- Chipset KX133: finally at the level of Intel?

- KA7: description and characteristics

- You try and overclocking

- The competition

- Conclusion

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Juan Herrerías Rey

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ABIT KA7: KX133 + overclocking


After almost one year on the market, I suppose that the AMD Athlon or K7 he does not turn out to be already a stranger for almost anybody. Far they stay those first months in which it was almost impossible to find badges for this powerful mike, for this strange fear of Intel that was reproaching the manufacturers for making them, or even for publicizing them...

... A fear before which the almighty ASUS succumbed even, with his badge "bogey" K7M. Fortunately, the logic has triumphed and today we find badges for Athlon of all the marks.

Nevertheless, up to this moment ABIT, one of the more well-known manufacturers of basic badges, had not given signs of life on this market. The bad languages speak, between other things, about a certain ABIT annoyance for not having received on the part of AMD the preferable dealing that yes other manufacturers had... but let's leave the rumorología. The case is that the first ABIT badge for Athlon finally is here, and it seems that the waiting has been worth it.


Chipset KX133: finally at the level of Intel?

Chipset ROUTE KX133 (chip northbridge VT8371)

The chipset is the key piece of the motherboard: certainly, bad basic badges exist based in chipsets good... but there is no good badge based on an evil chipset. In this case, the chipset of the KA7 is the KX133 (formed by the chips VT8371 and VT82C686A), of the Taiwanese company ROUTE, which principal advantages are:

  • for mikes AMD Athlon with 200 MHz bus;
  • support of memory PC100 and PC133;
  • up to 2 memory GB;
  • UltraDMA66;
  • 4 ports USB.

The most significant characteristics are those who do relation to the memory, which not only can work to 133 MHz (SDRAM PC133), but also it is asynchronous to the mike; that is to say, that his speed is not fixed by that of this one, being able to use modules of PC100 without problems, except for the (kidling) it differs from corresponding yield.

Even more interesting is a characteristic that is not included in the previous list: the improved yield of the graphic subsystem. The chipset KX133 is undoubtedly a Superior in the graphic paragraph to the AMD 750/751, principally for internal optimizations, as well as for the addition of the way of transference AGP 4x (although the real difference with the AGP 2x is minimal).

For all this, there is not doubt that at present the best election for a badge Athlon is the chipset ROUTE KX133. ABIT has come enough is late, but it has chosen well.


KA7: description and characteristics

Photo of the ABIT KA7

Certainly, in ABIT they can extract party to his designs. The KA7 looks alike very much to the BF6, which was almost identical to the BE6-II, which in turn was based on the BE6, and she was a cousin of the BH6. For the onlookers, here they can find photos of some of these badges.

Nevertheless, most seemed probably be the most ancient BX6; why? Because it was the first badge ABIT with 4 grooves DIMM, so many people as it has the KA7. This allows him to reach a theoretical number of 2 GB (in practice 1 GB using the most common 256 MB modules ), when the normal thing in these badges (and in those of Pentium III) is to have 3 grooves (1,5 GB or 768 MB).

To assure the correct functioning when all the memory modules are used, a set of 6 includes chips that act of information buffer; it turns out to be an impossible knowledge if really this increases the stability of the badge, but the case is that these chips do not give them, so ABIT will know what it does on having installed them...

As for the rest of characteristics, it looks like to this humble editor a fabulous design:

  • 1 groove AGP, 6 PCI and 1 ISA (who perhaps is used ever, but it does not come badly to have it just in case);
  • 4 connectors for fan;
  • cable with termistor to measure the temperature of the mike;
  • connectors for discs in the right wing and to half a height, where less they bother;
  • brilliant situation that of the electrical connector, it arrives completely;
  • an enormous space free for the fan of the microprocessor.

The latter point is very important, since the AMD Athlon warms up enough, what is not a villain... if they are refreshed appropriately, skylight. Most of badges for Athlon, like the ASUS K7V, give serious problems with the enormous spendthrifts that we use the fans of the overclocking, and it was not a question of not being able to do it for lack of place.

Ah, there is no groove AMR... not &%$@ it is missing that it does. This Intel inventito only serves to install frankly bad modems, in addition not more bargain sales than some internal PCI. Neither audio integrates, nor it will be lacked by the fans of the sound, especially at the current price of the sound cards, of quality infinitely top. Space saved for the checker UltraDMA100

Finally, to mention that a set of switches DIP exists if we are so antiquated that we do not like forming the mike in the BIOS (?), and two empty spaces prepared to incorporate a checker of discs UltraDMA100 and the corresponding connectors, an extra one that allows to come up to 8 devices IDE in the model KA7-100 (probably the best badge for Athlon, already presented).


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