Onboard features include audio, USB 2.0, firewire, and Ethernet connector. Two brackets are included for the extra USB and firewire ports. The onboard LAN is a 10/100 variety and while it’s more than enough for today’s needs I would’ve loved to see the gigabit LAN on this board also. Maybe I was just spoiled by the KD7-G
but there’s nothing wrong with having a 10/100 as opposed to the gigabit one.
Besides just having a traditional ATX connector, ABIT has also included the 4 pin power connector predominant in the new Pentiums. Some power supplies now come with both the ATX and 4-pin connector so you can use either one you see fit.
The onboard audio consists of a 6-channel AC 97 codec. Also, real time AC-3 encoding is supported by the Soundstorm Technology. To my knowledge, only the nForce boards offer real time Dolby Digital encoding onboard. With the S/PDIF connector on the back you can use an optical cable, plug it into a Dolby Digital capable receiver, and get Dolby Digital signals from the board to experience 5.1 surround sound in movies and future games. You can, of course, get surround sound with games that have the EAX or some sort of 3D sound technology through regular analog connections to a speaker system such as the Logitech Z-680
. I was surprised at how well the onboard sound worked and was rather impressed. I tried gaming with Game Voice
and my friends heard me fine while we were engrossed in Madden
and Medal of Honor
. Of course the Z-680
’s can make a lot of sounds cards sound good but overall I was rather pleased with the onboard sound solution on the NF7-S
If you have any dealings with ABIT at all, you’d know they were made famous for their overclocking features in the BIOS. ABIT has offered a lot of possibilities to tweak your system to however you like with plenty of options for overclockers. From voltages for various components to CPU speed you get to overclock your computer any way you like.
The layout of the board isn’t too bad. The only minor problem I had was the placement of the ATX connector. It’s sandwiched between the nForce2 chipset and the external connectors making the snaking of the ATX wires across several areas on the board. A placement of near the upper edge would’ve been much better as it would be less in the way. Four holes surround the CPU socket for larger heat sink fan combinations. Two LEDs, one red and one green, are located in the lower left giving you a visual status of the board. The red one will be lit when power is running through while the green one lights up when the system is powered up.
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