Posted: April 29th, 2002
Written by: Tuan Huynh
Very much like how Abit was one of the first to feature RAID onboard, they’ve taken it a step further by integrating a Highpoint HPT374 for 4-Channel ATA133 RAID. This provides 4 IDE channels for up to 8 IDE devices for multiple hard drives goodness.
As you can see, the HPT374 is roughly twice the size of the HPT372 and says High Point HPT374 in large letters on it.
Since the MAX AT7 features a high level of integration, the CMOS battery has to be mounted side-ways compared to laying flat on the motherboard. This doesn’t really matter because, if it works, who cares. :O)
As with tradition on Abit Athlon boards, the MAX AT7 allows you to MAX out the memory with 4 DIMM slots for a maximum of 4GB of DDR loving. Right below the DIMM slots are the normal ATA133 channels provided by the VT8233A south bridge which is preferably used by the CD/DVD/CD-RW drives.
The MAX AT7 comes with a single very detailed manual, driver CD-Rom, ATX back panel, extra USB 1.1 headers, Zip ties and cable-straps, and a floppy disk that’ll allow Windows to detect hard drives on the HPT374.
Unlike most manufacturers who just include dull gray IDE cables, Abit has taken the liberty with their MAX series of boards to include sexy black IDE cables with the Abit logo on them. The board comes with 3 80 conductor IDE cables as well as 1 floppy cable.
As Abit is famous for their Soft Menu technology, the MAX AT7 features the latest version of Abit’s Soft Menu, Soft Menu III. In the Soft Menu III menu, you’ll have access to various CPU settings such as FSB settings up to 250 MHz in 1 MHz increments, PCI dividers for 1/3, ¼, and 1/5, which will allow you to maintain your PCI/AGP bus at 33/66 MHz when at 100/133/166 MHz, Multiplier settings for up to 13x, Speed Error Hold, and also the Enhance for Benchmark function. I have no idea what the Enhance for Benchmark function does, but it sure doesn’t seem to improve the benchmarks by anything. As for voltage settings, you’ll have access to the same Core Voltage up to 1.85 volts, I/O Voltage up to 3.65 volts, and DDR voltage up to 2.85 volts. There’s also a CPU Fast Command Decode setting which Abit suggests to run at Ultra when running a 133 MHz FSB and Normal when the FSB is at 166 MHz.
Under DRAM timings, you’ll find the typical CAS timings for memory, as well as some weird settings that I have no idea what they’re for. After talking to the VIA and Abit rep, none of them knew what the purpose of DDR DQS Input/Output Delay was.