by R. K. Bloom

Abit AT7 Max2 Chipset VIA KT400

Abit AT7 Max2 Chipset VIA KT400

The first information about the motherboard Abit MAX series appeared in early March 2002. At that time, the course gained sales of motherboards based on chipset KT333: manufacturers have tried various ways to attract the attention of the buyer. Company Abit was able to solve this problem on the first try – on the court users was introduced a completely new concept motherboard. This concept is called MAX and was maximizing features and capabilities due to very high integration. It looked as follows: Board was presented AT7 MAX, which were installed controllers are USB 2.0 and Firewire, four-channel RAID controller (4 additional IDE connectors), LAN controller and 6 channel audio. Also, the concept involves the installation of MAX the maximum number of slots DIMM – on the board AT7 (KT333), there were 4 pieces. But the number of PCI slots changed to decrease – on the motherboard AT7 (KT333) there are only 3 pieces.

This last point has caused some discontent users. But an even greater frustration was the fact that the concept of MAX provides a complete rejection of the ports PS2, COM and LPT. As a result, owners of the devices listed interfaces have been forced to look at a model KX7-333, which is made of a more traditional design.

So, since the release of AT7 (KT333) was already 8 months (its a great time for the computer industry) and it is time to take stock. The result of the appearance of fee AT7 was that high integration has become a mandatory attribute of any modern motherboard. All competitors Abit somehow borrowed the idea of ??maximizing the functions of the motherboard. Lets look at these cards on KT400: Asus A7V8X, Gigabyte 8VAXP, DFI AD77.

Each of these boards has a RAID controller (true, 2-channel), LAN controller and 6 channel audio. Also, there is support for the Firewire (optional controller) and USB2.0 (Support is built into the Southbridge VT8235). Moreover, capacity building did not affected the number of PCI slots (on Asus – 6, Gigabyte and DFI to 5) and left support for PS2, COM and LPT ports. Moreover, the new boards now supports Gigabit Ethernet, SerialATA.

Interestingly, a similar situation exists with the technology SoftMenu. Company Abit sold the very first selection function FSB frequency and operating voltage (Vcore, Vmem, etc.) via the BIOS. And after a while competitors offered board with similar features.

We return to the series of motherboards MAX. Company Abit has released a new model – AT7 MAX2 chipset KT400, which is the subject of this review. Looking ahead to say that the PS2 ports are back, and increased the number of PCI slots. But along with this board has lost some one tint revolutionary who had AT7 (KT333).

Specifications Abit AT7 Max2

* With regard to support processors with 333Mgertsovoy bus, the specification of such information is no fee. Meanwhile, Abit released a press release which lists the board with support for such processors, and the AT7 MAX2 has been mentioned. In addition to describing the latest BIOS (v. B7) mentioned support for 333 tires (Support AMD new coming 333 CPU).

Box

Completion

The board is sold in a beautiful package: the wall of the box has a transparent window through which the visible part of the board. In addition, a box equipped with a handle for easy carrying.

So, the box had the following contents:

Motherboard;

CD with software and drivers;

Bracket for 2 additional USB USB;

3 ATA-100 cables, FDD cable;

One SerialATA cable + a Abit Serillel;

User Manual in English;

A set of self-adhesive buckles;

A floppy disk with drivers for the RAID controller;

A rear panel of the case.

Very rich equipment distinguishes a fee from the competition. Lets start with the principal – on most motherboards with support for Serial ATA is generally a single cable. By itself, the cable useless – at the moment with support for SerialATA devices on sale there. But if you use an adapter Parallel ATA -> SerialATA, then the benefits are visible to the naked eye: improved air circulation and access

system components, the assembly is simplified.

It is equipped with such an adapter board series MAX.

There is a complete and regular IDE cables, and simple, and firm :) . They are painted in black radical and each have a logo Abit (fans will be delighted with the firm). Ill tell you a secret, they work the same way as regular IDE cables :) .

At each razemchike have a paper tail for easy removal. It is a reminder “MasterSlave”, designed for novice users.

And finally, the last in the series, but not least, users guide. Traditionally, the Abit manual rather extensive and detailed. In the early books is a quick guide in 6 languages, including Russian (this is particularly pleased to note).

Further, the guide is a description of the connectors, the location of the jumper to reset the BIOS and the description of the procedure to install drivers, configure the RAID array (I would have preferred a more detailed, separate guide for RAID).

Speaking of drivers. On the CD contains a complete set of drivers, including drivers for USB2.0, Firewire, RAID, LAN controllers, and a set of VIA 4in1 (version 4.41). There are drivers and software for embedded audio. In addition to the driver on the disk has additional software: one software design BUZZSOFT (SoftBulkEmail, SoftCardManager, SoftCopier and SoftPostCard), Intervideo WinDVD 2000 v2.1 (which is only installed from a CD drive) and Norton Antivirus 2002.

Concluding talk about the package, I note the following: the fees and bonuses are packaged in clear plastic envelope.

Unfortunately, the box was missing a proprietary socket Abit Media XP, which has two ports USB 2.0, one port Firewire, audio output, an infrared port and three built-in SmartCard / flash cards.