abit BG7E
Written by Stephen
Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:34
..:: Introduction ::..
Abit Computer Corp. truly needs no introduction to the enthusiast community. They are well
known throughout the industry for bringing incredible performance and overclocking options to
their line of motherboards. Their SoftMenu Technology could easily be the one major item that
Abit has been most widely known for. As we saw in our last review of an Abit motherboard, they
are not well known for shelling out incredible packages full of extras. Instead, Abit focuses on
their slogan, Speed, Performance, Power. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Abit’s Intel i845GE
based BG7E. If you’re looking for a new motherboard and you’re on a budget, stay tuned to find
out if the BG7E should be on your list. Let’s start off by first taking a good look at the official
specifications for the Abit BG7E.
..:: Specifications ::..
Processor
- Supports Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 processors with 400/533 MHz Front Side Bus
- Supports Intel Hyper-threading technology
Chipset
-
Intel 845GE/ICH4 chipset
Supports Hi-Speed Universal Serial Bus (USB 2.0)
Supports Ultra DMA 33/66/100
Integrated graphics architecture yields higher 2D/3D performance
1/6
abit BG7E
Written by Stephen
Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:34
- Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports AGP 4X Interface (1.5V)
Memory
- Three 184-pin DIMM sockets (unbuffered Non-ECC DIMM)
- Supports 2 DIMM DDR 200/266/333 or 3 DIMM DDR 200/266 (Max. 2GB)
Audio
- On board ALC650 6-Channel CODEC
- Professional digital audio interface supports 24-bit Optical S/PDIF Out
USB 2.0
- Supports 6 Ports USB 2.0 at 480 Mb/sec transfer rate
Onboard LAN
- On board 10/100M PCI Fast Ethernet Controller
- 10/100M Operation supports ACPI
System BIOS
- SOFT MENU™ III Technology
- Support BIOS Protect function adjust by BIOS
- Supports Plug-and-Play (PNP)
2/6
abit BG7E
Written by Stephen
Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:34
- Supports Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI)
- Supports Desktop Management Interface (DMI)
- Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS
Internal I/O Connectors
-
1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots
1 x Floppy Port supports up to 2.88MB
2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100 Connectors
2 x USB headers, 1 x IrDA header
1 x CD-IN, 1 x AUX-IN
Back Panel I/O Connectors
-
1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 mouse
1 x Serial Port connector, 1 x VGA connector, 1 x Parallel Port connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
Audio connectors (Center/Sub, Surround Speaker)
Audio connectors (Front Speaker, Line-in, Mic-in)
2 x USB, 1 x RJ-45 LAN Connector
..:: Package ::..
When you open up the package don’t expect to find much of anything spectacular. The package
is nearly identical to that of the BE7-RAID we recently reviewed. For the BG7E, we have one
ATA-66/100/133 ribbon cable, one floppy ribbon cable, one USB 2.0 expansion bracket with two
3/6
abit BG7E
Written by Stephen
Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:34
USB ports, one rear I/O panel bracket to accommodate for the rear I/O connector placements,
and of course, the motherboard user manual and driver disc. Not much to get too excited about
in this package. I would have liked to see Abit include a second IDE cable to accommodate
users with multiple hard drives or optical disc drives.
One thing I have come to love about Abit is that they take the time to really go over the different
BIOS options, no matter how high-end or low-end the motherboard is. Many other
manufacturers will only skim the surface or not even cover the BIOS settings at all. Abit is a
performance oriented manufacturer so it makes sense for them to spend a great deal of time
explaining the available tweaking options to the end user. The manual also comes in several
languages for universal use. Abit does a nice job covering the different aspects of the driver and
software installations, and several of the other aspects that most other motherboard
manufacturers will overlook.
The driver / software CD houses the drivers and software for the Abit 845 Series motherboards,
so if you’re looking to find a driver, this would be the place to do it. When you first insert the disc
into your CD-ROM, the main window will pop up right to the driver install window. Here, you
simply click which drivers to install and you’re good to go. Within the main window, you’ll also be
able to install any of the software you wish to. The included software suite is fairly nice with the
inclusion of a hardware monitoring program, Adobe Acrobat, and Norton Anti-Virus. Overall the
Abit BG7E comes along with a decent package, although I’d love to see Abit throw in an
additional IDE cable within the package. It’d be nice to see a feature or two added to this board
such as RAID, although this motherboard isn’t truly geared in that direction due to those two
words that seem like nails on a chalkboard to any performance freak, integrated graphics.
..:: Feature Set ::..
The Abit BG7E motherboard comes along with ABIT SoftMenu™ Overclocking, 10/100M
Ethernet On Board, 6-Channel Audio and Optical S/PDIF Out interface, Intel Extreme Graphics,
Hyper-Threading Technology Support, and Enhanced 533MHz FSB, along with support for up
to six USB 2.0 capable ports. Before we take our customary trip around the motherboard PC,
let’s take a look at the chips responsible for BG7E features.
4/6
abit BG7E
Written by Stephen
Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:34
..:: Layout: Socket Area ::..
As we always do, we'll now begin our tour of sorts around the PCB of the BG7E. Overall, the
design of the BG7E is rather nice, although there are a few more notable items than we saw
with the design of the BE7-RAID. The motherboard headers and jumpers are all easily
accessible and are arranged nicely over the PCB. The BG7E uses a condensed PCB as we
saw with the BE7-RAID. Since the board is not outfitted with numerous extra chips, this can
allow for Abit to lower manufacturing costs, and therefore lower your cost to purchase the final
product. The main 12V ATX power connector is in, what I believe to be, the best spot available
once again, however the smaller four-pin power connector is not. That’s a quick overview of the
more important aspects we’ll be discussing, now let’s get on with a more detailed look at the
BG7E.
The BG7E comes along with the usual black heatsink retention system. Normally I quickly
disassemble the retention mechanism before snapping the review images, though I left it on this
time to bring up a minor issue which I’ll be discussing momentarily. The processor socket is
oriented lengthwise from north to south and reaches to the top edge of the PCB. The area to the
right of the processor socket is fairly clean and clear of any larger capacitors. There is one, red,
three-pin power connector that is going to be a little tough to get to when you’re using a
heatsink with the retention mechanism and have DIMM one filled. The spacing in-between the
retention mechanism and DIMM’s is rather small, and the fact that there are two small
capacitors near the power connector doesn’t help the situation much. I’d prefer to see this
connector located farther up the board in a slightly more accessible position.
5/6
abit BG7E
Written by Stephen
Sunday, 30 August 2009 18:34
..:: Layout:
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