Abit SD7-533 socket 478 DDR333

Monday, April 08, 2002


Introduction

Abit has never been one to dither around -- at least when it comes to releasing new products. This time, they've shipped a new motherboard, the SD7-533, a Pentium 4, Socket 478 device based upon the SiS 645 chipset. As its name suggests, one of the SD7-533's most compelling features is forwards-compatibility with forthcoming 133MHz FSB P4 cpu. That isn't all it has going for it though. It also includes a 6-channel C-Media CMI8738 audio-controller, the SoftMenu III configuration system, and a number of small refinements that have long been associated with the Abit label.

So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at the SD7-533, and see what it has to offer.

Characteristics of the Abit SD7-533
CPU
- Support for Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 processors with 400MHz (100MHz QDR)CPU Front Side Bus
Chipset
SiS 645/961
Form factor
ATX - 30.4cm X 23cm
Expansion
5 PCI - 0 ISA - 0 CNR - 1 AGP - 6 USB
Memory
3X 184-pin DIMM 3GB DDR SDRAM PC1600 - PC2100 - PC2700
FSB
100MHz to 250MHz in steps of 1MHz
Vcore adj.
1.1v to 1.625v in steps of 0.025v
DDR/AGP Vadj.
NA
Audio chipset
C-Media CMI8738


Audio

The SD7-533's sound capabilities are provided by an integrated C-Media CMI8738 audio-chip. The CMI8738 supports 5.1 speaker-configurations, with 4 to 6 lines-out, including a central base-line.

From a sound standpoint, the C-Media¨ CMI8738 has very little to envy of other audio-chips. It supports up to 32 polyphonic voices, EAX effects, and supports both Microsoft DirectSound 3D, and Aureal A3D.

As we've mentioned before, the CMI8738 is head and shoulders above the audio circuitry that is typically included as part of most VIA chipsets, and its sound reproduction is simply excellent. Whether you're playing MP3s, CDs, or 3D games, the CMI8738's sound quality will often surprise you with its fidelity.

As part of its standard equipment, the SD7-533 also includes incoming and outgoing optical & SPDIF ports.



Configuration

The Abit SD7-533's design is truly Jumperless -- at least as far as configuration is concerned. Not a single on-board jumper or switch relates to essential cpu settings. It does however include a few, most notably a small array of Dips that are "For Factory Use Only" and whose function is undocumented. In short, as far as users are concerned, the BIOS (and, by extension, the SoftMenu III system) is the way to go...

The first, and most obvious SoftMenu option is to change the FSB frequency, by setting it to between 100MHz and 250MHz in 1MHz increments.

Next on most people's lists is the clock multiplier setting, which can also be adjusted to a value ranging from 8X to 24X.

Then, we have the ability to alter the Vcore voltage (values indicated in the table above), though - unfortunately - not the DDR or AGP voltages.

There is however an option by the name of "Clock divider ratio", which provides options of 3/3/2/1, 3/24/2/1, 4/3/2/1, 4/4/2/1, 4/5/2/1, 2/2/2/1, 10/15/6/3, 1/6/20/10/5, 15/24/10/5, 3/6/2/1, 40/80/30/15, 12/20/10/5, and 8/8/6/3.

Finally, as you might expect, a full complement of memory timing settings are accessible, and adjustable from within the "Advanced Chipset Features" menu.

Index:

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