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Abit's KT7E motherboard

Revealing the mysterious blue-collar workhorse

$88 (street)

Psychologists classify the blue personality in terms of its strengths and weaknesses. Blue's strengths include an appreciation of beauty and detail, a stable and dependable work ethic, a deep sense of purpose, and high achievement. This sounds pretty good, so far as it applies to motherboards. Flipping the coin, blue's weaknesses include being highly emotional, and having strong perfection and performance orientations. Being based on a VIA chipset could surely explain any moody or emotional attributes that this board might possess. However, a strong performance orientation isn't something I'd consider a weakness.

If the KT7E's personality is anything like the one associated with its color, it should be quite a board. Does the KT7E live up to these expectations? Does blue's highly emotional nature have Darth VIA rearing his head once again? Read on to find out.

What you get
Looks aren't everything, but they help, if only to stand out from the pack. To that end, the KT7E's striking blue PCB certainly catches the eye. If you care what your PC looks like, blue is going to be a welcome change from traditionally boring motherboard colors.

The KT7E comes packed with the manual, CD, and IDE cables you'd expect with any Abit motherboard. There's also the backplane USB header, of which I'm not especially fond. Fortunately, there are other options for your USB header needs.

At first glance, there's very little that differentiates the KT7E from other Abit Socket A offerings. In fact, it's almost identical in layout to the venerable KT7-RAID. This is a good thing, though, because Abit's board layouts are among the best I've seen. There's plenty of room around the socket for today's larger heatsink/fan combos, and the power and IDE connectors aren't in inconvenient locations.

This is all standard fare, though. The real story of the KT7E lies not in its appearance, but in its mysterious chipset.