This is why the additional ATX back plate is supplied with the board. The four memory slots are positioned well away from the AGP port, so that when you have memory installed, the retaining clips do not foul on the back of the AGP card, another thoughtful piece of design. There is also a retaining clip for the AGP card, so any LAN gamers will not find it coming loose when they are moving their boxes around. A minor flaw is how close the clear cmos jumper is to the floppy drive connector, it can make it quite awkward to get to once the board is installed into the case. Something else that will appeal to overclockers, is the addition of micro strips on the back of the motherboard, underneath the mosfets and capacitors which are used for the supply of current to the CPU. These are very small strips which according to Abit increase the stability of the board when overclocking.
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Read on to find out. In smaller cases, things could get really ugly. Fortunately, having all the IDE ports at the top of the board allows cables to reach the top drive bays of full-tower cases easily.
First, there are three stacked USB ports. Most game controllers use USB these days, anyway. Voltage, multiplier, and front side bus options are all there, and you can set the front side bus up to a whopping MHz. I have yet to see an board with much in the way of memory tweaking options, so Abit may not have much to work with here.
However, Abit has packaged a couple of neat little goodies that deserve mentioning. I have to admit, though: as much as I love these on-board buttons, they are pretty useless for anyone who has his PC in a case. Instead of having to listen for beep codes, you can read the problem right off the display.
Abit has also included a temperature probe that plugs right into the motherboard. Since the Pentium 4 has an internal thermal sensor, you can use this auxiliary probe to keep track of everything from the GPU temperature to the ambient temperature of the case.
Our testing methods As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. All tests were run three times, and the results were averaged. We used the following versions of our test applications: SiSoft Sandra Standard Vertical refresh sync vsync was disabled for all tests.
All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them. Memory performance The platform is notorious for being a monster when it comes to memory bandwidth. Is this a fluke? Apparently not. Intel may be setting its timings a little more conservatively with an eye towards overall stability rather than outright performance.
Content Creation Winstone is far more demanding. Just how well do the boards handle massive amounts of data being passed through the AGP bus? Still, 1. Serious Sam Serious Sam is up next. How do the motherboards score? Conclusions I really hate it when companies build great motherboards on questionable platforms. This is the most expensive desktop platform available, and RDRAM has a questionable future in the industry.
Abit’s TH7II-RAID motherboard
Intel 850 Motherboard Roundup: September 2001
Abit TH7-RAID Motherboard Specs
ABIT TH7-RAID User Manual