Abit NF7S Motherboard

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Abit NF7-S Motherboard
Abit's Version of the NVIDIA nForce2 Chipset

By, Tom Laverriere
January 7, 2003


When NVIDIA announced the release of its second generation NFORCE chipset, dubbed the nForce2, there was much anticipation amongst the enthusiast market.  After all, the NFORCE, although it wasn't completely polished, displayed good potential.  Many hoped that this potential would be fully realized in the nForce2.  Much to our delight, once we got our first boards into the lab, we were not disappointed.  The nForce2 has now become mainstream and is the chipset to pair with your Athlon XP chip, at least for some.  With AGP 8X and official Dual DDR400 support, the nForce2 boasts speed, power and integration.  Along with those features, the chipset offers some of the best onboard sound among any available solutions and optional onboard graphics, which are also far superior to any other onboard solution.  Those are just to name a few.  It's pretty easy to see why the nForce2 has become the talk of the town in AMD world and why AMD themselves sent us nForce2 kits along with their Athlon XP2700+, on it's initial launch.

While, originally, there was a limited selection of mainboard manufacturers that featured the nForce2, that selection has grown.  Asus' version has garnered quite a strong following, but a few of their main competitors have yet to release their product, until now.  When we hear of new chipset releases and wait to see which company will release the first board with that chipset, Abit is always one of the most anticipated.  I think a lot of us have been waiting for Abit's nForce2 board.  Well, the wait is over.  Today in the HotHardware labs we have Abit's version of the nForce2, the Abit NF7-S.  While the feature set is generous, I think Abit has made a name for itself in the overclocker's segment.  Will this board offer the usual Abit flexibility in the overclocking arena?  Let's take a look and find out.

 

Abit NF7-S: Feature set

Another nForce2 - The Abit NF7-S
The Dual Channel DDR chipset for the Athlon processor
Abit NF7-S

CPU
Supports AMD-K7 Duron/Athlon/Athlon XP Socket A with 200/266/333MHz FSB Processors
 

Chipset
NVIDIA nForce2 SPP Northbridge

NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T Southbridge

Integrated 128-bit memory controller

Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports AGP 8X/4X ( 0.8V/1.5V )

Memory
 
Supports 3 184-pin DIMM sockets
Supports 3 DIMM DDR 200/266/333 ( Max. 3GB )
Supports 2 DIMM DDR 400 ( Max. 2GB )

Audio

6-Channel AC 97 CODEC on board

Professional Digital Audio Interface supporting 24-bit S/P DIF OUT

Supports real time AC-3 Encode by SoundstormTM Technology


LAN
On board Realtek 8201BL physical layer interface

10/100 Mb operation support ACPI and Wake on LAN

System BIOS
SOFT MENUTM technology, can easily set the processor parameters

Award PnP ( Plug and Play ) BIOS supports APM and DMI ( Desktop Management Interface )

Supports ACPI ( Advanced Configuration Power Interface )

Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS

 

Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 8X/4X AGP Slot, 5 x PCI Slots

Floppy port supports up to 2.88 MB

2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 connectors

2 x USB 2.0 Headers

1 x CD-IN, 1 x IrDA

2 x IEEE 1394a Header

2 x Serial ATA 150 Connector


Back Panel I/O
1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 Mouse

1 x S/P DIF output

Audio Connectors ( Front Speaker, Line-in, Mic-in, Center/Sub, Surround Speaker )

2 x USB, 1 x RJ-45 LAN Connector

2 x Serial, 1 x Parallel

Serial ATA

On board Silicon Image SIL3112A Controller

Supports Serial ATA data transfer rates of 150 MB/sec

 

IEEE 1394

Supports IEEE 1394a at 100/200/400 Mb/s transfer rate

 

Miscellaneous

ATX Form Factor

Hardware Monitoring : Included Fan Speed, voltages, CPU and system environment temperature

 

Bundle

1 x 80-wire/40-pin ribbon cable for master and slave Ultra DMA 133, Ultra DMA 100, Ultra DMA 66 or Ultra DMA 33 IDE devices

1 x ribbon cable for 3.5" floppy disk devices

1 x compact disc for support drivers and utilities

1 x user's manual

1 x USB 2.0 cable with bracket

1 x I/O Shield

1 x IEEE 1394a cable with bracket

1 x Serial ATA cable

1 x ABIT SERILLELTM converter

1 x Serillel ATA quick installation guide

 


NVIDIA nForce2 Architecture

   

Supporting Dual DDR400 is a major attribute of the nForce2 chipset, but should not overshadow its other characteristics.  With the new SPP ( System Platform Processor ) Northbridge and MCP-T ( Media & Communication Processors ) Southbridge chips, the nForce2 offers support for the latest 333MHz front-side bus Athlon processors, ATA 133 ports, up to 6 USB 2.0 ports, onboard Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoding, IEEE 1394 and many other bells and whistles.  Let's have a closer look at what the Abit slapped on its motherboard as well the other goodies that come along for the ride.

A Closer Look: Abit NF7-S

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