iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ABIT SA7 (SiS645DX) Mainboard

The board has undergone prominent changes, as compared to the SiS645 chipset, due to the extended functionality of the PCB which now can house an IDE RAID controller. 


  • Package of a standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Norton Antivirus 2002; 
    • WinDVD 2000 v2.1; 
    • 3Deep; 
    • BuzzSoft SoftPostCard; 
    • BuzzSoft SoftCopier; 
    • BuzzSoft SoftCardManager; 
    • BuzzSoft SoftBulkEmail. 

The layout is unconventional and a little awkward: we already got used to positions of the audio-ins (between the slots) and power supply connector (between the processor socket and back panel). But placing the FDD connector next to the AGP, and USB connectors between the AGP and PCI is an arguable solution as their cables will stretch along the whole computer case. But it's not difficult to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its function is shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 9 capacitors of 3300 uF and several less capacious ones. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and C-Media CMI9738 AC'97 codec supporting 4.1 audio systems and having an output for front audio  connectors; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100B chip. 
Non-unsoldered connectors: chip and connectors of the IDE RAID controller and CNR slot. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8705F chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, 1.8, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, VBAT, +3.3 and +5 V StandBy; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor).
There are 3 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 1.1; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switchesJumper to clear up the CMOS 
BIOS based on the 6.00PG version from AwardSetup of memory timings+CAS Latency, DRAM Addr/CMD Rate, System Performance
Setup of memory frequency+by SPD, CPU:DRAM = 1:1, 3:4, 3:5 (at FSB 100 MHz) or 4:3, 1:1, 4:5 (at FSB 133 MHz)
Setup of AGP bus+ 
Setup of PCI bus- 
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses- 
Manual assignment of interrupts+ 
Changeable FSB frequency+100-250 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier+x8-x50
Changeable core voltage++5%, +10%, +15%
Changeable memory voltage- 
Changeable chipset voltage- 
Changeable AGP bus voltage- 

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - BIOS 9A.

This board could be a pride of a little-known firm, but it's not peculiar to ABIT to provide such scanty tweaking and overclocking features and a poor function set. This product, running at an average speed, is not what the company stakes on, and we are not going to attract more attention to it. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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