abit KV7 - Page 3

..:: Layout: Socket Area ::..

Before we get started on our in-depth look at the KV7ís PCB, I must bring a few items to your attention as they will help to justify some of the aspects we will certainly be taking notice of with the PCB layout of the KV7. The KV7 is easily the thinnest (from left to right) motherboard I have worked with. Unlike some of the more common ATX form factor motherboards, the KV7 does not extend nearly as wide as many of the competing KT600 motherboards which will allow for Abit to keep manufacturing costs down, and therefore keep the cost down for you, the consumer. This is great, but it can also potentially cause several layout problems due to the lack of available PCB real estate. Iím expecting to come across several placements that I donít care for, but when we factor in the compressed size of the KV7, many of these problems will be easily forgotten. The KV7 will give us a real look into the talent of the PCB designers at Abit. Letís see what they have in store for us.

The Socket 462 itself is oriented on the PCB lengthwise from north to south, and is much closer to the rear I/O connectors than we are used to seeing. Due to the condensed PCB size, Abit has moved the core voltage supply components from this area of the motherboard, the area that we are accustomed to seeing them located, to a new location along the top edge of the PCB. If we take a look, we can see that the KV7 utilizes a three phase core voltage supply via the three inductors. Of course, these large capacitors are all manufactured by Rubycon. Ever since the problems of leaking capacitors struck, Abit has opted to go only with the highest quality capacitors from Rubycon. Along the right hand side of the Socket 462, we find a large open area with only a few small capacitors, along with the Realtek clock generator. I was quite surprised by the amount of spacing Abit has allotted for around the Socket 462 for mounting large cooling solutions.

If we take a look along the rear I/O panel portion of the KV7, weíll come across the four-pin 12V power connector, which is surrounded by a small yellow jumper on the left, two large capacitors, and a small yellow-cored inductor. I was expecting to see something like this happen due to the condensed PCB size however, I wouldíve preferred to see this connector given a little more breathing room. Located directly below this power connector, we find the Intersil HIP6301CB chip, along with the Intersil MOSFET driver which is actually located near the top left corner of the Socket 462. Other than these items, this portion of the motherboard is fairly clean other than a few capacitors, resistors, and other small items.