Abit's KT7ARAID Socket A Motherboard

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Abit's KT7A-RAID Socket A Motherboard
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By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
March 8, 2001

The competition in the CPU and motherboard chipset markets over the last year or so has been incredible. AMD has evolved into Intel's fiercest competitor and are consistently gaining market share. AMD's Athlon line of CPUs have steadily won over power users and budget shoppers alike with their high performance and relatively low prices (at the time this is being written a 1.2GHz T-Bird is selling for $236, while a 1 GHz Pentium III sells for $251). AMD can attribute their current market status not only to their great product, but to another company's efforts...VIA Technologies. A great CPU is useless without a high-performing, compatible motherboard chipset. VIA got behind the Athlon very early, producing chipsets that exploited its power at affordable prices. VIA has introduced quite a few chipsets supporting all flavors of the Athlon, including the KX, KT133, KT133A, KT266 and the KM133 with integrated video. As the DDR landscape heats up, expect the KT266 chipset to garner much press, but today we'll be taking a look at the KT133A.

Over time as a product matures, usually performance, stability and compatibility are improved. Often, new features or capabilities are added to further increase the value of a product. The KT133A is just such a product, building upon the already solid KT133 by adding support for the newer 133MHz FSB (266MHz effective) Thunderbirds. Coupled with the newer 686B Southbridge which offers native UDMA/100 support, this new combination should offer significant performance gains.

We've got Abit's KT133A based KT7A-RAID in the lab today.  The KT7 was arguably the best Socket A board available...let's see if it's updated counterpart is worthy of any praise...


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Specifications / Features of the Abit KT7A-RAID
VIA and AMD
CPU
  • Supports AMD-K7 Duron 600MHZ-850MHZ or future 200MHz FSB Socket A Processors
  • Supports AMD-K7 Athlon 700MHZ-1.2GHZ or 200/266MHz FSB Socket A Processors
  • Supports 200/266 MHz Alpha EV6 bus for the AMD Athlon & Duron Processors

Chipset

  • VIA KT133A /VIA 686B
  • Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI)
  • Supports AGP 2X/4X (Sideband)
  • Supports 100/133MHz Memory Bus Settings

Memory

  • Three 168-pin DIMM sockets support PC100/PC133 SDRAM module
  • Supports up to 1.5 GB MAX. (8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB SDRAM)
System BIOS
  • SOFTMENUTM III Technology to set CPU parameters
  • Award Plug and Play BIOS
  • Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS

Multi I/O Functions

  • 2 Bus Master IDE Ports supporting UDMA 33/66/100
  • PS/2 Keyboard and PS/2 Mouse Connectors
  • 1x Floppy Port (up to 2.88MB)
  • 1x Parallel Port (EPP/ECP)
  • 2x Serial Ports
  • 2x USB Connectors
  • On board USB header for Two extra USB channels

Miscellaneous

  • 1 AGP slot, 6 PCI slots and 1 ISA slots
  • Hardware monitoring
  • Built-in Wake on LAN/Wake on Modem
  • Built-in IrDA TX/RX header

As you can see from the specifications, the KT7A-RAID is a very feature rich product.  Not only did Abit pack the board with features, but they bundled it with a very complete set of items...

Included in the box are a pair of 80-Pin IDE cables, a floppy cable, a secondary dual USB connector, a CD and Floppy containing all necessary drivers to get your board up and running and one of, if not the best, user's manual available from any motherboard manufacturer today.

Installation, Layout and Quality

 
Tags:  Motherboard, RAID, SoC, socket, Abit, board, AI, id, Ara, AR, K

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