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
|Computex 2017: Gigabyte's latest and greatest gearMotherboards and eGPUs and laptops, oh my||19|
|Intel's Core X-series CPUs and X299 platform revealedSkylake-X and Kaby Lake-X make their debut||245|
|The Tech Report System Guide: May 2017 editionRyzen 5 takes the stage||111|
|A Bridge too far: migrating from Sandy to Kaby LakeA Core i7-7700K and Asus Z270-A upgrade story||161|
|Aorus' Z270X-Gaming 5 motherboard reviewedThe first of a new flock||26|
|MSI's Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard reviewedA new generation rises||11|
|Gigabyte's GA-X99-Designare EX motherboard reviewedPulling out all the stops||28|
|Asus' X99-A II motherboard reviewedImproving on perfection||20|
|Intel crams 100 GFLOPS of neural-net inferencing onto a USB stick||3|
|Toshiba's XG5 1TB NVMe SSD reviewed||1|
|Microsoft and Johnson Controls put Cortana in a thermostat||6|
|Space Exploration Day Shortbread||8|
|Geil de-blings its Evo Spear memory modules||7|
|Thermaltake View 21 chassis doubles up on tempered glass||4|
|Asus Crosshair VI Extreme pulls out all the stops for AM4||14|
|Doom 6.66 update brings free DLC and a multi-platform free weekend||24|
|Intel graphics driver 15.46 fixes a slew of games||32|
|Impressive, most impressive.||+50|