboard so you don't damage anything in the process.

    Steve Benoit

    Stable Technologies
    'The way IT should be!'
  7. Well, i picked up a Globalwin FOP32-1 HSF and some Arctic Silver II compound based on what i've read on some posts on the forum. Anyone know how hard it is to put this fan on? Who knows, maybe if it's a good solution and I get one of the AXIA processors, i may even play around with overclocking the thing once i get it set up and get the bugs worked out. (of course, this is after i was talked into buying a super orb with the order *grumble grumble*)

    Again, much thanks for all the info! It will certainly be a help.

    One more thing, why put cardboard under the mobo when installing parts? Why ot just do it once it's already in the case? I've added RAM before, and messed with my processor. I didn't hae any issues. Is it just a convenience issue, or a safety/don't-fry-your-stuff issue?


    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear."
  8. <b>i picked up a Globalwin FOP32-1 HSF and some Arctic Silver II compound based on what i've read on some posts on the forum. Anyone know how hard it is to put this fan on?</b>
    It's very easy. Just making sure both of its clips attached to the Socket's clips securely.
    <b>why put cardboard under the mobo when installing parts?</b>
    To prevent short to ground. Motherboard's screws might touch the case and cause it refuses to boot.
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