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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.08.04]
Manufactured by: Abit

Est. Street Price: $115
Avg. 865PE Price: $90-100

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We've come to expect the best from Abit BIOS, and they deliver with the AI7.

Here is the main SoftMenu setup page, where you can overclock on the fly. CPU voltage can be set up to 2.0V (BE CAREFUL!), DRAM can go up to 3.2V, and AGP up to 1.6V.

FanEQ is part of uGuru; it allows you to set a specified temperature, and throttle the CPU and Northbridge fans to that specification. This should help keep things quiet, but I don't think too many Abit buyers are too concerned about noise level ;)

And the thing that can potentially REALLY make this a fast board - GAT. As I said on the previous page, GAT allows you to enable PAT, but it doesn't stop there. It also includes a lot of aggressive memory and controller tweaks to help squeeze out the last ounce of performance out of your system.

I say 'potentially' because in my experience with two separate Abit boards, GAT can be quite finicky. On this particular board, we were unable to get "Turbo" to work at all. I had "Street Racer" working long enough to fire off all our benchmarks, but when we rebuilt the system, using the EXACT same hardware and the EXACT same configuration, "Street Racer" no longer worked. And as always, we were using OCZ PC4000 Gold, which we can running to DDR560 without problems at 2.9v.

No matter what I tried, I was not able to get "Turbo" to work. "F1" mode, which is the most aggressive, actually booted up once, but never again.

So while GAT has the potential to be a killer feature - and you'll see in the rest of the review that it can REALLY make a difference - it really seems to be hit or miss whether you can get it to work or not. If you can, you're set.

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