Dueling i845 DDR Boards From Abit and Asus
Abit's BD7-RAID and Asus' P4B266 Take Flight

By, Dave Altavilla
January 23, 2002

The Asus P4B266 is up next and it is nothing to sneeze at.

A Closer Look At The Asus P4B266
(click images for full view)



Although the P4B266 is short one less USB connector on the board itself, versus the BD7-RAID, it does come with an on board USB 2.0 controller from NEC and a wiring/connector plate to bring the connections out in an available card slot in your case.  Also, while the Abit board uses the AC '97 CODEC approach to sound, the P4B266 incorporates the C-Media CMI8738 HRTF Audio Controller for it's audio and it can serve up 6 channel surround sound, if you fancy.

Let's set them up and see what makes them tick.

Installation / Setup Of The Abit BD7-RAID and Asus P4B266
The i845D with just the right tweaks

Abit's Softmenu III In The BD7-RAID


CPU Voltage

DDR SDRAM Mode Select

SDRAM Timing


Asus' P4B266 BIOS Setup


CPU Voltage

SDRAM Timing

Health Monitoring

Both these boards have the ability to dial in lots of different settings for CPU overclocking and SDRAM timing optimizations.  The BD7-RAID is a little more convenient with the ability to just type in any whole number up to 250MHz. versus the Asus drop down menu approach.  However, the Asus P4B266 has the ability to set the CPU core voltage up to 1.775 volts for our test chip Pentium 4 Northwood CPU.  The Abit BD7-RAID only has the ability to set the core votlage up to 1.625V, at this point in time.  However, we have been working with Abit on this and they are actually working on a new BIOS revision that will allow higher voltage settings on Northwood CPUs.  That will give the BD7-RAID a lot more overclocking head-room, when it comes out.  However for now, we have to base this review on the currently shipping retail version of the BIOS, which only allows for voltages set up to 1.625V.

So then, how about a few benchmarks?

Overclocking and Sandra