Now, I will try to sum up all the things I’ve already said and list all the advantages of each mainboard. So, here we go in the alphabetical order:
AOpen AK77-400 Max. The manufacturer company did everything for you to like this mainboard. It offers numerous features: full set of interfaces, voice diagnostics, SilentTek and Dual BIOS. Nice accessories, very smart PCB design and excellent frequency adjustment options – all add to the pleasant impression. Unfortunately, the overclocking tests proved hard for this product. I don’t quite understand what’s wrong with it: is it the BIOS or anything else. Overall, I recommend this mainboard as a highly functional product for use in the regular mode or slightly overclocked (for example, setting junior Thoroughbreds to 166MHz bus and increasing their multiplier a little).
ABIT KD7-S. This mainboard can’t boast numerous features, but it is simply beyond competition as it comes to CPU and memory voltages increase. So, if you don’t care about the absence of FireWire, but are fond of overclocking experiments, and don’t bother about minor PCB design drawbacks, this is your mainboard. Even though it has that BIOS thing that cannot truly say the memory frequency. One more point in ABIT’s favor is the implementation of all 5.1 sound connectors plus line-in and mic-in. The four memory slots (compared to three by the rest of mainboards) won’t spoil the picture, too.
DFI LAN PARTY KT400A. It’s true this mainboard has no rivals in functionality and rich accessories. However, it’s rather hard to say who’s going to buy it, as we couldn’t test it during overclocking. Anyway, this is your product if you have a windowed (or fully transparent) system case – ultraviolet highlighting looks definitely cool.
EPoX EP-8K9A9I. This mainboard can’t boast any reach functionality. On the other hand, such features as FireWire and Serial ATA are necessary for a limited user group. So, if you want a mainboard to serve you the next year or two, and don’t have any FireWire peripherals, it will suit you well. Besides, it has rather good overclocking capabilities.
Gigabyte 7VAXP-A Ultra. It’s all quite simple with this one. It is a very functionality mainboard with an exclusive solution for external Serial ATA devices. Regrettably, it doesn’t suit for overclocking at all: poor CPU voltage options, tricks with the FSB frequency, and the CPU multiplier adjustment with the DIP-jumpers. Overall, it’s excellent if you use it in the nominal mode, but pretty average at overclocking.
Soltek SL-KT400A-L. A reliable mainstream mainboard. However, Soltek tried to spoil an overall nice SOHO product with queer BIOS options and not working (as out tests showed) Red Storm Overclocking technology. This technology may work smoothly on other mainboards, but not on the SL-KT400A-L. So, if you buy it for an inexperienced office or home user, you’d better tell him not to mess up with the BIOS. Otherwise, the results can be unpredictable.