Even without the legacy-free design, the AT7 MAX is a sure-fire winner by virtue of its integrated peripherals. Abit's MAX moniker couldn't be more appropriate. An integrated NIC, 6-channel audio, Firewire, USB 2.0, and 4-port IDE RAID make for quite a packed spec sheet. All these integrated peripherals come at the expense of PCI slots, but most users should be just fine with the three slots the AT7 provides.
Apart from its stacked feature set, the AT7 MAX is all about getting rid of legacy ports. For users with legacy peripherals, the AT7 might be a hard sell, even with many USB-to-legacy port adapters available. However, if you're starting from scratch there's really no reason to be buying into legacy components that may soon go the way of ISA.
A legacy-reduced motherboard might not mean that much to most users, but it could be a big push forward for the industry. I see the AT7 MAX as a case study that can prove the viability of legacy free mainstream PC platforms. It's a first step that may eventually lead to truly legacy-free platforms, but that line's a hard sell for someone just looking for a motherboard.
You might be wondering: What happened to our world-famous 11-point rating scale? We found it harder and harder to assign a number to a product arbitrarily, especially when our conclusions give a much more complete picture of the things we like and don't like. From now on, exceptional products at the top of their classes will get our Recommended award. Particularly impressive offerings, like the AT7 MAX, will receive our Editor's Choice award.
150 comments — Last by Anonymous at 3:54 AM on 11/30/02
|Asus' X99-A II motherboard reviewedImproving on perfection||18|
|Gigabyte's Z170X-UD3 motherboard reviewedBlack and yellow, black and yellow||59|
|MSI's Z170A SLI Plus motherboard reviewedA monochrome mainstream mobo||16|
|Asus' ROG Maximus VIII Impact motherboard reviewedPhenomenal features in an itty-bitty space||61|
|Gigabyte's Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard reviewedZ170 with all the trimmings||22|
|Revisiting the Killer NIC, eight years onA showdown of Killer proportions||122|
|Gigabyte's Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard reviewedZ170 gaming meets Technicolor lighting||26|
|MSI's Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard reviewedZ170 gaming with a side of dragons||26|
|Lenovo ThinkCentre and ThinkPad machines pack AMD PRO APUs||19|
|Seagate 5TB BarraCuda and 2TB FireCuda drives are big and speedy||11|
|Nvidia licenses Rambus' DPA tech for side-channel data leak prevention||15|
|iOS 10.1 update includes portrait mode beta for iPhone 7 Plus||5|
|Biostar belatedly announces GTX 1060 graphics cards||12|
|HyperX Alloy keyboard gets lean and mean for FPS gaming||8|
|AMD drops prices on the Radeon RX 460 and RX 470||51|
|Reports: Radeon RX 470D is a budget Polaris card for China||9|
|Examining reports of slow write speeds on the 32GB iPhone 7||33|
|Signing your posts is daftly redundant. Meadows||+27|