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Abits BG7 with i845G and DDR333 in the test: Intel's i845G outside of the specifications

Abits BG7 with i845G and DDR333 in the test: Intel's i845G outside of the specifications

Features

You have to do without Raid, Bluetooth and Firewire with the BG7 from Abit, but the BG7 offers everything that should be sufficient for most customers. The RTL 8100B chip provides onboard LAN, so that the purchase of an additional network card can confidently be canceled. Of the maximum possible six USB 2.0 ports of the ICH4, Abit unfortunately only leads directly to the outside. Two more can, however, be routed to the outside via the enclosed sound USB module.

Connections
Soundmodul
Sound module - 4
Realtek LAN chip

The 6-channel sound is again via Realtek ALC650 implemented, which uses the AC97 codec. Abit leads the Line In, Line Out and Microphone In directly to the outside. But you don't have to do without center/subwoofer/rear-out and optical S/PDIF input and output. They all find their place together with the two additional USB2.0 ports on the enclosed 'Digital Audio Interface'. A very good and very simple solution that prevents unnecessarily many slot bezels and thus leaves more space for other plug-in cards.

Realtek ALC650 sound chip
LAN chip
Sound module - 2
Sound module - 3

The BG7 also offers DDR333 support. And as with the EP-4G4A +, stable operation of the on-board graphics in conjunction with DDR333 under graphics applications was unfortunately not possible. However, Windows also ran on the BG7, as with the EP-4G4A +, without crashes. In addition, stable DDR333 operation could only be achieved with a single module in DIMM slot no.3 in our test. With two modules or in another DIMM slot, DDR333 operation was not possible at all. So it can already be said that the cooperation of the i845G and DDR333 on the BG7 is not as problem-free as on the recently tested EP-4G4A +. A BIOS update could certainly help here.

BG7 Overview
RAM slots
Northbridge cooler
Voltage regulators

The layout of the BG7 is very well thought out and all connections are on the edge of the board. A 2x2 12V P4 plug cannot be dispensed with on the IT7. Only the IDE and floppy connections are unusually far down on the board, but this does not have any disadvantages.

IDE-Ports
Socket
PCI-Slots
Panel-Connectors

It is also noticeable that Abit only has five of the six possible PCI slots. Customers who use a large number of expansion cards could thus reach their limits a little sooner than on some other mainboards that offer six PCI slots. This disadvantage also has a small advantage. Since there are only five PCI slots, the AGP port has slipped down a bit so that the RAM modules can be changed without any problems even with the AGP graphics card installed.

Sockel
BG7 overview - above
BG7 overview - below
BG7 Overview - 2

The Abit typical PowerOn and Restart buttons are more likely to be seen as a gimmick for the testers and less for everyday use.

The most positive thing is clearly the 'digital audio interface', which could hardly be more practical. So far, however, the problems with DDR333 have been negative. The EP-4G4A + has shown that it is less complicated.

On the next page: Stability