Abit AT7-MAX2

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 AT7-MAX2 motherboard follows in the footsteps of the original AT7 motherboard that was legacy free. This time around, Abit has gone back a little on the “legacy-free” idea and included PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse usage. Though I personally thought the idea of legacy free motherboards were a good idea, in actuality usage of the PS/2 ports were often necessary and very helpful.

The layout of the Abit KT400 board has some lows and some highs. First, the processor socket has a good amount of room for heatsink installation, but even more importantly, Abit has continued to include the 4 mounting holes around the processor socket for the heatsink installation that many overclockers prefer.

VIA KT400 Motherboard Roundup - Motherboards 37
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The ATX power connector is placed between the DIMM slots and CPU socket and shouldn’t interfere with anything directly. Abit also included the addition of an optional 4-pin power connector (like those used on P4 systems) in order to offer the Athlon processor more steady power as the processor frequencies increase. Speaking of memory, Abit is once again the only motherboard manufacturer to include four DIMM slots on their KT400 design. While this may at first seem to be a huge advantage, it is required that you have Registered memory in order to take advantage of them all. The KT400 north bridge is covered by a good heatsink and fan that should keep it cool during overclocking.

Abit included IDE RAID on this motherboard, powered by the HPT 374 chipset as well as the option for serial ATA RAID. This gives the user a lot of options and room to grow as far as storage is concerned.

The AGP slot on the board is one of the causes for concern for me. The memory clips that hold in the memory will not allow memory to be installed or uninstalled if the AGP port is occupied. The AGP port is just too high, and the clips will strike the back of the AGP card. Between the AGP port and the first of five PCI slots, you will find the upgrade port for IEEE 1394 (FireWire). This is probably why they had to move the AGP port up and cause that conflict.

The five PCI slots should be more than adequate, especially considering the high quality 6-channel audio that Abit has included on-board. The external connectors, in keeping with the Abit MAX designs, include 6 USB 2.0 ports, 2 IEEE 1394 ports, a 10/100 network port, 6-channel audio out and optical audio out. And of course the re-inclusion of PS2 ports. This is a very nice feature set!

Abit was the original creator of the Soft Menu bios overclocking options and they haven’t backed down on it. The AT7-MAX2 bios still offers some of the best overall options we have seen including lots of memory setting as well as the normal FSB, multiplier, Vcore, Vmem and even Vagp settings. Below are couple shots of the Abit bios screens that will interest you.

Many of you may have been wondering about the new “multiplier trick” that has been pushed by a couple of the motherboard manufacturers including Epox. By using this “trick,” you are able to change the multiplier on the Athlon XP processor without ever having to physically modify the processor itself. As you can guess, this could be immensely popular and powerful for an option for overclockers. The Abit AT7-MAX2 motherboard does support this option.

VIA KT400 Motherboard Roundup - Motherboards 38

VIA KT400 Motherboard Roundup - Motherboards 39

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