ABIT has long been know for its products in the overclocking community. With their MAX series of "legacy free" motherboards, ABIT has done away with some legacy ports (serial and parallel to be exact) and have stuffed the boards with every imaginable option under the sun. With the original MAX series boards, ABIT dumped the serial, parallel, and ps2 ports. That was received a bit harsh, as many users are still running a ps2 keyboard and/or mouse. So in an effort to keep their customers happy, the MAX2 line has reinstated the ps2 ports.
On the AT7 MAX2 you get USB 2.0, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), Serial ATA & IDE Raid, AGP 8X, 6 channel sound, and On-Board LAN all controlled by the KT400/VT8235 North/Southbridge chipsets. Here is the laundry list of official specifications:
- AMD Socket A Duron (100MHz FSB) Processors up to 1.3GHz - AMD Socket A Athlon (100/133MHz FSB) Processors up to 1.4GHz. - AMD Socket A Athlon XP (333Mhz FSB) Processors up to 2800+
- VIA KT400 / VT8235 - Supports Hi-Speed UniversaSeriaBus (USB 2.0) - Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI) - Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports AGP 4X/8X (1.5V/0.8V)
- On board Marvel88i8030 Controller x 2 - Support SATA data transfer rates 150 MB/s (1.5G bps)
- High Point HPT374 IDE RAID Controller supports Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 - RAID 0/1/0+1(striping + mirroring mode for boosting performance and data security)
- 6-ChanneAC 97 CODEC on board - Professional digital audio interface supporting 24-bit SPDIF OUT
Media XP (Optional)
- Supports card reader function for Memory Stick™, Secure Digital™ and Type I/II CompactFlash - Supports Wireless Remote Control and S/PDIF Out / Mic In / Headphone Out / USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394
- SoftMenu™ Technology to set CPU parameters - Supports Plug-and-Play (PNP) - Supports Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI) - Supports Desktop Management Interface (DMI) - Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS
- On board 10/100Mb Operation supports ACPI & Wake on LAN
- Supports IEEE 1394a at 100/200/400 Mb/s transfer rate
- 1 x AGP, 5 x PCI slots - Floppy Port supports up to 2.88MB - 4 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connectors - 2 x SeriaATA 150 Connectors - 2 x USB headers, 1 x IEEE 1394a header - 1 x CD-IN, 1 x AUX-IN
Back Panel I/O
- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 mouse - 4 x USB, 2 x IEEE 1394 - 1 x S/PDIF Output - Audio connectors (Front Speaker, Line-in, Mic-in, Center/Sub, Surround Speaker) - 2 x USB, 1 x RJ-45 LAN Connector
- ATX form factor - Hardware monitoring - Including Fan speeds, Voltages, System environment temperature
That's quite a list. ABIT boards may carry a premium price tag, but you end up getting a great feature set. There are some other features on the AT7 MAX2 that aren't listed, but definitely make a difference in the performance of the board. The inclusion of a 5 Bit Frequency ID (FID), and the 3 Phase Power solution.
ABIT's use of a 5-bit Frequency ID (FID) allows the FSB multiplier to be adjusted from 5-21. Other motherboards use a 4-bit FID, meaning the FSB multiplier can only be adjusted from 3-13, resulting in higher possible overclocks on the FSB.
The 3-phase power solution ensures more power to the CPU (up to 75W) while overclocking, providing rock-solid system stability. This means fewer crashes for ABIT users and higher overclocks.
Let's take a look at the board's features in a bit more detail.
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