Abit KR7A (VIA KT266A) Mainboard
| Abit KR7A
||FSB 200/266 MHz
||4 DDR SDRAM, up to 3 GBytes of PC1600/2100
Socket A (Socket 462)
One of the leading board makers, Abit Corporation
was the last to release a KT266A based board. When in October 2001
other companies started selling their boards, Abit only announced
the KR7A. After that the terms were postponed several times, also
because of the changes in the specification. Besides, Abit didn't
have a board on the KT266, as it focused on the KG7 (on the AMD760
chipset). That was a mistake. The performance of the KT266A chipset
was so great that AMD easily stopped production of its chipset.
Moreover, Abit was too far behind in time of development of the
board. A lot of other manufacturers had already working boards on
the KT266 by that time. And as the new version of the chipset was
completely compatible with the old one in outputs, the other companies
just replaced the north bridge and several weeks later they started
selling their new boards. The situation was aggravated by the fact
that the company's policy was to produce boards with an integrated
RAID controller which meant complication of the design.
However, the board appeared on the shelves in December.
Such short development period can be explained either by a very
high level of the developers or by some drawbacks (which is more
Note that the times when Abit was an unexampled leader in creation of good
overclockable boards passed away. Almost all today's boards have means to overclock
processors (and most of them do not use jumpers), and there are also aggressive
companies which do their best to take the Overclocking Palm from Abit (Epox,
Here is one more story unpleasant both for users and for the company. I mean
lack of the Athlon XP CPU support in the KT20, KT7E and earlier revisions of
KT7A(RAID) boards. Undoubtedly, the ABIT's fans who had no more desire to wait
for the KR7A turned to other companies.
That is why to return respect Abit had to release a very high-quality and inexpensive
board. Did it manage to do it?
Abit KR7A specification
- AMD Socket-A (Athlon /Duron) processors supported
- FSB 200/266 MHz supported
VIA KT266A chipset
- VT8366A North Bridge
- VT8233 South Bridge
- 4 184-pin slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM
- Maximum of 3 GBytes for DDR SDRAM or 4 GBytes for the register DDR SDRAM
- PC1600/2100 memory type supported
- AGP slot supporting 1x/2x/4x mode
- 6 32-bit PCI 2.2 slots
- Changeable CPU, IO, memory voltages, changeable multiplier
- FSB frequency changes from 100 to 200 MHz in 1 MHz steps
- Integrated UltraDMA/100 IDE controller (2 UltraDMA/66/33 Bus Master IDE
channels supporting up to 4 ATAPI devices)
- Additional IDE Raid controller (HighPoint HPT372 chip, 2 IDE channels supporting
ATA33/66/100/133 & RAID 0, 1, 0+1 protocols, up to 4 ATAPI devices)(optional,
the tested samples doesn't have it).
- LS-120 / ZIP / ATAPI CD-ROM supported
- 2MBit Flash ROM
- Award BIOS v6.00PG, supporting Enhanced ACPI, DMI, Green, PnP Features and
Trend Chip Away Virus
- One port for FDD, two serial and one parallel ports, ports for PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard
- Infrared Port (Integrated IrDA TX/RX connector)
- Monitoring of processor and chipset temperatures, voltage, fan speeds
- 2 integrated USB ports and 4 external USB ports
- wake up on modem, mouse, keyboard, network
- Standard 20-pin ATX power connector (ATX-PW)
- ATX form-factor, 305mm x 245mm (12" x 9.63")
- CD with software and drivers;
- 1 ATA-100 and FDD cables;
- User manual;
- Bracket with 2 additional USB ports.
The package of the new design is, however, in quite sombre colors. But today
all manufacturers develop a new design for each new board.
The user manual has no noticeable drawbacks. It is very detailed and illustrated.
The BIOS settings are paid much attention to, in particular, oveclocking with
the Softmenu III. However, there are some minor inaccuracies, but they won't
make problems for an experienced user in assembling and adjusting the system.
Apart from the standard VIA's drivers the CD contains Norton Antivirus 2002,
Acrobat Reader and Norton Ghost. Besides, here you can find WinDVD 2000 and
several (quite useless) utilities - SoftPostCard, SoftCopier, SoftCardManager
and SoftBulkEmail from BuzzSoft.
All these programs can be accessed through a special multilevel shell.
Page 2 - Examining the board
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