Asus K7M Athlon Motherboard - Page 2

The Unsung Hero

Now, enter the K7M Athlon motherboard amidst MSI and Gigabyte’s renditions. Strangely enough, this motherboard is produced by a leading motherboard manufacturer but was never promoted even after its launch. Rumours abound that INTEL had expressed negative sentiments and strong disproval on hearing about its production.  This led to the manufacturer’s promise never to market or associate with it, in fear of further degrading relations with INTEL and appease them.

In any case, the sample I received sure lived up to its anonymity, coming in just a plain white box.  In addition, the manual’s cover simply had the K7M stamped on it without even mention of its manufacturer.  On opening the box, it comes with the following:

  • 01 x K7M Motherboard rev 1.02
  • 01 x Ultra-ATA66 HDD cable
  • 01 x Floppy disk cable
  • 01 x Manual
  • 01 x K7M Support CD-ROM disc (Rev 9.02) containing AGP Miniport driver 4.45, VIA AC’97 PCI Audio Driver V1.03a, Trend Pc-cillin Anti-Virus Setup Rev 4.06 and ASUS PC Probe Rev 2.03
  • 01 x USB extension bracket
  • 01 x L-shaped Heatsink (see below)
From an initial glance, the motherboard doesn’t look anything different from any other Athlon board.  

However, upon closer inspection, it is apparent that the manufacturer has deviated from the standard AMD recommended design. The use of a S-shaped component heatsink to cool several ICs below the row of capacitors lined underneath the processor’s slot especially emphasizes how proprietary the design actually is. Moreover, the inclusion of other nifty onboard devices like an audio chip + game port and various switches / jumpers (more on them later) accentuates this fact and demonstrates the intricacies involved in its redesign.

Notice the row of ICs without heatsink and compare to the pic below.
Now the ICs are covered with the heatsink.

Woah… A heatsink for chips other than the CPU??
What is this thing made of!!??

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