Features and Layout
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.As we always expected from Abit, the KG7-RAID motherboard has an excellent feature set and layout. In fact, the only fault I can find in the board’s layout comes at the very top with the processor socket. It is much to close to the top of the PCB, making it impossible to remove the heatsink or reattach it after the board has been installed into a case. Had Abit turned the socket 90 degrees either way, this would have been less of a problem, but as it is now, the top of the heatsink clamp is nearly off the motherboard completely.
I like the placement of the ATX power connector as it is equidistant from both the CPU socket and the DIMM slots. This keeps it away from tangling any heatsink fans or getting in the way of installing extra DDR memory. Speaking of the DDR DRAM slots, Abit has included 4 DIMM slots for the highest possible expansion on any AMD DDR motherboard. Of course, to use the fourth DIMM slot, ALL the memory must be Registered, but because the cost difference between non- and registered memory is so slight, new system builders won’t have a problem with it. One of the reasons the KG7 series of motherboard was so late to the market was that they were committed to offering more on their board than the majority of AMD 760 solutions had, and the extra memory slot (two more than some boards) was one such example of their engineering experience.
Keep in mind that there are three different versions of this motherboard. First, there is the KG7-RAID, which we are reviewing here. There is also the KG7, which offers the same features as the KG7-RAID without the IDE RAID, of course. Finally, Abit released the KG7-Lite, which is less expensive, doesn’t offer RAID, and only includes two DIMM slots. Other than that, the boards are identical.
The AMD 760 north bridge is covered by a decent heatsink and fan to offer users the best possible chance of overclocking the front-side bus of the motherboard. Coupled with the 6 MOSFETs that you see to the left of it giving the board a 3-phase power solution, the Abit KG7-RAID offers the best of the best in terms of stability for the overclocker and standard end user.
The slot configuration of the Abit KG7 motherboards is 6/0/1/0 (PCI/ISA/AGP/AMR). This is the premiere configuration for PC enthusiasts as it offers the user the most options for upgrades and also offers it at a lower cost. Instead of including on-board audio, which in its default configuration is rarely used, Abit chose to give all the possible expansion room to the user so they can make their own component choices. For those of you who are used to using the inexpensive on-board sound, you are out of luck in the Abit line of products.
Also, Abit has include four channels of IDE support, two of them from the VIA south bridge and two from the HighPoint IDE RAID controller. We will cover more of that on the next page.
Finally, Abit has included a feature that has been a subject of much debate in the last month. The KG7 motherboards offer a litte more comfort than most boards when it comes to fried CPUs. If you try to turn on the machine without having your heatsink fan attached to the motherboard, it will not start — and if your heatsink fan dies, the board will immediately power down. While this is somewhat different than the on-chip diode on the Athlon XPs that are still being implemented in motherboard designs, the Abit KG7-RIAD motherboard’s implementation of this feature should help save at least some users’ processors.