Abit SE6 and BX133RAID i440BX versus i815 !

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Abit SE6 and BX133RAID i440BX versus i815 ! - Page 1

Abit's SE6 and BX133-RAID
The Intel PC133 BX versus i815 - Where the rubber meets the road.

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla
7/30/00

 

As the saying goes, "old habits die hard".  In this case, power users have turned the Intel BX chipset platform time and time again, for no compromise high end PC performance.  As technology matures, there are always "trailing edge" standbys that are not quick to adopt new standards.  For many folks, today's new mix of "PC133" based products from Intel doesn't offer enough incentive to make the jump over to the newer platforms.  Still for others, having the latest and greatest is important and the extra bells and whistles that come with it, are more than enough to lure them in.

As you may be aware, the top new alternatives to the "work horse" 440BX platform are the troubled i820/RAMBUS combination and recently released i815/i815E PC133 integrated chipsets.  We don't need to re-hash what you have already heard and seen here about the i820 and its very expensive memory partner.  We would however, like to show you what the BX chipset's true successor is capable of against the backdrop of a recent enhancement of the BX architecture which makes it much more PC133 friendly.  In the process, we are also going to give you full details on features and performance for two great new boards from Abit, the i815 driven SE6 and BX133 driven BX133-RAID. 

Let's start with the specs to warm up here.

Specifications and Features of the Abit SE6 and BX133-RAID
Full of features and performance

Abit's BX133-RAID
(Click image)

CPU

  • Supports Intel Pentium® III Socket based processor

  • Supports Intel Celeron®  Socket based processor

  • Reserves Support for future Intel Pentium® III/Celeron processor

Chipset

  • Intel®440BX chipset (82443BX and 82371EB)

  • Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI)

  • Supports AGP 1X/2X (Sideband)3.3V device

    Ultra DMA 100
     

  • High Point HTP370 IDE Controller

  • Ultra DMA 100MB/Sec data transfer rate

  • RAID 0(stripping mode for boosting performance)

  • RAID 1 (mirroring mode for data security)

  • RAID 0 +1(stripping and mirroring)

Memory

  • Three 168-pin DIMM sockets support SDRAM module

  • Supports up to 1GB MAX. (8, 16, 32, 64, 128,256MB SDRAM

  • Supports ECC
     

  • System BIOS

  • SoftMenuTMIII Patent Technology and  DIP switches to set CPU parameters

  • Award Plug and Play BIOS

  • Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS

  • Year 2000 Compliant

    Multi I/O Functions

  • Two Channels of Bus Master IDE Ports supporting up to four Ultra DMA 33/66/100(up to 4 HDD devices)

  • Two Channels of Bus Master IDE Ports supporting up to four Ultra DMA 33 devices(up to 4 HDD devices)

  • PS/2 Keyboard and PS/2 Mouse Connectors

  • 1 Floppy Port (up to 2.88MB)

  • 1 Parallel Port (EPP/ECP)

  • 2 Serial Ports

  • 2 USB Connectors

Miscellaneous

  • 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots and 1 ISA slot

  • Hardware monitoring - Including Fan speed, Voltages,System environment temperature

  • Keyboard/Mouse/Password and Hot Key multifunction Power On.

  • Built-in Wake on LAN/Wake on Ring header

  • Built-in IrDA TX/RX header

 

Abit's SE6
(click to enlarge)

CPU

  • Intel Pentium® III 500~1GHz processor sockets based on 100 & 133MHz FSB
  • Intel Celeron® 566~677MHz processor sockets based on 66MHz FSB
  • Reserves support for future Intel® Pentium® III /Celeron processors

Chipset

  • Intel 815E  (ICH2) chipset
  • Supports 66/100/133MHz(Front Side Bus)
  • Supports AGP 1X/2X/4X (Sideband) 1.5/3.3V device.
  • Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI)
  • Supports Ultra ATA/100,Ultra ATA/66,Ultra ATA/33 mode.

    Graphics
  • Chipset integrated AGP 2X 3D graphics acceleration.
  • Support AIMM (AGP In-line Memory Module)

    Memory
  • Three 168-pin DIMM sockets support SDRAM module
  • Supports up to 512MB MAX. ( 64, 128,256MB SDRAM)
  • Support 100MHz,133MHz SDRAM interface

Audio

  • AC'97 2-channel Audio CODEC on board
  • Audio driver included

    System BIOS
  • CPU SOFT MENUTM II technology and  DIP switche funtion.
  • Award Plug and Play BIOS supports APM, DMI
  • Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS.

    Multi I/O Functions
     
  • 2 channels bus Master IDE Ports support  Ultra DMA 33/66/100 (up to 4 devices)
  • PS/2 Keyboard and PS/2 Mouse Connectors
  • 1 Floppy Port (up to 2.88MB)
  • 1 Parallel Port (EPP/ECP)
  • 2 Serial Ports
  • 2 USB Connectors
  • On board USB header for two extra USB channels
  • 1 standard 15 pin VGA connector.
  • Audio connector (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in, and Game Port)

Miscellaneous

  • Support STR(Suspend to DRAM)
  • ATX form factor
  • 1 universal AGP slot, 6 PCI slots and 1 CNR slot
  • Hardware monitoring - Including fan speed, voltages, System environment temperature,and one Thermal header for CPU or other temperature monitoring
  • Keyboard and Mouse Power On
  • Built-in Wake on LAN /Wake on Modem/Open Chassis header
  • Built-in IrDA TX/RX header
  • VL-Bus Supports Flat Panel display or TV out (option)

At first glance there is a lot to appreciate about both of these boards.  The BX133 with its integrated High Point ATA100 RAID Controller, Abit Patented "Soft Menu III" CPU adjustments in the BIOS and Health Monitoring, is a complete package forged with the performance of the tried and true i440BX chipset.  On the other hand, the SE6 sports Intel's newest PC133 compatible chipset, the i815.  In addition, you get 6 PCI slots, an integrated ATA100 EIDE Controller, on board sound and video and of course AGP4X support for the AGP slot.

BX133 Socket 370                BX133 PLL Clock Driver             BX133 High Point
                                                                                                 ATA 100 RAID Controller
   

SE6 Intel ICH2 IO Controller              SE6 and Alpha PEP66 Cooler

               

We want to point out that we will not be looking at the performance and features of the SE6's integrated 2D/3D graphics.  It is based the i740 core and provides basic 2D/3D functionality but nothing that power users like yourself will be interested in.  Just drop in a Voodoo5 or GeForce 2 and utilize that AGP Slot for the real McCoy.  System integrators designing "Business" machines, on the other hand, will appreciate this level of integration.  Among other notables is the location of the power connector on the SE6.  Why it couldn't be located in the exact spot that it is with the BX133 RAID, is beyond me.  The ATX Power Cable needs to be tucked away tightly in order to not restrict airflow around the CPU heat sink. 

Finally, notice the PLL CLock Driver on the BX133, in the above shot.  It is a Realtek chip and it is indeed recognized by H.Oda's Soft FSB.  On the other hand, you won't need it since the BX133's Soft Menu III BIOS lets you tweak front side bus settings all the away up to 200MHz. in 1MHz. increments.

So, let's set things up and take a look at the competitors and the Soft Menu II and Soft Menu III BIOS of the SE6 and BX133 RAID.

Setup, Installation and BIOS Settings

 
Tags:  RAID, x1, Abit, AI, id, and

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