ABIT BE6 440BX Slot-1 MotherboardSpecs/features, first impressions, the package
ABIT is a very well known company among overclockers. And why shouldn't they? The were the first ones to come out with cool stuff like jumperless motherboards, making overclocking as easy as it gets without having to mess around with jumpers, the first to introduce the ability to tweak the core voltage on the Pentium II CPUs, allowing overclocking freaks to bring the Pentium II CPUs to new levels of overclocking madness, and the first to come out with a dual Celeron motherboard. More on the later. But most importantly, ABIT is best known for their quality built products, offering both great features and exceptional stability overclocked or not. So, how does the newest child from ABIT fit in to all this, and does it deserve the ABIT name? Lets check out the specs:
CPU Support: Slot -1
Chipset: Intel i440 BX Memory: 3 168-Pin DIMMs, Max Mem 768 MB L2 Cache: On-Chip (512K) Form Factor: ATX Expansion Slots: 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 2 ISA Bus Speeds Supported: 66, 75, 83, 100, 105, 110, 112, 115, 120, 124, 133, 140, 150 Multipliers Supported: 2x-8x BIOS: Award
At first glance the feature set of this motherboard is very similar to the BH6, but what you cant see from the list above is the support of this motherboard for the new ATA-66 interface by utilizing the new HPT366 Ultra ATA-66 chipset. As you may know the new ATA-66 interface allows for IDE hard drive transfer speeds up to 66.6 MB/sec. What's more, the two ATA-66 connectors on this motherboard are in addition to the two regular ATA-33 connectors on the motherboard making for a total of FOUR IDE connectors. This translates to the capability of connecting eight IDE devices, versus the usual four. Not too shabby. Of course, ABIT included two ATA-66 cables with the package, which are required to run an ATA-66 hard drive. The difference between ATA-33 and ATA-66 cables is the fact that the latter cable is a 80 conductor ribbon cable, versus a 40 conductor ribbon cable for the ATA-33. The connectors are the same on both types of cables though.
The book included with this motherboard is as usual top notch. Excellent documentation detailing everything you ever want to know about the motherboard. While most manufacturers send you a pamphlet with their motherboards, ABIT takes the time to include an excellent source of information. That has always been one of the strong points with ABIT motherboards.
Lets see, what else is included with this baby. Oh yes, a very cool thermistor cable is included. This cable connects right on your motherboard, and you are able to put in anywhere and read the temperature of a specific spot, right on your BIOS menu. This is a must for an overclocker who wants to have accurate temperature data about his CPU or any other specific component on the system.. Very cool indeed, kinda wish the cable was a bit longer though.
The motherboard is PC-99 compliant, which means that all the connectors in the back are color coded. It allows for easier connectivity of peripherals without having to break out the flash light and read the labels on the back of the computer. This makes things easier, but I personally don't have any PC-99 peripherals, so it was kinda useless for me.