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The info about ABIT KT7A/KT7A-RAID mainboard revisions below 1.3 do not support the new Athlon XP processors has aroused really wide response. It was not for nothing that this mainboard used to be considered one of the best products based on VIA KT133A chipset that is why they got very widely spread. So, we sincerely hoped that the pointed out incompatibility wouldn’t have very serious consequences. In order to find out whether our hopes were vain or not, we carried out a number of tests to check how well ABIT KT7A/KT7A-RAID mainboards work with Athlon XP processors. For our tests we used two mainboards with 1.0 and 1.3 revisions and two BIOS versions:
  • 4a 24.08.2001 – the latest BIOS for the boards with revision below 1.3;
  • s5s 12.10.2001 – the latest BIOS for boards with 1.3 revision.
Our tests revealed the following. As it had been promised, KT7A rev. 1.3 turned out absolutely compatible with Athlon XP CPUs. It worked well with the older as well as with the newer BIOS versions, with that only difference that the older BIOS detects the wrong CPU type considering it an Athlon 4 instead of Athlon XP.
KT7A revision 1.0 failed to boot with Athlon XP CPU, i.e. it didn’t even start the POST. When we reflashed the s5s BIOS intended for mainboards rev. 1.3, the situation didn’t get any better.
A small consolation for the owners of older ABIT KT7A/KT7A-RAID revisions should be the fact that these boards turned out compatible with AMD Duron (Morgan) CPUs, according to our tests.
And here are some comments of ABIT’s Techsupport on the matter:
"We do understand that the owners of KT7A/KT7A-RAID (1.0, 1.1, 1.2) are a bit upset with the incompatibility of their mainboards with Athlon XP processor. We launched these mainboard revisions before AMD provided us the official specifications of the Athlon XP CPU launched on October 9. To tell the truth, we started producing revision 1.2 in May. So, we turned out unable to guarantee that the older mainboard revisions would support Athlon XP. Unfortunately, this is hardware problem and it cannot be eliminated via BIOS update. However, KT7A rev. 1.3 and our new KG7 mainboard are fully compatible with Athlon XP. By the way, there is a new BIOS for these boards available on our site for download. Moreover, all the revisions of KT7A support AMD Duron (Morgan) processors.
In fact, everything seems clear and there could be no need in any more comments. However, we would still like to say a few words in conclusion.
Summing up all the info, we have every right to state that it is only ABIT engineers who are to blame for all this disaster. Here are some things that let us make conclusions like that:
  • VIA KT133A is fully compatible with Athlon XP CPUs.
  • Many KT133A based mainboards from other manufacturers (independent of the revision number) work fine with Athlon XP.
  • Athlon XP processor uses the same Socket A physical interface as the regular Athlon (Thunderbird) does, that is why lame excuses of ABIT’s representatives about the lack of the final Athlon XP specs look very unconvincing. Especially, since AMD-760 based mainboards, which appeared even before those on KT133A (we don’t mean the awfully long delayed ABIT KG7), do not have any problems working with Athlon XP processors, and it means that the final processor specs have nothing to do with it.
Well, what else can we add here? We could only regret that ABIT guys disappointed us so greatly, and hope that nothing of the kind will ever repeat.


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