To set the scene, the KT7A-RAID motherboard
is the bigger, sexier brother of the KT7-RAID.
There are also non RAID
versions of each, called KT7 and KT7A respectively.
There are three different writeups on the KT7 motherboard,
This one on the non RAID version: (KT7) and these two on the KT7-RAID: (KT-7 RAID and Abit KT7-Raid)
So, with all that information available, I guess we should look at what makes the KT7A-RAID different from the KT7-RAID. First of all though, I would like to point out that this motherboard, like the KT7-RAID, has four IDE channels, 2 of which support RAID. (RAID 0 and/or
RAID 1 can be used.) Like the KT7-RAID, the 3rd and 4th IDE channels support ATA/100. An improvement that comes in the KT7A-RAID is that ATA/100 is also supported by the standard IDE channels which were previsouly limited to UDMA/66.
The KT7-RAID (like its non-raid sibling, the KT7) uses the VIA KT133 chipset, whereas the KT7Amotherboards use the KT133A. The difference?
The KT133A adds support for an 133MHz FSB ("front side bus").
(The KT133 officially supported an FSB of only 100MHz. Although unsupported, KT7 motherboards are actually capable of achieving a rate of 200MHz anyway. See http://www.hardocp.com/articles/amd/200bus.html
for more details)
One popular overclocking
-thing to do with a KT7A is to increase the Front Side Bus
speed, lowering the multiplier to compensate. A 1 gigahertz Athlon
, for example, could be run at 7.5 x 133 rather than 10 x 100.
By decreasing the multiplier, and increasing the FSB speed, data is transmitted on the FSB at a higher speed.
This is A Good Thing
, and the SoftMenu III BIOS
makes it very simple.
The Abit KT7A (like the KT7) incorporates a fan to help cool the KT133A chip.
AnandTech (anandtech.com) reported that they were able to overclock the KT133A Front Side Bus to
147MHz. Without the fan, they reached only 137 MHz. Furthermore, some users claim that the cheapy
plastic fan Abit put over the chip is not good enough, and by fitting a Blue Orb heatsink/fan were able to overclock
the FSB by 75MHz.
Abit look like they will continue to produce good quality motherboards, very popular with overclockers.
The one downside of the KT7A-RAID that I should point out is that DDR (double data rate) SDRAM is not supported.
By the way, if you are a KT7/KT7A owner, or just an interested party, the definitive FAQ on the KT7 motherboards is Paul's Unofficial ABIT KT7 FAQ
even link to it as the place to go if their own FAQ didn't help! It can be found at http://www.sudhian.com/showfaqs.cfm?fid=2