This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.The Abit KX7-333 is another new motherboard to our test benches. One thing that Abit has done well in their history with AMD motherboards is to design a good quality board layout and integration and then stick to it throughout the series’ life. The Abit KX7 board is no exception as it is very nearly the same layout and feature set that was found on our KR7A-133R motherboard review back in April of this year.
First, at the top, the ATX power connector is very well placed between the processor socket and the memory slots. This keeps the large cable out of the way of the processor heatsink fan as well as interfering with the DIMM sockets. The CPU socket has ample room to support the bigger Athlon XP heatsinks. One of the newer features on the board, that I first saw on the Iwill XP333 motherboard, is a piece of protective plastic under the clips that hold the heatsink to the board. However, it would appear Abit got something backwards as they have the plastic slip under the south clips instead of the north where they are most needed. I am not sure, but hopefully this was fixed with non-review sample motherboard revisions.Abit is not known for sprucing up their boards with extras, but instead offering a rock-solid system with lots of power where it is needed.
One of the first things that stand out about this KT333 board is the fourth DDR memory slot. Abit seems to like holding this ace in their sleeve on their motherboards as they did the same thing with their Abit KG7-RAID motherboard a few months back. With this configuration the KX7-333 motherboards can support up to 4 GB of memory,
The slot configuration of the board is 6/0/1/0 (PCI/ISA/AGP/CNR). This is a great slot configuration for PC enthusiasts as it gives them the most options when it comes to upgrading and personalizing their systems. Also, since Abit does not include on-board audio or any other components except the bare necessities, the extra PC slot may come in useful for our more productive readers. The AGP slot is 4x but not AGP Pro compatible. It will be interesting to see what video cards will be released to push the 8x AGP speeds of the KT333A chipset that is still some months away.
The final feature that I will mention on the KR7A-RAID motherboard is the RAID. Powered by the High Point HPT372 chipset, this offers the users two great features. First, and most obviously, you get the power of a High Point IDE RAID controller but you can also take advantage of the HPT372’s support for ATA133 hard drives. I did not have any of those ATA133 drives to test with the board, but don’t expect a huge increase in speed over the standard ATA100. For more information on this, you might want to check out our recent editorial on ATA133.