ABIT KR7A-RAID + Athlon XP: explosive combination
It was already doing some time that we were not proving an ABIT motherboard, a manufacturer known by his innovative solutions, faced especially to the market of the overclocking and the "advanced" users... the "handymen", let's say.
In this time, ABIT has grown like manufacturer in all the aspects: although it brought in something take to the market of basic badges for Athlon, perhaps for trying to make use to the maximum of his undeniable mastery of the designs based on the chipset BX, at present his badges AMD Socket A sound of the most valued.
Of course, also it makes basic badges for mikes Intel, with the whole variety of chipsets and an every time major scale of optional characteristics: RAID, network, integrated sound... also, has made use of his well-known name to make other products, like graphic cards.
Undoubtedly ABIT tries to achieve that his mark is comparable to the eyes of the public to others of big crossbeam like ASUS; but: has it harmed this to his skill to obtain "revolutionary" designs? Are there now the badges ABIT "like all"? The KR7A-RAID faces the unbelieving ones who could think this way, and does it with...
Specifications...: without equal!
The KR7A-RAID attracts attention not at all more to see it; a motherboard with: four (4) grooves DIMM? Every day does not see that, undoubtedly. But the most surprising thing is that there are grooves for memory DDR-SDRAM (PC1600/PC2100, also calls PC200/PC266).
This is something REALLY INCREDIBLE. Most of the basic badges for Athlon with support of memory DDR have 3 grooves DIMM, and enough they have only 2. This owes fundamentally to the complexity of achieving that the badge is stable with all the busy grooves, something that becomes complicated enclosed with "only 3 grooves. ABIT has obtained something almost impossible, because the stability with four full grooves is ENTIRE and they allow to come to 3 memory GB, ó 4 GB with modules registered (slightly more expensive).
Anyway, this is one of the principal achievements of this motherboard, although not the only one; next, the list of out-standing characteristics:
If seeing it is ready he still has not said: oh, my God!, do not keep on reading, please... This badge fulfills with ALL the requirements of understood in hardware, except for the absence of integrated support of network, something that anyway we will always be able to connect in some of 6 grooves available PCI (normally there are only 5).
...It has neither integrated sound, nor grooves CNR, ACR or AMR, and less evil. These solutions only serve to save a ridiculous quantity of money, at the cost of which the microprocessor transfers some potency. Also, the integrated sound is in abundance for a clerk or at a CAD workstation, but completely inadequately for a fan of the music or the video games, especially with the current price of the sound cards PCI with exits digital and ready for 4 ó 5 loudspeakers.
There is outstanding the possibility of having of up to 6 ports USB: 2 habitual ones with connectors welded to the badge, more another 4 optional ones by means of two integrated twin connectors. And it already includes a cable with two connectors, so we have "of factory" 4 connectors USB.
There emphasizes the presence of the chipset ROUTE KT266A, one of the most modern of ROUTE for AMD, and the good general presence of the badge. The space for spendthrift / fan of the CPU is more that sufficient (we have put one with fan of 80x80 mm without problems) and everything is in his place, except perhaps the connector of disk drive (a little too much below).
The chipset is refreshed by a fan; as he was saying in the article about the ABIT KT7-RAID (me encaaanta to repeat myself): "Thanks to the presence of this fan, or at least theoretically, the chipset will work of stabler form, and the overclocking capacity will increase. The first thing is quite true; the second thing not so much, since normally we will be limited by other factors (mike, memory...). But in any case, and although definitely it is not needed, it is a beneficial detail and of quality."
And before entering more technical topics, an interesting detail: there is 3 LEDs (bombillitas) that inform us about the state of the badge: connected to the current, lit and/or in reset. It is not too much information, but he will prevent the absent-minded persons from forgetting something most important: to disconnect COMPLETELY the electricity supply to the badge before instalar/desinstalar any thing... not to fry the badge.
ROUTE KT266A: if it does not go out well to the first one...
The "brain" of this motherboard is the chipset ROUTE KT266A. This "A" indicates that it is a question of a review of the KT266, with the controler of memory of the northbridge (the chip VT8366A) checked to obtain major yield, something that as we will see in the tests paragraph has been achieved successfully.
The true thing is that the chipsets ROUTE have had always certain reputation of little effective in his controlers of memory, at least compared with the chipsets of Intel (moan, that glorious one 440 BX)... up to the appearance of this excellent chipset. Let's not deceive: of nothing he serves to have 2,1 theoretical GB/s of band (with memory DDR-SDRAM PC266) if they do not take advantage appropriately.
In addition to for his reasonable price and his improved yield, this chipset has been implanted by rapidity thanks to one of the good customs of ROUTE: to support, when it is possible, the compatibility in the patillaje of the chipset. It is enough to put the new chip in the ancient design, to perfect the BIOS...: and to produce basic badges! Into any cases the name has not even changed to the "new" badge model with chipset "A", so very much eye at the time of buying, they do not place an ancient badge.