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Abit KX7-333/KX7-333R DDR Athlon Motherboard
Last updated: 10/3/2002

STABILITY.  When it comes to motherboards and other computer hardware, stability and reliability are just about everything to the business user.  I have had this motherboard in my computer for over a month and have been testing it longer.  Windows XP, 2000 Pro, Me, and 98 have been run on it.  The Abit KX7-333 is both the fastest motherboard and probably the most stable I have yet seen.

Abit's WEB SITE.  Abit's web site has a new look, but speed and availability are not always good.  The FAQ/tech support section is well-organized, but rather skimpy.  

SHORTCOMINGSOther than the shortcomings already mentioned, this motherboard does not support USB 2.0 and Firewire.

BOTTOM LINE.  The KX7-333 and KX-333R motherboards are very stable motherboards, but lack some of the features found in competing, similarly-priced products, which may or may not be of consequence, depending on the customer's requirements.  Recommended.

Larry

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Notes.

We plan to add additional benchmarks for an ATA/133 drive when one with comparable cache' to the WD 80 arrives (Maxtor just announced one).  I do not believe an ATA/133 with less cache would be as fast as the WD ATA/100 with eight MBytes of cache'.  We may add benchmarks for an Athlon XP with a 333 MHz Front Side Bus when we get one.  They were just announced and will not be available for quite some time.

There have been several reports of reduced RAID performance on VIA chipsets. VIA has a patch for this problem, but I found that this patch and others made no difference.

At the time we started the benchmarks for this review, VIA recommended not installing the 4-in-1 drivers unless there was a problem.  There were no problems that I could relate to the chipset, so I did not install them.  Now, they are recommending that the drivers be installed.  We may try the benchmarks again with the drivers when an ATA/133 drive arrives.

The latest version (2.0.1019) of the highpoint drivers were downloaded from Highpoint and installed even though Highpoint's web site said do not use them for motherboards.  The version that came on the CD with the motherboard did not work with Windows XP.  I would have downloaded the version on Abit's web site, but none were listed for Windows XP.  The driver that came with Windows XP did not work either.

WinStone and WinBench are registered trademarks or trademarks of Ziff-Davis Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

Test Computers:

1) 1.6 GHz AMD XP 1900+ Athlon processor:  Termaltake Volcano 6  CPU Heatsink-fan; Abit KX7-333R motherboard: Crucial 256 MByte, PC2700 333DDR memory;  Maxtor 53073H6, 30 GByte, 7,200 RPM, ATA/100, 2 MBytes cache' hard disk drive; Western Digital WD800 80 GBytes, 7,200 RPM, ATA/100, 8 MBytes chache' hard disk drives; Actima A44T 44 X CD-ROM Drive; Panasonic 1.44 MB Floppy Drive; Diamond V770 AGP Display Adapter; Acerview 79G 17" Monitor; Focus 2001W keyboard; Logitech M-BG58 optical mouse; and Antec SX-840 workstation case with two Antec chassis fans; Windows XP Professional with NTFS file system (partitioned into 8 GByte C: drive, defragged).

2) 1.4 GHz AMD XP 1600+ Athlon processor;  Termaltake Volcano 5  CPU Heatsink-fan; EpoX 8KHA+  motherboard; Crucial 256 MByte, PC2100 266DDR memory; Western Digital WD300BB 30 GByte, 7200 RPM, ATA/100 Hard Disk hard disk drive; AOpen 52 X CD-ROM Drive; Panasonic 1.44 MB Floppy Drive; Abit Siluro GeForce1 MX200 32MB AGP Display Adapter; Acerview 79G 17" Monitor; Focus 2001W keyboard; AOpen S48 PS/2 Mouse; and Antec KS 282 Mid-tower case with one optional Antec chassis fan, Windows XP Professional with NTFS file system (partitioned into 8 GByte C: drive, defragged).

Other computer configurations and benchmark details are detailed in their respective reviews.

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.