|ABIT TH7-RAID Scoring
As one of the first AMD-760 motherboards announced to feature more than 2 DIMM sockets, ABIT's KG7-RAID was one of the most highly anticipated AMD-760 motherboards on the market. For those who were holding out for this motherboard, it was unfortunately delayed several months, only in the past four weeks has it hit the US retail market. Fortunately however, ABIT was able to deliver on the product they announced so long ago, the KG7 contains four 184-pin DIMM sockets, six PCI slots, and HighPoint's HPT370 controller, making the KG7-RAID one of the most feature complete AMD-760 motherboard on the market. The board we tested for this article was the ABIT KG7.
Like other ABIT's KT7, the KG7 supports ABIT's SoftMenu III interface. If you're familiar with ABIT's products, you'll instantly recognize the significance of this feature. With it, ABIT has incorporated bus speed adjustment in 1MHz increments. ABIT was the first motherboard manufacturer to implement this feature nearly two years ago in their BE6-II and BF6 motherboards for Intel's BX chipset. In the KG7, bus speeds from 100-200MHz are available, offering plenty of overclocking options for even the most hardcore hardware enthusiast. For added flexibility the PCI and AGP bus multipliers can be adjusted in BIOS as well.
Since it was originally designed at the end of last year/early this year the KG7 doesn't offer some of the features we've seen on ABIT's TH7II-RAID (such as the diagnostic debug display). Much like the original KT7/KT7A motherboards, the KG7 is a basic, no-frills design that's been geared specifically for hardware enthusiasts and gamers. There's no onboard audio solution provided, nor is a CNR slot onboard. Instead, ABIT fills the package with features its users want: the HighPoint HPT370 controller brings ATA/100 RAID or support for up to eight hard drives, and in typical ABIT fashion, plenty of fan headers populate the motherboard (three on the upper portion of the motherboard, and one on the bottom).
In terms of board layout, the KG7 is laid out well, but unfortunately is not without one flaw: the floppy connector is located along the bottom edge of the motherboard. This is an awkward location for the floppy cable, complicating the situation is its angle, it's parallel to the bottom edge of the motherboard. If it were perpendicular as the primary and secondary IDE connectors are; it would save space. Unfortunately, the IDE connectors for the HPT370 controller are setup in a similar fashion across from the PCI slots. There is plenty of space around the Socket A interface, so installing the CPU heatsink/fan unit should be fairly painless.
Overall the KG7 is a solid motherboard offering everything an end user could possibly want. Its incredible selection of bus speeds makes it an instant option for hardware enthusiasts and it offers excellent performance. If you're in the market for a Socket A DDR motherboard, ABIT's KG7 should be among the top motherboards on your list.