Clash of the KT266A Titans!

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Clash of the KT266A Titans! - Page 2

Clash of the KT266A Titans!
Motherboards from Abit, Asus, Soyo and MSI Do Battle!

By, Marco Chiappetta
December 13, 2001

THE ABIT KR7A-RAID's BIOS:

     

     

Abit used the very common v4.51 Award BIOS on the KR7A-RAID.  If you click through the above screenshots you'll probably be very familiar with most of the options.  There was nothing too extraordinary to see until we entered The "Softmenu III" section...

  

Abit's Softmenu III has been universally praised by many enthusiasts, and for good reason.  It makes overclocking as easy as it could possibly be.  Within the Softmenu III section of the BIOS, users have control over Multipliers, Voltages and Front Side Bus frequencies, among other CPU and Bus specific settings.  We were very pleased to see Abit's Softmenu III present on the KR7A-RAID.

Layout and Quality
Ton's O' Fun...

THE ABIT KR7A-RAID's LAYOUT:

Frequent readers know that every board to enter the HotHardware lab gets a thorough physical inspection.  We went over every inch of the KR7A-RAID before connecting all of our supporting hardware and powering-up the system for testing...

         

The KR7A-RAID is very much a "pure" motherboard with the exception of a few understated, but key features.  Looking at the external case connectors doesn't yield any surprises.  The PS2, USB, Serial and Parallel connectors are alone on the board.  There was no on-board sound or NIC to be found.  The Slot configuration is perfect.  The KR7A-RAID is outfitted with our preferred configuration of 1 AGP slot and 6 PCI slots.  The only thing missing is a retention clip for the AGP slot, which helps keep your video card in place during travel.  There is plenty of space around the CPU socket to accommodate large cooling solutions, and directly in the center of the socket you can see the thermal probe used to monitor CPU temperatures. In the same picture you can see the Three-Phase power array and the active cooler mounted to the Northbridge as well.  Adjacent to the well place ATX power connector you can see two of the four fan headers available on the KR7A-RAID...

         

We removed the Northbridge's active cooler to check what type of TIM (Thermal Interface Material) was installed and were pleased to see Abit used an ample amount of thermal paste.  All too often we see active coolers mounted with no TIM used at all.  Even though the KT266A Northbridge runs relatively cool, and active cooling may not be necessary, it was good to see Abit taking this extra step to insure stable operation.  The KR7A-RAID was the only board in the round-up to feature four DIMM slots (all of the others had three).  The retention clips were also slightly larger and seemed more "sturdy" than the others.  The on-board IDE connectors were mounted parallel to the edge of the board, but the RAID and floppy connectors were mounted perpendicular to the edge, just behind the PCI slots.  An AC2001 controller and the High-Point Tech. 372 RAID controller are visible in the last shot.  Also, to the right of the RAID connectors, three "power state" LEDs are visible.  These LEDs indicate whether or not the board has power, or if it is in standby mode. 


Let's Check Out Asus' Entry...

Tags:  ita, Titan, Titans, K

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