iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Abit KR7A (VIA KT266A) Mainboard

Abit KR7A
Chipset VIA KT266A
Form-factor ATX
FSB FSB 200/266 MHz
Memory 4 DDR SDRAM, up to 3 GBytes of PC1600/2100
Processor AMD Duron/Athlon
Socket A (Socket 462)
HDD UltraDMA/100 IDE
Price: ~$120-130

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 probable).

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, Soltek etc.).

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

    System memory

  • 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

    Disc subsystem

  • 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

    Integrated sound

  • No


  • 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

    USB support

  • 2 integrated USB ports and 4 external USB ports

    Power management

  • 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")



  • Motherboard;
  • 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.

WinDVD program

All these programs can be accessed through a special multilevel shell.

Page 2 - Examining the board

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