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Abit IS7-G i865PE Motherboard Review

Abit IS7-G i865PE Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: Who could forget great motherboards like the BH6, BE6-II and BX-133? How about the more recent TH7II, BD7 or ABIT IT7 MAX2 Rev2 for the Pentium 4 processor?
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Abit Jun 16 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Abit IS7-G

Onboard Features and Gear

The IS7-G uses a simple redish-brown coloured PCB that skips the whole blinking LED fad (thankfully) in favor of a clean, uncluttered layout and northbridge cooling fan. In general Abit motherboards are pretty well laid out, and the IS7-G is no exception to that rule. From a users standpoint it is nice to see the main ATX and floppy drive connectors located to the right of the DIMM slots where they are also easy to get at.

Because the Pentium 4 processor gets its power from the 12V line we were not surprised to see the ATX12V connector next to the MOSFETs. The IDE connectors are positioned on their sides at the edge of the board where they will give more clearance to longer PCI devices. With the IDE cables laying flat, the airflow at the front of the case is less likely to be obstructed as well.

With so many USB devices on the market and with more coming out, we were glad to see Abit places four USB 2.0 ports on the rear I/O panel.

As with other Abit motherboards in the past, the IS7-G is very well labelled all over.

The onboard 3Com Marvell Gigabit Ethernet adapter runs through the PCI bus, but we understand that the IS7-G is aimed at the mainstream market and so most users will probably not be in a position to see a slow down.

We were able to obtain the "PAT enabled" BIOS for the IS7-G and test it out quickly. That BIOS version really did improve the overall performance of the system. For example, stock 3DMark scores went up from 16.1k to just over 16.5K, and bandwidth increased as well!

However, since the PAT enabled BIOS is a beta version and not available to the public (as of June 13th, 2003) we did not use it in our testes. Instead we used the original BIOS release for the motherboard.

I was a bit surprised to see the one big 6.3V 2200µF capacitor sitting just right next to the first PCI slot. If you're using a longer PCI cards you may have problems installing it in PCI slot one. The reset CMOS jumper is in a bad location just above the main ATX power connector. With the motherboard installed in a case you'd probably have to remove the ATX power connector to get to the jumper should you overclock too high.

The DIMM slots are packed in closely together... which presents a curious situation because there is virtually no space between heatspreader encased DIMM's. Considering the amount of motherboards which have DIMM slots right up against one another I'm somewhat surprised that the effect this will have on heatspreader encased memory modules has not been considered. With DIMM slots like this, the facing sides of DDR with a heatspreader are completely insulated from just about all convection cooling.

It would be nice if Abit could place the two IEEE 1394 connectors elsewhere. Where they are the cables will run directly in front of the GPU HSF... and you all know how particular I am about my videocards.For those of you who are interested in learning about i865PE technology please read PCstats' review of the AOpen AX4SPE Max motherboard.

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Contents of Article: Abit IS7-G
 Pg 1.  Abit IS7-G i865PE Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Onboard Features and Gear
 Pg 3.  Overclocking and BIOS
 Pg 4.  System Spec's and Benchmarks:
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winbench99, SiSoft Sandra 2003
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001SE
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena, UT2003
 Pg 8.  Overclockers Delight!

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