THE ABIT KR7A-RAID's BIOS:
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...
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...
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
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.