Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?
- 1 Preface
- The chipsets
- 2 The Abit IT7
- 5 The Epox EP-4BEAR
- 8 The Gigabyte GA-8IEXP
- 11 The MSI 845E Max2 -BLR
- 14 Test system
- 23 Conclusion
With the IT7 you get a lot certainly no ordinary board in the house. Most noticeable is of course the fact that Abit with the IT7 without further ado allabolished serial and parallel connections and replaced them with additional, faster USB2.0 and Firewire ports. Of course, this also assumes that the buyer has the right peripherals. You won't get very far here with an old PS/2 keyboard/mouse or a printer that does not yet have a USB port. But you get USB2.0 and Firewire in abundance. Six USB2.0 ports are already wired internally. Four of these ports are controlled by the ICH4, the other two via the VIA VT6202 USB2.0 controller. In addition, two additional slot brackets, each with two USB2.0 ports, can be connected to the board, with such a slot bracket being included in the delivery. With the two USB2.0 expansion ports on the board, you can again choose to operate them via the ICH4 or VIAs USB2.0 controller. So you get a total of six USB2.0 via the ICH4 from Intel and four USB2.0 via VIAs VT6202.
That The second most obvious feature is the HighPoint HPT374 raid controller. Abit practically placed dual raid on the IT7 and you get four additional IDE ports via the HighPoint raid controller, which can be operated either in raid 0, 1 or 0 + 1 mode or as normal ATA133 IDE ports . This is exactly where the great advantage of the HighPoint Controller liescompared to its Promise counterpart. Unfortunately, Promise does not have the option of connecting hard drives individually to the RAID controller without a RAID 0 or 1 array. The HighPoint makes it possible to connect eight additional hard disks (4x master, 4x slave) without any problems.
The layout of the IT7 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. Abit does not offer a technology such as that known from Asus with the EZ Plug.
With just four PCI slots, the equipment is not exactly extensive here, but every buyer will have to decide for himself how many PCI slots he still needs in his system, or whether he values the others Connections that the IT7 brings with it in abundance.
The practical jumpers that Abit donated to the IT7 are perhaps worth mentioning. Thanks to a simple extension, the fiddling between the pins is over and you can easily change the jumpers.
On the next page: Stability