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Table of Contents
Preliminary Ramblings
Face To Face With The KA7
Mind-“full” of Features
SoftMenu III: I Can’t Help But Overclock
Overclocking Stability
Dynamic Duo: FreeSpeed Pro + Athlon/KA7 combo
Benchmarks
The Verdict

Reviews

ABIT KA7: Designed For Overclockers
Page 1 of 8
Author: wymun
Date of review: 22-April-2000
Type Of Review: Mainboards

Preliminary Ramblings
It was not long ago that VIA was perceived as just another small-scale chipset manufacturer that delved mainly in providing controller chipsets for non-INTEL based motherboards. Their chipsets offered promising features, but was short-changed due to compatibility issues and weaker performance of the processors it supported. But recently, with INTEL’s latest I820 chipset plagued with numerous anomalies (i.e. inefficient Memory Translation Hub, costly RDRAM prices, etc), a better time never existed for VIA to regain its deserved market share. VIA’s latest introduction of the Apollo 133A Pro chipset generated exceeding interest, especially in a chipset-starved market where the popular, aged BX has yet to be dethroned. Undoubtedly, by sporting similar functionality and being priced competitively against the I820, the latest in the Apollo series offers seemingly more than a viable alternative to INTEL’s I8XX series (and its dated BX predecessor) of controller chips.

In part, the successful entrance of AMD’s Athlon K7 into the CPU arena further propounded VIA’s newly set status. With INTEL controller chips typically restricted to their own CPU make, VIA capitalized on this and produced another variant of the Apollo Pro 133A under the Athlon flagship – the KX133. Presently, this highly anticipated chipset has already appeared in various motherboard makes, e.g. the Asus K7V, EPoX 7KXA and Aopen AK72. Albeit slightly late, ABIT (renowned for their innovative Soft Menu BIOS implementations) unveiled their very own rendition – the KA7. Hence, the question belies if it offers anything more distinctive, afterall ABIT has a track record for ingenious designs…


The KA7 in all its "nakedness"...




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