Motherboard: Abit AN7 uGuru Review :: Setup and BIOS

12-31-2003 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

Setting up the ABIT AN7 UGURU is pretty easy and straightforward. I haven't had an issue with setting up a motherboard in years, but it's always good for the motherboard to work straight out of the box. In this case, I formatted the hard drive, installed the CD drivers and got the video card drivers installed without issue.

Stability testing is also an important part of how I do a motherboard review. Prime95 running for 24 hours and Passmark BurninPro for 12 hours is just part of the stability testing I do when testing any motherboard. I also put the motherboard through every day use for at least a week with a 2400+ and a AIW 9800 Pro in addition to the benchmark tests and regular burn-in tests.

Compatibility testing is always important to me as well. I've changed my methods a bit. In the past I'd throw a Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4200 and a ATI 9700 Pro into the machine to test AGP 8x compatibility. I have acquired a Geforce FX 5900 Ultra and our 9700 Pro from our new Athlon64 test system to test compatibility with the board.

I spend 2 days with each card running everyday applications as part of compatibility tests such as games and Word (I'm currently playing Knights of the Old Republic and Prince Of Persia Sands Of Time). There has been many a time when a motherboard might have problems with different video cards, some Asus and boards with ATI 9700s and AGP 8x last year, for example, and this is just as important to me as performance and stability.

UGURU is ABIT's technology for the enthusiast that consists of 5 separate parts, the hardware guru, OC Guru, Smart BIOS Flash, the Magical Black Box, and Audio EQ. Words on each of these are given in order. Hardware Guru garners no performance hit while monitoring the system for temperature, voltage, fan speed etc. OC Guru is a Windows based overclocking utility that works with the UGURU processor to give the optimal system performance.

You can change the clock speed of the CPU by changing the FSB, AGP and memory voltage, and you can save up to 3 custom OC settings for specific games or other applications. Smart BIOS Flash allows you to download BIOS files from Abit's internet site automatically without going booting from a floppy disk. The Magical Black Box allows you to record the system operating conditions by storing and retrieving all the major hardware information from the UGURU processor.

When a problem occurs, Black Box will send a email to ABIT's Technical Support Team. This saves the user from needing to repeat the information when they call or email ABIT for Technical support. The ABIT AN7 UGURU uses the Realtek ALC658 CODEC for the onboard audio. The Audio EQ which Abit terms their audio solution offers 5.1-Channel surround sound of better than 95dB SNR and supports the major audio technologies including EAX 1.0/2.0 , DirectSound 3d, Aureal3d, HRTF3D and Sensaura3D. I kind of wish 3.0 EAX was supported, but that's mainly a Creative Labs exclusive.