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  • Price: $135 Street

    Website: www.abit.com.tw

    When the Athlon was introduced back in 1999, we heard rumors that several motherboard manufacturers were reluctant to admit they were working on supporting platforms in fear of offending Intel. Since then, escalating levels of success on AMD's part seem to have led many to jump on the Athlon bandwagon with either AMD 751 or VIA KX133-based motherboards and those rumors have subsided. Having missed the product cycle for AMD's first chipset, the Taiwanese-based company ABIT was rumored to be spending this inning on the bench as well.

    A strong reputation with overclockers and several innovative features have earned ABIT acclaim for a number of deserving products. Understandably, tweak-savvy Athlon enthusiasts have been looking to ABIT for a stable, high-performance solution, and are now able to reap the rewards of such devoted patience.

    Enter the KA7, ABIT's first Athlon board powered by VIA's KX133 chipset. With support for AGP 4x and PC133 RAM, the KA7 promises to offer plenty of speed and user-configurable options, but what about stability? Unfortunately, ABIT's previous offerings have proffered less-than-stellar reliability due to a 4-layer PCB design as compared to more stable solutions using a 6-layer process. However, since VIA's reference KX133 utilizes a 4-layer design, ABIT's barrier to entry has been relatively low. How does the KA7 stack up to a list of distinguished competitors?

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