View Full Version : Abit NV7-133R ?
What do you think of the new Abit NV7-133R mobo?
The feature set is impressive:
- nforce 415 chipset
- 5.1 DD audio
- 10/100 NIC
- 4 USB 1.1 and 4 USB 2.0
- ATA 133 support
- onboard highpoint RAID 0/1 controller
- 3 phase voltage regulator
- soft menu II
- Norton Antivirus
It is not for overclockers but you can build a good machine with it.
While I personally haven't used an Abit motherboard, my first reaction is one of caution. That said, it looks like a decent board, but here's what I think:
The 10/100 NIC: It's RealTek, not the nVidia one. That steered me away from the Asus nForce board.
The RAID controller: What are you using IDE RAID for? RAID 0 may give you a boost when transferring large A/V type files, but the chance of a dead hard drive goes up quite a bit. Personally, I'd rather invest in SCSI hard drives for the speed and reliability.
Norton Antivirus: This can be had for 5 dollars in the States, but since you're in Brazil, I don't know if you have the same types of deals.
USB 2.0/1.1: While USB 2.0 is a nice speed bump over 1.1, and future proofs the board a bit, how about an IEEE 1394+USB 2.0 card instead?
5.1 DD Audio: It's great. I've got the Boston Acoustics BA7500 speakers, and I think it's on par with my Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. Game sound is bit weird on occasion, but nVidia will probably update the drivers. (MSI has new ones frequently.)
ATA133: ATA 133 seems to me to be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Maxtor is currently the only drive manufacturer to have ATA 133 products, and serial ATA is just around the corner. Personally, I'm waiting for serial ATA to buy a new motherboard. (Hopefully it doesn't take *too* long :wink: )
All in all, the nForce chipset is one I would strongly suggest. However, I personally would be more inclined toward the Asus or MSI offerings, and between those two, I'd pick the MSI. I personally don't overclock, and I like the nVidia NIC instead of the RealTek.
Thanks BenM !
Looks like many people dont like Realtek. Is not the MAC layer inside the nvidia MCP-D southbridge and the Realtek just an electrical interface (layer 1)?
Maybe I will not use it, but I would like to test it, specially RAID 1. I have a mixed feelling about RAID, I like very much the concept but not very much the hardware and software implementations. Maybe the Windows software RAID 1 is more reliable. Some people say that Highpoint is better than Promise. I agree about serious RAID with SCSI controllers but I have tight budget.
Everything is expensive and difficult to find here :( Probably the Norton AV price is around US$+20
...how about an IEEE 1394+USB 2.0 card instead?
Where is it?
Do you know if it is possible to control the Sensaura effects like the Santa Cruz? I am thinking about move my SBLive value card to my daughters´ micro, and it cost around US$80 here (good savings).
I agree ATA133 is more like another bullet list iten.
I am downloading the manuals of the different nforces mobos and searching the reviews and forums now. :wink:
For the USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394, Adaptec and Koutech make cards for that.
For the RAID, I was referring to using a single SCSI drive instead of IDE drives in RAID.
For the Sensaura effects, I am not familiar with them to be honest with you, so I'm not much help there.
I am also not sure about the Realtek and MCP NIC being just electrical interfaces, sorry.
It's a shame that hardware and such is expensive outside of the States. If Newegg.com shipped international, you'd be in business. Maybe if you knew someone on a US military base they could hook you up with Newegg. :wink:
Thanks again :)
SCSI drives usually are very good, but a good software RAID could possibly be more hw disaster proof.
I will try to find more info about Sensaura and NIC and will post it.
I have a reseller in Miami. It is less expensive (when I buy many itens) than buy here.
Ok, I found that there are some Sensaura Virtual Ear control in the Santa Cruz. Anyone know if it (or similar) is available with nforce drivers? Thanks
See this Santa Cruz review and more about Virtual Ear:
edited twice: The realtek is a phsicall layer 10/100 ethernet chip (RTL8210L), it is using the MCP-D MAC layer. See this link: http://www.techhard.com/docs/mobo/abitnv7/abitnv7_2.htm
More about the Realtek chip (correction RTL8201L): http://www.realtek.com.tw/htm/products/cn/rtl8201l.asp
I didnt find what layer 1 chip the MSI is using.
The K7N420 uses the nForce NIC. The others disabled the MCP NIC I believe.
The early Asus board doesn't even use the audio of the MCP-D.
That's another thing to watch for. To use the digital audio, you need a CNR or ACR. If you get the MSI board, check with the shop selling it that it includes the CNR.
First thanks a lot for the info and advices :wink:
IIRC the network technology is divided in layers and each layer do an specific group of tasks. The NIC has two layers, the physical and the link layers. The link layer is subdivided in two sublayers, the LLC (Logical Link Control) and MAC (Media Access Control).
From what I read it looks like that the MCP-D has the PCI interface and the MAC sublayer. The mobo manufacturer needs to add a chip to do the LLC sublayer and the Physical layer, and what Asus and Abit do is use the RTL8201L chip. The MSI is still a mystery for me and I am asking one reviewer to solve it.
The same thing happens to audio, the mobo manufacturer need sthe analog part for the audio and the Abit is using a Realtek chip http://www.realtek.com.tw/htm/newsroom/news_18.htm.
See this thread at anandtech forums about the NV7-133R sound: http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=29&threadid=744794&highlight _key=y&keyword1=nv7%2D133r
The AC-Link described on the Abit website is a standard protocol (AC'97, Audio Codec Specification) which connects a South Bridge (like the nVidia MCP-D) and a Codec chip (like the Realtek ALC650) together. This two chip standard was developed by the industry to keep costs down, to create a minimum audio standard, and to give flexibility to OEMs (can choose each chip separately knowing that they will still be compatible).
In this industry standard, the South Bridge handles the digital audio (signal processing, synthesis, and mixing) and the Codec chip handles the Digital Analog Conversions (DAC) + the Analog Digital Conversions (ADC).
In the past, the South Bridge in such a setup would offload processing to the CPU and just act as a controller and pipeline. In the case of the nForce, the MCP-D has quite a powerful (for a commercial audio solution) processor to handle manipulation of the digital signal (and synthesis) itself. In this way, it is just like a good audio card because it does not need the CPU for its calculations (at least the majority of them). So, while the AC'97 Audio Codec Specification applies to the nForce, it is different from previous solutions because it uses the nForce's own processing.
Now, the DAC is a very important part of the system; if the conversion to the analog world is not good, the best digital signal could be ruined. The Realtek chip used on the nv7-133r is new and should be pretty good (I don't have the board yet and cannot comment on this).
Actually, all of this fuss is about nothing as the ASUS 415-D board has its own Codec chips. I downloaded the manual for the ASUS board and it describes two AC'97 chips on the ACR board (I think it said ACR rather than motherboard). The reason it has two chips is because each AC-Link can only handle six channels. The second AC'97 chip is likely for the Modem's DAC/ADC (even though there is no physical modem connection on board). I am not sure which exact AC'97 Codec chips the ASUS board uses for audio DAC; if anyone can figure this out - post. I can't imagine it being any better than the Realtek chip. The Dolby Digital certification for the ASUS board was probably a formality (where the Manufacturer needs to pay for testing). My guess is that the two boards have very comparable audio.
I found this NV7-133R review: http://www.tbreak.com/hard/mobo/abit_nv7/index.html
Maybe the Abit mobo has a problem with AGP clearance space: http://www.tbreak.com/hard/mobo/abit_nv7/agp1.jpg
I hope future 3D cards will not be as big as the GF4Ti series :-?
I've looked around on my K7N420, and I have yet to see anything that might be the equivelant to the RealTek.
As for the GeForce4 thing....You'd think that nobody's seen a Voodoo5 before. :wink:
Did you ever installed the Nvidia unified drivers only? Was the network working? If yes then probably it means a full nvidia NIC.
edited: I found this site http://www.nforcershq.com
Yep, the unified drivers were all that I needed.
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