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Abit KV7

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doc0

Case Studies

AMD ATHLON XP 2200+ & ABIT KV7
lthough it wasnt the last processor bearing the 266MHz FSB, the XP 2200+ was the last processor carrying the original Thoroughbred (Thoroughbred A) core. The XP 2400+ took the Thoroughbred B out for its first spin, but the processor kept the 266MHz FSB. At 1.8GHz, its only a little faster than the 1.73GHz XP 2100+, but 200MHz slower than the XP 2400+. The XP 2200+ has an 80mm die, while the XP 2400+s die measures 84mm. Motherboard We chose the ABIT KV7 motherboard for our test rig. Although it lacks some of the latest features, it has a smaller footprint than standard ATX boards. Despite its
trouble thanks to the thumb-button clip, but we had a hard time removing the clip even with a screwdriver. The KV7 supports up to 3GB of PC2100 memory or up to 2GB of PC2700 and PC3200 memory. The three DIMM slots stand close to the AGP slot, but the DIMM clips do not block our bulky NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultrabased Leadtek WinFast A350 Ultra TDH 256MB graphics card. ABIT placed the VIA KT600 northbridge (a removable heat sink and fan), next to the DIMM slots. (The VIA VT8237 southbridge stands behind the PCI slots.) The board has five PCI slots, one AGP slot, and a floppy drive connector. The floppy drive connector supports up to 2.88MB floppy drives.
AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (Thoroughbred) ABIT KV7
Stock Performance Overclocked Performance Clock Speed 1.83GHz 2.18GHz Frequency 133MHz 134MHz Multiplier 13.VCore 1.6V 1.85V CPU 5385 6310

PCMark2002

Memory 4104 4262

HDD 1232 1219

3DMark 2001 SE 12115 13127
size, it fits in ATX cases and has the appropriate riser hole layout. If you have a crowded case and are willing to sacrifice some extra features for space, you may want to take a look at this board, but dont expect the board to fit perfectly in a tight case: The KV7s two Ultra DMA 133 IDE connectors lie parallel to the board instead of facing directly outward. Youll need extra room to attach the cables. ABIT placed some components in unusual places. The power connector stands just below the CPU socket, so you may need to wrap the cable around the heatsink (or get creative with cable ties) to avoid dragging it over the heatsink fan. A row of capacitors at the top of the motherboard stands close to the CPU socket. We were able to install our GlacialTech Igloo 2510 heatsink and fan combo without any
The CNR (communication and networking riser) has two PS/2 ports, a parallel port, a serial port, four USB 2.0 ports, and a single 10/100 LAN port. The riser also has several analog audio ports and an optical SPDIF jack. The KV7 also includes a PCI bay bracket that houses two additional USB 2.0 ports. You can attach the brackets cable to the motherboards internal USB 2.0 connector. Aside from drivers and built-in utilities, the KV7 doesnt have software. However, ABIT puts a reasonable accessories package into the KV7s box. The package includes a round floppy cable, a ribbon IDE cable, two SATA cables, and a dual SATA power connector adapter. The KV7 also has several built-in overclocking-friendly features, the most important of which is ABITs MaxFID (Max Frequency ID), which lets
you tweak CPUs that have high multipliers. Many motherboards cant adjust CPUs that have multipliers over 12.5X, which is where ABITs MaxFID comes in. In addition to the traditional 4-bit FIDs that identify multipliers of 12.5X and under, the KV7 has 5-bit FIDs that identify 16 additional multipliers up to 22.5X. ABITs TweakGuard is another excellent overclocking feature. If you crash your PC while overclocking, you probably wont need to clear the CMOS. TweakGuard recognizes system crashes and resets the system, so you can press the Reset button and boot your computer without any trouble. If you need to clear the CMOS the old fashioned way or change any other jumpers, youll find that the jumpers have long, easy to grab handles. The KV7 includes FanEQ, which monitors the CPU and northbridge fans. When the processor and chipset temperatures decrease, FanEQ slows the fan to reduce noise and save energy and then raises the fan speed again as the temperature rises. ABIT disables FanEQ by default, so you will need to enter the BIOS, open the PC Health 3DMark2001 SE Increase menu, and enable the CPU FanEQ Speed Control field. While 1012 youre there, you may want to enable the Shutdown When CPU Fan Fail field. ABITs ThermalGuard Technology feature monitors your systems temperature, including the CPU temperature, and shuts down the system if the CPU temperature breaks the trigger point. System Specifications To complete our test rig, we bought an Antec PLUS1080AMG Performance Plus file server case and filled it with all the necessary goodies: a Lite-On LTC-48161H 48X/24X/48X/16X DVD/CD-RW, a Seagate ST380013AS Barracuda SATA 7200rpm hard drive, and a 1GB kit of Kingston KHX3200AK/1G DDR 400 PC3200 RAM. Keep in mind that this board doesnt have dual-channel technology, so it cant squeeze out as much bandwidth from the DIMMs as some of the

ATX 12V PSU Connector Northbridge (VIA KT600) LAN controller
Southbridge (VIA VT8237) Audio Codec USB 2.0 Connectors SATA Connectors I/O Controller BIOS (Phoenix Award) Front Panel Connectors
2.235V. 3DMark2001 hung at 1.75V and Windows hung at 1.85V, so we began adjusting the multiplier by changing the Multiplier Factor field in SoftMenu III. The system crashed several times as we tweaked the multiplier, frequency, and VCore voltage, but it started producing higher scores when it was stable. The computer reached its highest benchmark scores with a 16X multiplier, 134MHz (268MHz FSB; 2.18GHz clock speed), and 1.85V VCore voltage: 13127 in 3DMark2001 and 6310 (CPU), 4262 (Memory), 1219 (HDD) in PCMark2002. The system completed 3DMark2001 with a multiplier of 17X, a frequency of 129MHz, and VCore voltage of 1.85V, but it posted a lower score (13009) than it did with a 16X multiplier. Final Word Although the XP 2200+ has a higher stock clock speed than the XP 2100+ (1.83GHz to the XP 2100+s 1.73GHz), it topped the older processors 3DMark2001 score by only 100 points. By contrast, the XP 2100+ beat out the XP 2000+ by 698 points. If youre not planning to overclock and you want to game, spend the extra cash to buy the XP 2400+. That said, overclockers wont be disappointed with the XP 2200+. Thanks to the flexible multiplier, we managed to push the processor to 2.18GHz. The system also posted a 1012-point increase in 3DMark2001. As for the KV7, we like the boards overclocking and temperature monitoring features. If youre not using a heavy-duty cooling system, youll like having an extra pair of eyes watching your systems health. However, the boards small size squeezes the layout, pushing important features into odd positions. If your case has enough room, youll probably want to look for a standard board.

by Joshua Gulick

other boards we tested. Our graphics card, the Leadtec WinFast, had old drivers, so we downloaded the latest NVIDIA driver (version 45.23) from NVIDIAs Web site. We also downloaded the latest VIA 4-in-1 chipset driver (version 4.49) for the motherboard. Our test system ran Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Overclocking We tested the XP 2200+ at its default settings: a 13.5X multiplier, a 133MHz (266MHz FSB; 1.83GHz clock speed), and a 1.6V VCore voltage. Our new system performed well right away, posting 5385 (CPU), 4104 (Memory), and 1232 (HDD) in Futuremarks PCMark2002, and 12115 in Futuremarks 3DMark2001 SE. We entered the KV7s Phoenix AwardBIOS V6.00PG (ABIT version 11) and scrolled to SoftMenu III Setup, which contains most of the systems overclocking related settings. Although Phoenix produces the boards BIOS, ABIT adds the SoftMenu III category to help overclockers find the appropriate settings. As a result you can find
speed and voltage settings in this menu. The KV7 has excellent settings ranges. We adjusted the CPU FSB Clock field, which controls the CPUs frequency, first. At 135MHz, the system posted a 3DMark2001 score of 12213, only 98 3DMarks higher than the systems original score. But WinXP Pro hung when we raised the frequency to 136MHz. SoftMenu III also has the CPU VCore voltage settings, so we entered the BIOS again and raised the voltage. The menus VCore voltage settings range from 1.1V to

Overclock Comparison 3DMark2001 SE
AMD Athlon XP 2400+ Stock Performance Overclocked Performance 5 AMD Athlon XP 2200+ Stock Performance Overclocked Performance AMD Athlon XP 2100+ Stock Performance Overclocked Performance 13039 13970

12115 13127

12015 12918

doc1

Case Studies

AMD ATHLON XP 2700+ & ABIT KV7
MD stirred excitement among PC enthusiasts by announcing the Athlon XP 2700+ and the Athlon XP 2800+ in October 2002. Both processors featured a new 333MHz FSB, meaning users could run the CPU and DDR 333MHz synchronously, greatly enhancing performance. The original XP 2800+, which had a Thoroughbred core and a 2.25GHz clock speed, is uncommon now, thanks to a new version with the same name. At 2.083GHz, the new XP 2800+ has a significantly slower clock speed, but it also has the slightly larger Barton core.
GeForce FX 5900 Ultra-based Leadtek WinFast A350 Ultra TDH (My Vivo Edition) with 256MB of RAM. We downloaded the latest NVIDIA driver (version 45.23) from NVIDIAs Web site. The motherboard (ABIT KV7) doesnt have dual-channel capability, but we used the same 1GB kit (two 512MB modules) of Kingston KHX3200AK/1G DDR 400 PC3200 RAM that we used in this issues other CPU overclocking articles. We used the GlacialTech Igloo 2510 because the Igloo 2510s copper base spreads heat well, and the fan is so quiet (26dBa).
AMD Athlon XP 2700+ (Thoroughbred) ABIT KV7
Stock Performance Overclocked Performance Clock Speed 2.19GHz 2.39GHz Frequency 166MHz 168MHz Multiplier VCore 1.65V 1.85V CPU 6382 6888

PCMark2002

Memory 4497 4662

HDD 1216 1219

3DMark 2001 SE 13404 13942
However, AMD never re-released the XP 2700+. Like the first XP 2800+, the XP 2700+ has a faster clock speed (2.167GHz) than the XP 2800+, but it also has the smaller 256KB L2 cache. As a result, the processor costs less than the XP 2800+ (at press time, the XP 2700+ costs $117 and the XP 2800+ costs $140 in 1,000-unit quantities). The XP 2700+ has a Thoroughbred core and a 128KB L1 cache. We avoided unnecessary items when we built our test rig, and we didnt connect noncritical components such as front panel USB ports. We housed our rigs components in an Antec PLUS1080AMG Performance Plus file server case. The case includes an Antec TruPower 430-watt PSU, which has SATA connectors for our Seagate ST380013AS Barracuda SATA 7200rpm hard drive. We used a Lite-On LTC-48161H 48X/24X/48X/ 16X DVD/CD-RW to load Windows XP Professional Edition and benchmark programs. We also installed an NVIDIA
Motherboard We chose ABITs KV7 motherboard, which features the VIA KT600 (northbridge) and VT8237 (southbridge) chipsets. The board is slimmer than standard ATX motherboards, but ABIT squeezed plenty of features on the board. Users who plan to put the motherboard in a tight space will like its size, but attaching and removing certain components isnt easy. We first noticed that ABIT placed the IDE connectors at the edge of the KV7. Generally, IDE connectors face out from a board, as do the floppy, PCI, and PSU connectors. Here, the connectors face to the side. If your case has room, you wont have any problem connecting the IDE cables, but if you have a tight case, youll run into the same space restrictions you tried to avoid by buying this board. The space problems dont end there. ABIT placed the floppy drive connector between the bottom of the KV7 and a PCI connector. If you use a floppy drive, youll
only be able to attach a thin PCI card to the nearby PCI connector. Were also concerned about the CPU socket. A capacitor stands close to the CPU socket. We didnt have trouble installing our Igloo 2510 because it has a thumb button that let us press the clip over the socket edge without using a screwdriver, but we had trouble removing the Igloo 2510 later. The capacitor blocked our fingers and the screwdriver. Users who swap CPUs frequently should probably look at a different motherboard. That said, we like several things about this board and CPU socket. Aside from the capacitor near the clip, the CPU socket has plenty of room. Our compact Igloo 2510 isnt a space hog, so we replaced it with a bulky heatsink: a ThermalRight SLK900A. The y-shaped heatsink, which holds a 92mm fan, didnt come close to the capacitors or the CNR. Also, ABIT drilled four holes near the CPU socket. Few new motherboards include the holes, eliminating 3DMark2001 SE Increase some cooling devices (such as certain water blocks), so were glad 538 that ABIT found room on this tight board. Another nice touch: a metal strip by one side of the CPU socket protects the motherboard from the heatsinks metal clip. The KV7 has three DDR DIMM slots that support up to 3GB of PC2700 RAM or up to 2GB of PC3200, but the board has only a single channel to the memory slots. The board has an AGP 8X slot, five PCI slots, and two SATA connectors. In back, the KV7 has the usual serial, parallel, and PS/2 ports, several audio jacks, and an RJ-45 jack. Although ABIT loaded the board with USB 2.0 ports, it didnt build a single FireWire port (or support for one) into the board. ABIT generally doesnt put free software in its motherboard packages, but it includes cables. Our KV7 included a black Skycable rounded floppy cable, an IDE ribbon cable, two black SATA cables, a dual SATA-toPSU adapter, and a PCI bay bracket containing two USB 2.0 ports. Youll probably want to put that bracket in the bay closest to the floppy connector.

ATX 12V PSU Connector Northbridge (VIA KT600) LAN controller
Southbridge (VIA VT8237) Audio Codec USB 2.0 Connectors SATA Connectors I/O Controller BIOS (Phoenix Award) Front Panel Connectors
We ran into trouble as soon as we loaded the OS. When we installed WinXP and rebooted, the system couldnt find the hard drive. After troubleshooting and perusing ABITs excellent Support section (www.abit-usa.com/support), we determined the motherboards Phoenix AwardBIOS BIOS version 6.00PG (ABIT version 11) was the likely culprit. The latest BIOS (version 12) had seven fixes, none of which mentioned hard drive problems. Flashing the BIOS is risky; you can damage the BIOS and the KV7 didnt include a program that would let you rescue a damaged BIOS. But our techs were certain that flashing the BIOS would solve the problem. To update the KV7s BIOS, we downloaded the new BIOS (version 12) from the Web site. When we decompressed the file, we loaded Awdflash.exe (version 8.24F) and four BIOS files on a floppy. We made a bootable floppy because we couldnt get into WinXP to use Internet Explorer. Before we put the floppy in the system, we turned on the PC, pressed DELETE at POST to enter Setup, and scrolled to the
Advanced tab. We scrolled to the First Boot Device field and selected Floppy. Chances are, your motherboard will default to the floppy drive as the First Boot Device, but check before you insert your disk. Next, we inserted the floppy and rebooted, which opened a DOS screen. We typed A:/runme.bat and pressed ENTER. The appropriate steps depend on your motherboard and BIOS version. Visit the motherboard manufacturers Web site support section and read the instructions before flashing your BIOS.
Once we successfully installed WinXP, we entered the BIOS. ABIT caters to overclockers. The first section, SoftMenu III Setup, contains the most important overclocking settings, including CPU and voltage settings. The CPU FSB Clock field lets you choose FSB speeds between 100 and 250, and you can change the FSB:AGP: PCI Ratio and the CPU multiplier. Before overclocking, we benchmarked the system at the XP 2700+s default settings: a 13X multiplier, 166MHz (333MHz FSB; 2.19GHz clock speed) frequency and a 1.65V VCore voltage. The XP 2700+ posted 13404 in 3DMark2001 and 6382 (CPU), 4497 (Memory), and 1216 (HDD) in PCMark2002. With those solid scores, we began overclocking right away. We raised the frequency to 169MHz (the system posted a 13623 3DMark2001 score). We couldnt run the benchmarks at 170MHz without freezing the system, so we raised the VCore voltage to 1.7V and ran it at 170MHz again. This time it posted 13660 in 3DMark2001, an increase of 37 points. The system froze when we raised the frequency above 170MHz, so we raised the multiplier and voltage again. After crashing several times with multipliers of 13.5X and 15X, we found the XP 2700+s sweet spot. With a multiplier of 14X, frequency of 168MHz (336MHz FSB; 2.39GHz clock speed), and voltage of 1.85V, our test rig posted 13,942 in 3DMark2001 and 6888 (CPU), 4662, (Memory), and 1219 (HDD) in PCMark2002. Final Word Surprisingly, the 2.19GHz XP 2700+ didnt outperform the XP 2600+ out of the box, but it took a 29-point 3DMark2001 lead during overclocking and rose to 2.39GHz, so were not complaining. Benchmarks aside, unless you have a tight motherboard area, youll want to choose a motherboard that has more options and a better layout.

by Joshua Gulick

Overclock Comparison 3DMark2001 SE
AMD Athlon XP 2800+ Stock Performance Overclocked Performance 5 AMD Athlon XP 2700+ Stock Performance Overclocked Performance AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Stock Performance Overclocked Performance 14213 14727

13404 13942

13653 13913

 

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