Six-channel audio, USB 2. A few extra notables will make overclockers happy, such as the wide variety of bus dividers and the extremely large range in CPU voltage which tops out at 2. We start with the box itself, which manages to be both slick-looking and understated at the same time. Opening up the box, we have… two more boxes. The thinner box has the printed documentation, and there is actually a lot of it. Finally, we have a drivers CD, a drivers floppy for the RAID controller, and a sticker diagramming jumper locations on the board.
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Six-channel audio, USB 2. A few extra notables will make overclockers happy, such as the wide variety of bus dividers and the extremely large range in CPU voltage which tops out at 2. We start with the box itself, which manages to be both slick-looking and understated at the same time. Opening up the box, we have… two more boxes. The thinner box has the printed documentation, and there is actually a lot of it.
Finally, we have a drivers CD, a drivers floppy for the RAID controller, and a sticker diagramming jumper locations on the board. This last item is meant to be stuck inside the case as a handy reference. The second box has cables and lots of them.
Most enthusiasts could wallpaper a room with their spare IDE cables. For example, the floppy connector is in about the best place it can be, right next to the DIMM sockets. To complement the excellent placement of the floppy connector, we have side-facing IDE connectors. There is another possible problem with active cooling on north bridge fans, which is that the manufacturer cancels out the benefits of active cooling by pairing the fan with a tiny heatsink.
Next we have the analog audio ports. The two ports on the left are surround speaker outputs left and right and center and subwoofer outputs, while the other three are mic in, line in and front speaker outputs left and right. To the right of these is a stack containing a single Firewire port and two USB 2. A nice troubleshooting tool is a dual-digit LED display on one corner of the board.
As the system boots, the display flashes POST codes that correspond to each step in the boot process. If the board fails to boot, you can look the code up in the manual and hopefully get a handle on the problem. For example, if the code indicates a problem with the RAM, it might lead you to the discovery that there are no DIMMs plugged into the board. At least one recent review has suggested that a dedicated processor for monitoring functions is A Good Idea.
We have the standard RAM timings, but some of the other settings here the spread spectrum percentage settings and thermal throttling setting are much less common. Front-side bus is adjustable from MHz in 1MHz increments. Multiplier control is available as well, provided your processor is unlocked. Word up. The CPU voltage is especially impressive, as it ranges from 1.
This is an exceptionally high maximum CPU voltage, so overclockers with watercoolers or a Vapochill may find the AN7 very attractive. Basically, you choose a low and high temperature and voltage. The system will run the fans at the minimum voltage until the low temperature is reached, at which point it will gradually ramp the fan voltage up until it reaches the maximum voltage at the high temperature. The lower voltage really makes a difference on the noise level of the fans, and these settings offer a lot of granularity.
Software In addition to chipset and peripheral drivers, the CD Abit includes with the AN7 has a number of useful utilities. At any rate, the three displays cycle between multiple data points. For example, the temperature gauge on the right cycles between CPU temp and north bridge temp. Click the down arrow at the bottom and you get…. Holy cow, did I say it was big before? Never mind. This larger display lets you look at more data points, obviously, at the expense of….
Well, you can. Click the right arrow on each section and it will change into a line graph. The monitor settings page lets you choose low and high limits for the various voltages, fan speeds and temperatures. You can choose to shut down the system if any of these goes outside your set bounds. The display settings page allows you to select which items you would like to monitor on the main display window. As you can see, there are separate tabs for voltage, fan and temperature, as well as the ability to e-mail warnings or record problems to an error log.
The OCGuru program lets you change some overclocking settings from within Windows. You can also save your settings for easy retrieval later. In my experience, the OCGuru utility worked at least part of the time.
Abit also provides a program to access the FanEQ settings. You can choose from three different presets or adjust the individual settings yourself. There are separate tabs for the CPU and north bridge fans. As we noted earlier, you may also adjust these settings in the BIOS. Overclocking Our experiments with overclocking via multiplier control and standard bus speeds are well documented in our look at overclocking the Athlon XP-M. Bus overclocking was a mixed bag, however, topping out at MHz.
There are no guarantees in overclocking. Our testing methods As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least twice, and the results were averaged.
Abit AN7 Manuals
FanEQ BlackBox The chip above is the hardware end of it, the programs listed are the software part of it. As well as a couple of other tasks. Each one opens up a different view of the same information. The other view is a scrolling bar graph of the same numbers, showing variations and fluctuations of the readings in real time. The big drawback is the inability to save to file any data retrieved by Abit EQ. At least, directly.
Abit AN7 v1.0 Motherboard
Is µGuru really that good?
Abit’s AN7 motherboard