Bios, Box Contents and System Setup

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 majority of the bios features that you will want to edit as an enthusiast and overclocker can be found in one menu, the Soft Menu III. Abit has gone a long way to make a bios that is very easy to use and to provide all the possible options you might need or want. To start with, the CPU frequency can be changed from 100 MHz to 200 MHz in 1 MHz increments and then has a series of jumps that increase the maximum FSB to 237 MHz. There are 14 steps between the 200 and 237 setting so you should be able to find a good overclocking point for your processor in there. The multiplier can be adjusted up to 22x and the NF7 is able to unlock the multiplier of the processor without any kind of hardware modifications, so this makes pushing the Athlon XP even easier. The AGP Frequency is able to be set anywhere from 66 – 99 MHz and the DRAM frequency is set via ratios. There are lots of options in the menu (see the images below) so you should be able to find the optimal CPU/DRAM settings for your machine.

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In this same menu we find the controls for voltages for CPU, DDR, Chipset and AGP. The first bios screenshot shows the maximum values for each of those settings. I do think that Abit should have allowed the user to push higher than 1.85v on the CPU Vcore as so many other of their options are far beyond what other manufacturers have done. The last thing on the menu is the setting for the temperature CPU protection that allows you to set a temperature to have the machine shut down at. By the way, 110 degrees Celsius is too high! 🙂

The other menu in the bios that is of importance is the Advanced Chipset menu. In here you will find the settings for memory timings, AGP aperture and data rates. You can see the different settings that are available by looking at the image below.

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Box Contents

Abit has done a good job of included what end-users would need and like to have with their motherboard. They included a Firewire header that enables both of the Firewire ports that the NF7-S supports. There is also a USB 2.0 header for two more USB ports. A standard IDE and floppy cable is included as is the Serillel adaptor for standard IDE to Serial ATA conversion and a single Serial ATA cable. This setup allows you to use one parallel hard drive on one of the SATA ports, right out of the box. The only other thing that I would have liked to see included that wasn’t, was perhaps some rounded IDE cables instead of standard flat ones. No biggie.

System Setup

The system setup remains the same as for all of our recent motherboard reviews relying on the Radeon 9700, Maxtor IDE drives and Windows XP SP1. Here it is in full:

System Setup

The system setup hasn’t changed from the other nForce2 motherboard reviews, so here you have our general setup for reviews:

AMD Test System Setup
CPU 1 x 2.17 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2700+ Processor
Motherboards Abit NF7-S nForce2 Motherboard
MSI K7N2 nForce2 Motherboard – Review
Chaintech 7NJS nForce2 Motherboard – Review
Asus A7N8X nForce2 Motherboard – Review
Leadtek K7NCR18D nForce2 Motherboard – Review
Memory 2 x 256MB Corsair Micro XMS3200 DDR DRAM
Hard Drive 80 GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE
Video Card ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
Video Drivers 61.66
Operating System Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1

Tests:

Quake III: Arena
Unreal Tournament 2K3
3DMark 2001
SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench
SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench
Content Creation Winstone 2001
Business Winstone 2001
SPECviewperf 7
Cachemem
ScienceMark

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