Abit KR7A-133R VIA KT266A socket A DDR

Thursday, March 21, 2002


Introduction

Recently, Abit sent us an updated version of their KR7A-RAID motherboard -- the KR7A-133A. As it's name indicates, the KR7A-133R sports ATA133 RAID functionality, courtesy of its integrated Highpoint HPT372 controller. It also offers a standard ATA133 channel, thanks to its updated Northbridge, the VT8233A (part and parcel of the KT266A chipset). As expected, the KR7A-133R also includes the popular Soft Menu III BIOS system, which has always been a hit with the Overclocking crowd. It also forgoes the inclusion of an integrated sound-card -- much like its predecessor -- in the expectation that its users will likely wish to install their own sound-solutions.

So, with that cleared up, and without further ado, on with the review...
Characteristics of the Abit KR7A-133R
CPU
Support AMD Athlon XP 1500+ ~ 2000
Support AMD Athlon 700MHz ~ 1.4GHz
Support AMD Duron 600MHz ~ 1.2 GHz
Chipset
VIA KT266A VT8366A + VT8233A
Form factor
ATX - 30.5cm X 24.5cm
Expansion
6 PCI - 0 ISA - 1 CNR - 1 AGP - 4 USB
Memory
4X 184-pin DIMM 4GB DDR SDRAM PC1600 - PC2100
FSB
100MHz to 250MHz in steps of 1MHz
Vcore adj.
1.1 to 1.85v in steps of 0.025v
Vio adj.
3.50, 3.65
Audio chipset
none


La configuration

The Abit's KR7A-133R's configuration design is absolutely Jumperless; only a single on-board jumper exists, an its function is to reset the BIOS.

In short, every and all configuration issues are handled via the Soft Menu III system, where users are presented with a number of CPU-related options.
These include the ability to set the FSB frequency to between 100MHz and 250MHz in 1MHz increments, set the clock-multiplier to between 5X an 13X, adjust the Vcore and Vio voltages to the values indicated by the table above, and set the DRAM voltage to between 2.5v and 2.85v in steps of 0.1v.

In addition to these, the Soft Menu system also includes an option called "CPU Fast Command Rate". It function, quite simply, is to determine the aggressiveness with which the address the processor. The more aggressive the setting, the lower the system stability, but the higher the potential pay-offs. Obviously its a feature to handle with care...

Finally, as you might expect, a number of memory timing options are includes within the "Advanced Chipset Features" menu. The most important of these is the ability to set the independent memory bus frequency to 100MHz, 133MHz, or SPD (Serial Presence Detect), which allows the system to determine an appropriate frequency automatically.



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