Abit BG7E Motherboard Review

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The Abit BG7E Motherboard Review
An Abit Board For the Masses...

By Robert Maloney
February 24, 2003


A few months back, we published a three board round-up of products based on the new Intel I845PE Chipset, including one from Abit, that being the BE7-RAID.  Without regurgitating facts about the chipset, suffice it to say that it proved to be a great update of the original I845, providing official support (finally) for DDR333 memory, as well as 533MHz FSB Pentium 4 CPUs, USB 2.0, and 6-channel on-board audio.  All of the boards that we reviewed really shined in the performance and overclocking areas, and we were hoping for more of the same with today's entry, the Abit BG7E.  At first glance, the bundle we received for review didn't appear to be much different from the BE7.  The only notable differences appeared to be a lack of a RAID controller and the substitution of the i845GE chipset, which add Intel Extreme Graphics.   Will this new addition live up to the reputation that Abit has for producing boards with their slogan "Speed, Stability and Power" in mind? Read on and find out.

Specifications of the Abit BG7E Motherboard
All for one, and one for all

   

Processor Support:
Supports Intel Pentium 4 Socket478 processors
with 400/533 MHz FSB
Supports Hyper-Threading Technology

Chipset
Intel 82845E Memory Controller Hub (MCH)
Intel 82801DB Enhanced I/O Controller Hub (ICH4)

Memory
Three 184-pin DIMM sockets (unbuffered Non-ECC)
Supports 3 DDR200/266 DIMMs
or 2 DDR333 DIMMs  (2GB Maximum)

Expansion Slots
Five 32-bit PCI Bus Master Slots
One AGP Slot (AGP4x)

External I/O Connections
Two  PS/2 ports (keyboard & mouse)
One Serial port
One Parallel port
One 15-pin VGA port
Five Audio jacks (front speaker, line-in, mic-in,
center/sub, surround speaker)
One S/PDIF out connector
Two USB 2.0 ports
One RJ-45 LAN connector
 

Internal I/O Connections
One Floppy Disk Drive Connector
Two IDE Connectors (UltraDMA133/100/66 Support)
Two USB 2.0 headers
Two CD-IN headers
One IrDA header

Network Features
Realtek RTL8100B PCI Fast Ethernet controller
10/100 Mbit operation
Supports ACPI

Audio Features
Realtek ALC650 6-channel audio CODEC
Professional digital audio interface supports
24-bit Optical S/PDIF Output

BIOS
SOFT MENU III Technology
Supports BIOS Protect function
Supports Plug-and-Play (PnP), Advanced
Configuration Power Interface (ACPI), and
Desktop Management Interface (DMI)
Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD

Form Factor
ATX form factor, 21.5cm x 30.5cm


Below are the items that were included with the sample we received for review:

Abit BG7E Motherboard
Two 80-pin IDE ribbon cables
One 3.5-inch floppy drive cable
One bracket with two additional
  USB 2.0 ports
I/O shield
User's Manual
Software & Drivers CD
 

The BG7E's included accessory bundle seemed a bit subdued.  We went to Abit's site to verify we received everything that was to be included and have a minor gripe.  When we first started researching information about the board we came across the BE7G on Abit's website, which had Gigabyte LAN and Serial ATA support. We were obviously a bit surprised, then, when ours did not. We double checked the label and realized our error (BE7G vs. BG7E),  Yes, this was a simple oversight on our part, but nevertheless we feel Abit's naming conventions could probably use a little work to avoid such confusion.

We didn't find the expansive bundle of freebies that we have recently become used to when reviewing motherboards. Actually, it seemed that we had just enough of the basic components to get a system up and running. Inside we found the Abit BG7E motherboard itself, and ATA100 IDE cable and a floppy cable, a bracket with two extra USB 2.0 ports, and the user's manual with a driver / utilities CD. As I said, nothing much worth writing home about, so let's get a closer look at the main features on the board.

 

A Tale of a board and its BIOS:


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