Written on: 07/01/2009 by jdavies01 (1 review written)
Completely reliable, cost effective board with enough PCI slots. It is very much a "Middle Of The Road" Board. yet reliability wins the day ! I'd give it a 9 out of 10 becuse it could have been given just another "Whistle", or just one more "Bell".
Only that the designers didn't take to production the next step and give this Board an 800 MgHz Front Side Bus, or faster, and allow it to handle more than just 1 gig of RAM. It also could use multiple Firewire controls and at least a pair of SATA sockets. But that probably takes us to the next gen of boards anyway.
K7S5a is from my own experience has been totally reliable. I have run mine for 6 years now, having flashed my Bios to upgrade it once, and the Motherboard Drivers once. All PCI slots have been completely reliable, as have all USB and serial ports. I run a pair of Seagate 120 gig drives and a LaCie 500 gig external, using two sticks of DDR 3200 Corsair Memory. Mine is housed in a Cooler Master TAC-T01 Wave Master Aluminum Case, providing the Board and case contents with plenty of air flow. Temperature has never been an issue. Contrary to some reviews of this board, I've used a Sound Blaster Audio Card, and an Invidia G Force FX 5200 video card flawlessly since I built the case up. I've added a PCI USB Card for more USB ports, and upgraded my Athelon XP1800 chip from 1.8 gig to 2.0 gigs. And I did place a Cooler Master X Dream chip cooler fan on the heat sync. The Wavemaster case provides twin 80mm intake fans, I installed a good temp controlled exhaust fan, and added a tripple fan hard drive cooling kit between my two CD drives simply as more air intake. Using also a System Bracket Fan, to help force air across the PCI Cards, the result is a good solid air flow through the case keeping the Video Card, and Chipsets all at reliable temps. In this environment the K7 Board has been remarkably reliable. And I would suggest it to anyone who needs a board of this generation of technology. It's not expensive, and is completely reliable. I have worked on machines who's K7 "clones" had to be replaced, while all the K7's I have seen so far simply work. Stick with Elite for your K7.