Asus K7M Athlon Motherboard - Page 4

Features In Detail

a. Thermal Sensor Connector + optional ASUS fan: 

As with recent motherboards, the ASUS comes with a 2-pin thermal sensor connector (TRCPU) that allows one to connect with the ASUS P2T-Cable (not bundled) onto a device of your choice to monitor its temperature. If you purchase an ASUS Smart Fan or ASUS S-P2Fan, these are ideal as they include an integrated thermal sensor located near the CPU core (providing accurate temp measurement) which connects to the TRCPU connector via their own attached cable.  These fans also give feedback on their turn speeds via ASUS PC Probe software.

In addition, there’s also another similar thermal sensor connector (TRPWR) for the Power Supply (if your PS supports thermal monitoring).

b. AMR Slot:

This AMR slot sits where the normal AGP slot is located on other motherboards. The AGP slot on the motherboard is then located below it. Now, whilst I seriously doubt the number of users utilising AMR peripherals, this slot is actually quite useful for overclockers like me. As this slot typically sits just underneath the CPU, one can actually attach a slot-fan here to draw out hot air emanating from the CPU or AGP graphics card. Usually the AGP card prohibits such a cooling arrangement, being positioned adjacently below the CPU.

c. 4 USB Ports:

Besides the standard 2 USB ports offered by most motherboards, the manufacturer has included another USB bracket with 2 USB connectors. This bracket mounts onto a free slot in your casing and connects to a midboard connector. The cable for this connection will have to be purchased separately though.

The USB bracket

d. Voltage Settings via Jumpers:

The K7M comes with a whole host of jumper settings for various voltages:· 

  • Vaux jumper (3VSBSLT): This allows you to select the voltage (Add 3V / Add 3 VSB) that outputs to your PCI slots that require auxiliary power.
  • VIO jumper (VIO): To select voltage supplied to DRAM, chipset, AGP and PCI amongst others (3.3V / 3.4V / 3.56V). This jumper is a welcome addition enabling even greater control for users plagued with insufficient voltage output during overclocking!
  • Voltage Regulator Output Settings (VID1, VID2, VID3): This is yet another essential jumper for overclockers where the CPU core voltage needs refinement to suit its level of overclocking. Comprehensive voltage settings selectable from 1.3V to 2.0V at 0.1V increments are available. My only qualm is that it’s located inconveniently near the CPU slot. It took some effort to wriggle out the jumpers as these were obstructed by the CPU + heatsink.

e. Speed Settings via Jumpers:

  • Of course, overclocking just isn’t complete without some control over FSB frequency settings. This can be done externally via 2 DIP switches (100/103/105/110 MHz) on the motherboard.
DIP switches in case you prefer a tangible way to overclock.

However, it is questionable whether such external switches are necessary, as the BIOS itself already supports even more FSB frequency settings (seen later).

f. Onboard Audio settings + other connectors:

  • As many would opt for a dedicated sound card instead, jumpers to Enable / Disable the onboard audio codec are available. Note that the Onboard Audio Controller should be disabled in the BIOS as well.
  • The motherboard also sports a few 4-pin internal audio inputs (CD In, Modem, Video In, Aux In) used in conjunction with the Onboard Audio Controller.
  • In addition, external connectors are also provided consisting of stereo 1/8” Line-In, Line-Out and Mic-In inputs. To fully replace the need for an additional soundcard, a gameport connector is also provided.
Colourful aren't there? Much like the Christmas lighting around town.

g. Infrared Module Connector

As if there weren’t enough offerings, ASUS has also integrated the ability to connect an optional wireless transmitting and receiving IR module via a 5-pin connector onboard.

It seems that this Athlon board has it all (except for SCSI), in physical terms at least. Really, the plethora of inbuilt features is really more than one expects from a “deviant” physical redesign and Asus has definitely proven their expertise in this area. In addition, its should be noted that ASUS strongly recommends at least a 250W power supply to churn up enough juices for the various features offered. Of course, if all the reworking were limited to jumper settings, it still wouldn’t be ideal. So let’s get on with the soft control options…

Woah!! Talk about comprehensive
features… But can these be controlled via the BIOS?

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