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Abit's KR7a RAID (Via KT266A)
Author : Martyn Date :17th Jan'02

3DVelocity wish to thank Abit and particularly Lester for providing this motherboard for review.

Abit KR7a RAID Motherboard
£150 Approx.



Part One: The Abit Legacy...

Abit have been providing quality mainboards for some time now. Most users have experienced the huge array of options and performance offered by Abit boards in the past. My personal experiences of these motherboards date back to the first KT7 board offered by Abit. It was quite simply the best board for the Athlon / Duron user available and I never had a moments displeasure from it. While the limits of the KT133 chipset meant overclocking via the FSB was somewhat limiting (most users reported speeds of 119Mhz at best) the sheer wealth of options and quality that oozed from the board ensured I remained happy with my purchase. Shortly afterward the KT7a was released and overclocking was taken to new heights. With the newly implemented 266 FSB avid tweakers were running stabily over 150FSB for one of the first times from an Abit motherboard. But Abit's success not only relies upon willingness to adopt new technologies, it also relies on the exact opposite: knowing when not to adopt the latest chipsets. A short while ago we were all wondering just where Abit's DDR based board was. The VIA and ALI chipsets had been out for sometime yet Abit still kept their cards close to their chest about their upcoming DDR board. Clearly spotting the fact that VIA's chipset was performing worse than first expected, Abit adopted AMD's chipset and went about producing one of the finest DDR based mainboards to date. The KG7. By waiting, Abit had made sure their enviable reputation for quality boards would remain intact as their new DDR board ripped apart it's competition on all fronts. Abit also continue to provide excellent solutions for other CPU's too. The newly introduced P4 based boards have taken performance and tweaking to a whole new level. Meanwhile Abit continue to provide excellent support for it's P3 and Celeron based motherboards.

We have all seen the excellent performance offered by VIA's new KT266a chipset so the announcement Abit were adopting this chipset came as little surprise. Can Abit add to their reputation or will the KR7a turn out to be a blip in their excellent history? Lets find out as we review the KR7a RAID...

Part Two: The Board [1]

A quick look at the product packaging here tells us Abit's boxes, implemented around the time of the KG7's release, remain unchanged. The distinctive packaging has already become synonymous with Abit's products.

The now familiar red and black packaging. 'Speed . Stability . Power .' Certainly true of the older KG7, but we shall see later if this is true of it's younger brother....

The only identifying features on Abit boxes are the stickers placed upon the top of the box.

This is the first box I have seen with this sticker on however. With compatibility so important in today's market it's unsurprising that Abit wish to promote their XP support fully.

Page Two: The Board [2]