DDR400 for Athlon: A Comparison of 9 Motherboards

Elitegroup L7VTA

Board revision: 1.0

BIOS version: Evaluation version (September 4, 2002)

Just before we were about to wrap up the tests for this article, Elitegroup informed us that this model is a preproduction model, which explains why the benchmark results were below average. Regrettably, the mass production board didn't make it to us in time, so we'll have to give you the results in a brief update later.

Elitegroup is the only manufacturer to put a cooling element on the Southbridge - a provision that may sound cool but fails to offers any benefits whatsoever. We welcomed the fact that Elitegroup decided against a fan on the Northbridge - these are generally of low quality and break down sooner or later, anyhow. Because the heat transfer of a simple cooling element suffices, this step taken by many manufacturers is mostly just for looks.

As the KT400 supports neither RAID nor FireWire, Elitegroup added this functionality with two separate components; a VT6303 provides the FireWire port, which is located on the port panel.

On the right: audio jacks; four USB ports; a network hook-up; and a FireWire port.

The second component is a Promise IDE RAID controller (PDC20265R), adding two additional IDE ports for a total of four more drives. Elitegroup has done without Serial ATA so far - considering the fact that the drives are not available, that's certainly no loss.

The components shipped with the board will do, barely: apart from the data carriers with RAID drivers, motherboard software and PC-Cillin 2002, you get an ATX panel, a manual for the motherboard, and a manual for the RAID controller, which is quite unusual. It's a smart move, however, because of the basics it contains. Last but not least, there are also two IDE cables and a floppy cable in the box.

No doubt about it: this box contains the Elitegroup motherboard.