Motherboard, CPU and Memory

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SYS was definitely limited in their choices for a motherboard with the Cold Fusion 1000 simply because the motherboard comes pre-installed from Kryotech.  The SuperG is currently available with either the MSI 6167 or the Gigabyte GA-7IX as a motherboard option, and, upon opening the Superpower KS-298 case that sits atop of the Kryotech SuperG’s compressor base, we found that SYS had chose to go with the GA 7IX.

The 7IX is based upon AMD’s reference Fester motherboard design and features the popular but now somewhat limiting 5/2/1 expansion slot configuration (PCI/ISA/AGP).  While most users would opt for more PCI slots, the 5 PCI slots on the 7IX was what SYS had to work with since the MSI 6167 motherboard option offered no more PCI slots than what Gigabyte offered.  AMD’s 750 chipset is the heart of the 7IX, allowing for AGP 2X support as well as Ultra ATA 66 support integrated into the AMD-756 South Bridge. 

The reason Kryotech offers such limited motherboard solutions is because the nature of the KryoCavity requires that the area around the Slot-A connector be as unpopulated by components as possible, thus making the 7IX the perfect candidate and at the same time excluding the ASUS K7M as a possible motherboard solution. 

The motherboard features 3 DIMM slots capable of accepting a total of 768MB of SDRAM using non-registered DIMMs.  Although some professional users may crave a larger memory capacity, 768MB is good enough for most mid-range workstations. 

The BIOS on the 7IX that shipped on our Cold Fusion 1000 evaluation unit was revision F2.b which is an updated version from the latest download available at Gigabyte’s homepage.  Unfortunately, the F2.b BIOS does not allow for the enabling of the AMD 750’s Super Bypass feature.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Super Bypass feature, Silvino Orozco of Tom’s Hardware Guide provided an excellent write-up on the feature.  We have a BIOS for the 7IX that allows for this feature to be enabled; unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to distribute it.

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