Serial ATA is starting to show up on more boards and the KD7-G
has two serial ATA connectors. Some of the advantages of serial ATA are that the cables are a lot thinner, connectors are small, and a higher burst transfer rate. Cables can be thinner but longer also. The L connector shape allows you to easily plug it in without confusion as to which way it’s suppose to go. Like USB, serial ATA drives can be hot swappable. Since there isn’t many serial ATA hard drives currently available, ABIT was kind enough to include an IDE to serial ATA converter. The converter plugs into the IDE port of the hard drive and has one power connector. A split power cable connects the hard drive and the converter to a power source. Make sure to set the hard drive to master for it to be recognized. I accidentally had it on chip select and was pulling my hair wondering why it wasn’t working. After moving the jumper to master, the serial ata controller was able to recognize my Maxtor 120GIG 7200 drive. Setting the boot up device to serial ATA in the BIOS, I was able to successfully install and run the OS from the serial ATA connection. The KD7-G
allows for RAID 0 or RAID 1 with two hard drives connected to the serial ATA controller.
The traditional IDE and floppy connectors are still on the board. Even with the two serial ATA connectors, the board also has 2 Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 IDE connectors.
The onboard sound is powered by RealTek’s AC’97 chipset and offers a center, front, rear, line in, and mic in connectors. For those with an optical connection like a receiver or the Z-680
speakers, the KD7-G
also has an S/PDIF connector for digital connections. The board won’t do Dolby Digital encoding on the fly but it can transmit Dolby Digital encoded signals from DVDs to a receiver on the digital connection so that you can experience surround sound movies. With the updated driver set you can change two of the ports on the board. I’ve been using the onboard sound lately and the quality is pretty good in games and movies.
Located on the right side of the board, the CPU socket is far enough out of the way of other components so you can easily insert or remove the CPU without having other components in the way. There are a few big capacitors that are in close proximity so you should be pretty carefully in that area. Other than that, I do like where it sits on the board. And there are cooler mounting holes around the socket for those who want to use some really intensive cooling units.
The power connector is also located out of the way and by itself. I’ve dealt with a few motherboards where the ATX connector was too close to the hard drive connectors or the CPU socket but the KD7-G
’s connector sits in a very good spot. Speaking of power connectors, there are five fan headers for you to use. That’s a lot of fan connectors and if you are an overclocker with the need for cooling, this board gives you the headers.
A fan sits on top of the KT400 chip to help keep things cool and running smooth. More and more boards are putting fans on the northbridge chip and ABIT has followed suite with one on theirs. This helps cool the chip and provides more stability from overheating crashes.
ABIT is well known for the great SoftMenu that helps in overclocking and this board is no exception. Various settings are easily accessible and you can try to push your CPU as fast as possible just by adjusting the settings in the BIOS. Your front side bus can be increased in increments of one megahertz. If you do so there’s also three options for the FSB/AGP/PCI ratio dividers to try and keep those peripherals working in their acceptable MHz range. There are also voltage settings for the CPU if you need to increase the power to it as you push for more speed. The SoftMenu helped put ABIT on the map early in their days and the SoftMenu III on the KD7-G
gives the user almost everything they could want when trying to overclock their system.
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