abit KV7 - Page 8

..:: Conclusion ::..

Let’s start off with the usual topic of overall system stability. The overall stability of the system was very good in comparison to some of the luck we’ve had recently with KT600 motherboards. I was surprised as the level of stability we were seeing even when the system was overclocked, even with the PCI and AGP frequencies running as high as they were. As is the norm for our stress tests, we have been running multiple distributed computing programs in the background while looping benchmarks, taking part in heavy gaming, and other processor intensive applications for several days. Over this period of time, we’ve only experienced one system lockup, much better than what we have been seeing from these KT600 boards.

Overall I’d say the Abit designers did quite a nice job with the KV7. The board design has its quirks, as does any motherboard, but when we factor in the size of the KV7, and the amount of features that needed to be implemented, we can clearly see this design is quite good indeed. Granted, due to the reduced PCB size Abit was not able to include many extra features, such as IEEE1394, IDE RAID, or additional SATA RAID, but given the price point of the KV7 and the target audience, these items aren’t all too important for the KV7. My only real gripe about the KV7’s design is the location of the floppy connector. Many users are now shying away from use of floppy drives in favor of the more modern USB storage devices, but for those users who may still need to rely on a floppy drive, this location is going to be a pain. If you need to use a floppy drive, make sure to route the cabling underneath the motherboard to prevent any airflow disruption into the case.

The Abit KV7 comes along with a decent feature set at best, although given the current $80 price point for this motherboard, it fits into the target market quite nicely. I would’ve preferred to see Abit throw in some extra features on the KV7 such as Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE1394 support, extra Serial ATA RAID support, etc. but that would force them to do a complete overhaul of the design, and widen the PCB, and more. This would then cause quite a rise in price and would move this motherboard out of the target market Abit has placed it in. We’ve begun to see more manufacturers beginning to new items to their packages, and over the last few months we have seen Abit doing the same. It’s good to see manufacturer listening to the consumers and adding new features that are requested.

The BIOS that comes along with the Abit KV7 is what I was expecting. As Abit has chosen to opt with the famed Soft Menu III settings, the KV7 is no slouch when it comes to overclocking options, voltage options, and of course let us not forget tweaking capabilities. The KV7 offers a plethora of selections dealing with the memory timings, and at the same time offers some serious core voltages up to an impressive 2.325v. As I mentioned earlier on in the review, unless you’re running with some serous cooling, I would not suggest in any way, shape, or form, running your system with voltages even close to this high. The only item that I see missing that will hamper overclocking is, of course, a fixed PCI / AGP frequency setting. You’d think by now VIA would implement this feature into their chipsets for the overclocking crowd, but it seems they didn’t get the memo.

Overall, the Abit KV7 is an average motherboard suited towards overclockers on a budget, and overclockers who aren’t looking for all the bells and whistles of SATA RAID, IEEE1394, and other missing features of the KV7. Although we are unable to address the issue of performance right now, we’re going to give this board a “gut feeling” score for now, which will be revised in the future after we receive more KT600 and other motherboards in for reviews. For a mere $80, the Abit KV7 seems to be quite a good deal, although it will certainly appeal more towards the budget crowd than any others. With the NF7-S still running strong and being Abit’s powerhouse, the KV7 filled in the budget spot nicely for Abit, and they have done a nice job with it. The small PCB size has also helped Abit to keep down the pricing of the KV7, although with this they were forced to sacrifice features and added a few minor positioning problems with the PCB layout. Abit’s engineers did a wonderful job squeezing all of these items onto the condensed PCB, let there be no question about that, I just wish there was a little more to offer since this is an Abit motherboard. If you’re looking to upgrade on the cheap, and don’t need any of the extra features that are offered by other high-end KT600 or nForce2 400 Ultra motherboards, be sure to give the Abit KV7 a look, it might be just what you’re looking for. I’d like to send out thanks to Abit for supplying MBReview with the board for review, and thanks to all of you for reading!

- Stability: 19/20
- Design: 17/20
- Features: 14/20
- BIOS: 10/10
- Overclocking: 8/10
- Performance: 16/20
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Total: 84/100 Points - Average