by October 4, 2000 0 comments

If you want to go for an AMD Athlon-based machine, then here’s
a motherboard for you. The K7M is a slot-A motherboard based on the AMD-751
chipset. Like all Asus boards we’ve seen, this one’s also laid out in ATX
form factor with color-coded external connectors. Other features include five
PCI slots, one ISA slot, and three DIMMs that can take up to 768 MB RAM. These
are sufficient for future expansion needs. Interestingly, the board only has a
2x AGP slot for a graphics card, whereas the latest is 4x. This, however, doesn’t
affect the card’s performance in any way.

Asus K7M 

Slot-A motherboard. Rs 10,999
Features: Supports AMD Athlon.
Pros: Good performance; detailed manual; plenty of options for
Cons: None.
Source: Aditya Infotech
Khemka Centre
Nehru Place
New Delhi 110019. 
Tel: 11-6223810, 6452211 

test the board’s performance, we used an Athlon 700 MHz processor with 128 MB
of SDRAM and a Creative GeForce graphics card. The results were compared with a
PIII/700 MHz processor on an ASUS CUBX board. To check out common productivity
applications, we used Business Winstone99 from Ziff Davis, and got a score of
28. The Intel board scored 29.6, which was about six percent more. The score,
nevertheless, is pretty good.

Our next onslaught covered gaming performance using Quake III
Arena. At a resolution of 600×800 with 16-bit color depth, the K7M gave frame
rates of 93.1 compared to 87.3 of the CUBX. However, as we increased the
resolution and color depth, the frame rates became similar. At maximum
resolution of 1,280×1,024, the K7M gave 25 fps, while the CUBX tagged 25.4. So,
from a gaming point of view, this board won’t let you down.

We then pushed its graphics capabilities with the Indy 3D
benchmark from Sense 8. Performance clocked by both boards was pretty much the
same here too. At 640×480, the CUBX gave 20.43 fps, while the K7M got 20.39.
Other resolutions also gave similar scores.

The board is accompanied by a K7M support CD containing
drivers for its onboard Audio, DMA, and AGP. It also comes with PC-Cillin 98
anti-virus, Adobe Acrobat Reader 4, and the ASUS PC probe utility. The last one
is a useful utility, which lets you monitor your CPU’s fan speed, temperature,
and processor voltage. The motherboard manual is as good as all Asus boards we’ve
seen so far.

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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