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ABIT today officially announced its AN7 mainboard meant to be one of the last and final high-end Socket A mainboards in the market. Despite of expectations, the company did not use NVIDIA’s already mythical MCP-S media and communications processor with native Serial ATA-150 support, but stuck to Silicon Image RAID controller for its 2 Serial ATA-150 ports.

According to a source close to ABIT, the company had had plans to integrate NVIDIA’s MCP-S, but due to some reasons has changed it for MCP-T controller without native support for Serial ATA-150 at a point. We can only guess about the cause of such move, but either NVIDIA has not developed appropriate drivers or finalized version of hardware, or has simply cancelled or postponed the realisation of the project to concentrate on the nForce3-series that is gaining momentum with AMD64 chips.

As a result of this regrettable change in specifications, ABIT’s AN7 mainboard will bring us less novelties, among them the most exciting one is ABIT’s uGuru monitoring and automatic performance optimization technology.

The AN7 packs support for virtually all AMD Socket A processor with 200/266/333/400MHz FSB ever released and is based on the most powerful core-logic for AMD K7 processors – the NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset including MCP-T I/O controller supporting up to 2GB of PC3200 dual-channel memory. Besides, the exiting platform offers an AGP 8x and 5 PCI slots, 2-channel ATA-33/66/100/133 integrated controller, 2 Serial ATA-150 ports with RAID support (Silicon Image chip), 10/100Mb/s Ethernet controller, 2 FireWire ports; 6 USB 2.0 ports, 6-channel NVIDIA SoundStorm audio solution with S/PDIF as well as robust monitoring, tweaking and overclocking features.

The mainboard is available immediately for distributors; pricing may vary depending on the country

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