This mobo has given me sterling service and has never let me down. It is in CONSTANT use and is rarely turned off. I originally used a 1GB CPU but then flashed the bios and fitted a 2 GB CPU. It has 512mb of DDR 2100 and goes like the clappers. I found that it hated Windows 98 and ME which had bad stability problems (typical windows) but when I installed XP PRO I found that it was very stable. Even all drivers are on it including the RAID drivers. I have never overclocked it has I dont like the thought of frying it. It is fitted with a TNT2 32mb video card and a soundblaster 5.1 Live plus a NIC card. The Modem is an external Hayes Accura 56k dialup model. I use it mainly for internet use and making my own music mixes using Sonar which can use a lot of resources. Its a shame it will not take the new Barton core CPU then it will be a flying machine. Its quite good now though. Although the board is showing its age compared to more modern boards, it is still good and I would have another one anytime. I expect if I get a new replacement I will get a modern Abit board and set this one up as a server using the RAID. It would make a good storage / backup machine. Just remember to fit at least a 450 to 500 watt psu if you set up both RAID channels. I find with 2 HDD,s and a cd writer and dvd rom that a good 300watt is ok. One word of advice is if you intend to flash the bios on an Abit board dont forget to unzip the bin file first. Abit are the only maker that i know that does this. Also if you dont use the RAID, disable it in the bios to let it boot up a little faster.
Erm… Well no actually! Motherboards can be drastically different in quality and speed. You just need to know how to look at them and what are the good and bad points of them all. Okay so here goes for the bad points about the Abit SoA AMD 761 ATX R motherboard Bad points: ~~~~~~~ 1. Windows will fight you over which device drivers are best and you’ll generally end up not even using the disk of drivers they give you. The navigation on the disk is painful at best and could be so much simpler. 2. There is no on-board sound (which I consider a plus personnally, but others may not) 3. It may not come with the CMOS cleared (Mine didn’t and wouldn’t do a thing till I clear it! V.Annoying) 4. It will only cope with a 1.33 GHz chips and no faster (shame really) And there we go that’s it! The bad points of this board! So now lets look at what the board can actually do: Spoecifications: (Well the interesting ones!)
~~~~~~~~~~ Max Processor Speed 1.33 GHz Bus Speed Max: 266 MHz (so you need 266 MHz Ram to make the most of this board) Manufacturer: Abit Model: KG7-RAID CPU Socket Type: Socket A Mainboard Chipset Type: AMD-761/ VIA 686B Compatible Processors Athlon or Duron (No Pentiums) Form Factor ATX (basically it will only fit a ATX case, so no AT cases please!) Audio Output: None (So no crap on-board sound, you need to buy one though) Video Output: None (So no crap graphics card, you need to buy one though) RAM: (I’ve gone into more detail here as THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT you get it right) Installed Size: 0 MB (Doh!) Max Supported Size: 4 GB (As if you would ever need that much, oh well) Must be DDR SDRAM DIMM 184-PIN RAM (REALLY IMPORTANT) Only supports NP RAM. (NP = Non-Parity which means the RAM wont detect its own errors, don’t worry about this unless
you know what it means. If you don’t know what it means just buy the NP RAM its cheaper and just as quick as ECC etc) Expansion Slots: 1 x processor - Socket A (This is for your chip/CPU and you will only need one of these) 4 x memory - DIMM 184-PIN (This is the holes for your RAM, 4 is more than ample) 1 x AGP (This is your Accelerated Graphics Port, so you can put in a AGP Graphics card, you don’t have to but it’s a waste of a PCI slot otherwise) 6 x PCI (This is enough for most people, I only use 3) Ports: 8 x storage DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) / 40 PIN IDC male (Its eight because you can use the RAID IDE’s as normal IDE’s giving you 4 master IDE’s with another 4 slaves!) 2 x serial USB / 4 PIN USB Type A male And finally it is Plug and Play (thank god!) Heres what Abit says the motherboard does: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Minus all the crap that means nothing)
With the KG7-RAID, Abit brings a strong performing and stable motherboard into the DDR Arena. Supporting the latest in AMD Duron and Athlon CPUs, the KG7-RAID supports up to 4 GB of DDR memory. Utilizing Abit`s SoftMenu III technology. Abit`s world-famous SoftMenu III allows the user to define the correct front side bus speed at anywhere between 100 and 200MHz in increments of one, plus increased CPU core voltage adjustments. The KG7-RAID features hardware monitoring of fan speeds, voltages, system environment temperature, plus one thermal header for further temperature monitoring. Wake on LAN and Wake on Modem are built in, as are Open Chassis and IrDA TX/RX headers and Keyboard and Mouse Power-On functionality. My review: ~~~~~~ This is a good motherboard, with all the up to date funky bits you want, and with a few more than normal also. I won’t lie I’m not sure what the RAID is for (something to do with Servers) but I do know that if you choose not to use the RAID stuff then you can instead have 4 master IDER
17;s in your case which is really handy. For example I can put in my 2 CDROMS and 2 hard drives all as masters! Which is cool. The ports and slots expansions is all you could ever want unless you need something specially, but for most of us those listed above will more than enough. It will take 4 USB’s also. In the box you get the motherboard, Device drivers, additional USB connector for installing 2 more ports and a 98/2000/XP floppy disk of drivers. All in all this is a great motherboard that is very to use and install. It’s good a nice BIOS with it and RAID abilities. Shame about the 1.3Ghz limit but otherwise this is a good mid range motherboard that won’t cost you the earth, but you still get all the new stuff out now (266 FSB, Ultra ATA etc etc…) Buy one if you have less money than sense. (Or is that the other way round?) Buy one they work well. UPDATE! Final point, if you're trying to install 3 or 4 IDE devices and intend using the additional slots to do this. You cannot plug an ATAPI device into the IDE3 and 4 slots. It does say this in the manual but right at the end. Took m
e a week to figure this out!
I was using Abit's KT-7 Raid for several months until I tried to update the BIOS and it all went pear shaped. The mobo was sent back to ABIT UK through my London reseller, and 4 weeks later I got a new KT-7A Raid motherboard. The KT-7A supports the new Athlon chips running the 266mz front side bus. Running some SiSoft Sandra benchmarking showed that my motherboard and PC-133 memory was lagging behind my processor (Athlon 1.2ghz 266fsb) and graphics card (Leadtek Geforce 2 Ultra): it wasn't doing these components justice. Also, I had been having major stability problems with the Via chipset on the KT-7A (latest Nvidia Detonator XP drivers on Geforce 2 Ultra), and didn't feel confident flashing the BIOS after my last disaster! As the new motherboard was only 2 months old and in perfect condition I sold it to a mate for £70, who wanted to build a kick-ass Pc for his music studio. The RAID function of the KT-7A RAID mobo was perfect for him, he could run 2 or 4 hard drives in a stripe to get maximum speed. I bought the KT-7 Raid originally because i liked the idea of Raid functionality: however, I couldn't justify buying 2 or 4 hard drives for playing games, so I never used the Highpoint Raid controller, it was just sitting there redundant. After selling my mobo, I looked at loads of other mobos from different companies. I ended up going back to ABIT, because I love their Softmenu III BIOS, wicked for overclocking and tinkering with chipset settings. This time around, I didn't want RAID, waste of money paying for something I wouldn't use. Also I wanted to upgrade to DDR memory to make the most of my Athlon 1.2GHz chip which supports DDR. The on-line reviewers were banging on about Abit's new KG-7 Lite, a "cut-down" version of the KG-7 and KG-7 RAID. The Raid version differs from the KG-7 because of the Raid controller, self explanatory really. But what about this "lite" busin
ess, sounds like a fizzy drink? The Lite doesn't have Raid controller, or 4 DDR slots, just 2 slots allowing a maximum 2GB of unregistered DDR or 4GB of registered DDR. I could never see myself buying 2GB of DDR, that would cost major $$$ and Win98SE doesn't like going above 512mb without stability and control issues. I settled on two 256mb slabs of PC2100 DDR from Crucial for the great price of £54...to think I paid £80 and £70 for two 128mb slabs of NEC PC-133 back in March and June this year! Shows how much prices have tumbled. A quick note of caution about buying memory, don't get cheap memory. always spend additional 20% on decent branded memory, and try to get matched pairs, otherwise you'll get all kinds of random problems. The KG-7 Lite looks very pared down compared to my older KT-7A Raid, as it has solder covering the empty space where the additional 2 Dimm slot sit, and a sticker over the missing Raid controller. The FDD socket has been pushed across to the far side of the board, overall this board is far less cluttered and really well built (Abit's boards are always good..) The KG-7 Lite uses the AMD 761 chipset to run the Northbridge, this was one of my primary reasons for buying this mobo; I wanted to get away from using a Via chipset as I'm sick of stability problems with the AGP port, it seems that Via have solved this with their new 266 chipset (as found on many new DDR boards) but using an AMD chipset with an AMD processor seemed a really good idea. There is a Via chipset on the board, but it doesn't control the Northbridge so I felt more comfortable laying out the cash. Installation was really simple, Abit's manual is much better than the manual for the older KT-7A Raid, this time round it has decent black+white photographs, detailed explanations and tons of techy stuff. The new BIOS has a host of new features to support the DDR memory and AMD 761 chipset, loads of stuf
f like "DDR recharge rising Slew rate" which I understand but don't want to mess with.. ..basically if you are a power user or power gamer (think Quake III at max resolutions with all settings on, or the new stuff like Return to wolvenstein, Doom III, Max Payne) then you'll love this board. It cost £118 which is a good value, and I like the uncluttered layout. Performance wise, this board flies. Even though it doesn't have the RAID controller, it does have Ultra DMA 100 controller for the two IDE channels, use this with a UDMA 100 compatible hard drive and you'll get great results. The DDR memory makes a very real difference to system performance, clean install of Win98SE took about 15 minutes compared to the usual 40 minutes. Testing using 3D Mark 2001 and SiSoft Sandra showed a real jump in performance, approx 30-40% faster than my previous PC-133 memory based system. To conclude, if you're looking for a powerful, stable, a tweakable DDR board then look no further. The Softmenu III BIOS is the best on the market, allowing jumperless resetting of processor / fsb / pci speeds, total control over voltage and all chipset featurtes. This mobo supports a wide range of Athlon processors including Athlon 200mhz fsb, Athlon 266mhz fsb and the new Athlon XP. This would make a great upgrade choice for someone with an Athlon 900mhz (200mhz fsb) or similar, allowing you to change your chip to Athlon XP later on. I can see why users are raving about the KG-7 Lite, it gets tops marks from me.
I have recently replaced my old Gigabyte BX2000 motherboard with the Abit KG7-Raid. I was after performance and darned out outright speed, and I am so glad I choose this board. It can nicely packed with a very good manual and two UDMA 100 cables, an extra long floppy cable, USB header (for the extra two USB ports, it has four) and the drivers CD. It was very easy to install but as it was wider than my existing board I had to buy a full tower case, as the CD copier wouldn’t fit, as it hit the DDR ram. The reason I choose this board was its 4 DDR slots and its 6 PCI slots and none of those AMR/CNR slots that nobody uses. I have read that these boards have compatibility problems, Pha what a load of cobblers, touch would I didn’t get any. I am running a SoundBlaster Live Value, a Modular Technology 56K modem, Genius GFX 100II LAN and Abit Geforce 3. No problems at all. I have bought 2x256MB DDR Crucial Sticks that are registered and ECC and also purchased a Enermax 350W PSU with 8 connectors and two floppy and two fans. Overall the motherboard was an excellent choice and it is slightly more expensive that others but hey you want the best buy the best don’t skimp, you’ll just end up spending more. Setup was easy and the manual explains the BIOS very well and it was dead easy to get running. Only one jumper to set, the clear CMOS one, never used it yet. Excellent board, excellent performance.