traditional physical inspection shows that Abit
put much thought into the design and layout of the
first thing we noticed was the board's slot
configuration. A single AGP and 5 PCI slots
grace the VP6. Normally we'd like to see a
6th PCI slot on a board at this level, but there
is a reason there are "only" 5.
The on-board HPT-370 RAID controller is
essentially a PCI card that's been integrated into
the motherboard. In essence, it's using the
6th PCI slot.
the extra IDE connectors associated with the
HPT-370 there is potential for a slew of cables to
be draped over your motherboard. Abit made a
smart decision though and pushed the floppy and
IDE connectors all the way out to the edges of the
we continue traveling around the board, you'll see
that Abit placed ALL of the connectors around the
far edges of the board. This is a HUGE plus
as it makes for a very neat and tidy case.
The ATX power connector is tucked out of the way
behind an array of power capacitors and the case
connectors are placed at the far corner.
the 12 power capacitors neatly arranged between
the sockets. Supplying a clean, even flow of
power to your CPU is a crucial element of a stable
motherboard. The power problem is two-fold
on the VP6, so seeing an array like this impressed
the Northbridge is "naked" in all of our
pics, Abit shipped the VP6 with a simple black
heatsink attached to it with some cheap thermal
tape. We removed the stock heatsink and
replaced it with an active cooler salvaged from an
old Pentium machine we had laying around in an
effort to further cool the Northbridge (you'll see
it in a bit).
notable feature of the VP6 is the inclusion of 4
DIMM sockets, capable of housing a grand total of
2GB of memory! With RAM prices being as
cheap as they are right now, we'd expect more than
a few of you to fill all 4 of these puppies.
engineers also had enough good sense to keep
adequate room around the socket 370s. We
mounted a pair of Alphas with plenty of room to
spare. One of the most common mistakes
motherboard manufacturers make today is
placing components to close to the sockets
hindering cooling efforts. Kudos to Abit for
making our life a little bit easier.
was one drawback to the VP6's design...it's
inclusion of only 3 fan headers. With our
coolers installed, all 3 of our fan headers were immediately
used. It would be nice to see Abit include
at least 2 more strategically placed fan headers
in later revisions of the VP6.
of the VP6 is as simple as any other standard ATX
motherboard. Use the right screws and
stand-offs, have at least a 300W power supply and there really isn't much that can go
wrong. The VP6 is slightly larger than the
average mobo though, and if you're gong to set up
a RAID array you'll have double the usual amount
of IDE cables in your case. Keep this in
mind and pack your cables neatly so you don't end
up with a case full of spaghetti...
BIOS and Overclocking