Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

The Motherboards In Detail

ABit KT7

BIOS-Version: July 28, 2000

Board Revision: 1.01

The KT7 follows the long ABit tradition and comes with all kinds of gimmicks for overclocking. The so-called Soft Menu III combines all necessary functions like settings for FSB clock, multiplier (up to x12.5) and voltage supply. For successful overclocking all L1 bridges on the processor must be closed. One simple but effective tool is a graphite pin because the material is a good electric conductor.

This board is also available with UltraATA/100 RAID controller. ABit uses the controller chip HPT370 from Highpoint. This type of board is called KT7 RAID and costs a little bit more.

There is not much to criticize about the layout, just that the DIMM clips obstruct the graphics card. Therefore the clips must be closed before installing a graphics card. Quite unusual is the fan on the Northbridge chip that is supposed to keep the temperature of the chipset component in a safe range even during overclocking.

Unfortunately the board does not possess a sound codec, and one of the PCI slots must accommodate a sound card. However, since the board has 6 PCI-slots a lack of resources should not be a problem.

Loading the BIOS with "Optimized Defaults" causes a peculiar AGP mode setting. In this case AGP only runs in 2x mode. This does not affect the general functionality but the graphics performance may suffer a little.

Uwe Scheffel