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Abit AT7-MAX2 Motherboard Review

Former staff writer    -   January 14, 2003


Configuration:



BIOS

Abit knows exactly what we overclockers and power users want in a motherboard and in a BIOS. We want the ability to customize, adjust, and tweak every aspect of the BIOS without using any jumpers on the motherboard. The main menu was really the same old thing that everyone has seen so I didn't take any pictures of it. Instead I jumped right in to the heart of the bios, the Soft Menu III setup screen. On this screen you can adjust the FSB, Multiplier, FSB Ratio, and your voltages. The FSB can be adjust from 100 to 200 in 1 Mhz increments. The best thing about this is that they have done away with the FSB menu style (like you still see on the Multiplier). Now you can simply type in the FSB you want, which is much easier and more adjustable. Under the FSB setting you will find the Multiplier setting. The Multiplier setting is menu based and has a range of 5x to 22.5x which will allow support for future CPU's.




The FSB ration leaves plenty of room so that you can achieve good overclocks. This is the first time that I have seen the 5:2:1 ratio setting. This should make for some interesting overclocks.




I was astonished to see that the Vcore was adjustable from 1.1 volts to 2.325 volts. This is very good for overclockers because there really shouldn't be any need for a voltage mod to be conducted on this motherboard since the vcore can be adjusted to go that high. A few motherboard support voltage this high but you had to move a jumper on the motherboard, which was always a pain.




The PCHealth information screen had one new feature that my Abit KX7-333 didn't have, the CPU Surface Temp. The CPU Surface temperature is well, the temperature on the surface of your CPU. This temperature will be almost identical to a CompUNurse probe reading. The CPU Core temperature will be the most accurate temperature reading that you can get from the CPU. All of the other features are well known, like the CPU shutdown temperature (you should turn this on), CPU fan failsafe, and CPU warning temperature.




The Dram Clock/Drive screen allows you to adjust your memory settings. The DRAM clock can be setup to high as 200Mhz but when we set it to this setting our PC-3200 memory prevented the system from booting. The default settings on this screen will work fine, but if you are looking for a performance boost you can adjust many of these settings to achieve just that. The CAS setting can do 1.5 but our memory could only handle 2.0. I plan on buying some better memory and maybe with that, the system will boot with all of these settings on high.




From the Advance Screen (not shown) you can go in to the On Board PCI Devices screen. From this screen you can manually turn off USB 2.0, Firewire, and the ATA 133 Raid Controller if you don't plan to use it. If you're not going to be using RAID you can turn it off to reduce boot up time and also to free up a IRQ.






  1. Installation & Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Configuration
  4. Testing
  5. Testing & Conclusion
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