Big Business: 18 P4 boards In Price / Performance Face-Off

Abit BD7-E

Board Revision: 1.0

BIOS version: April 22, 2003

On the Abit website the BD7-E can only be found among the discontinued models. This fact notwithstanding, we still received one for this test. With the exception of the somewhat outdated ICH2 (it can only handle USB 1.1), the BD7-E has all the important features: five PCI slots, AGP 4x, sound system and a network port. The only thing that couldn't be done from the aforementioned USB ports, unfortunately, was to boot up. Two USB ports are integrated into the port area, and two others can be enabled as needed. The adapter cable needed for this, however, is not included in the package. The board has to get by with only two DIMM sockets (DDR266, DDR333), which is absolutely sufficient in practice.

The positioning of the floppy connector on the lower edge of the board is impractical - a tribute to its compact dimensions. However, there are three fan connectors. On the other hand, the IDE ports, turned 90°, are helpful; they allow the ribbon cables to be placed more neatly in the case than in the usual arrangement.

Even if the board is already one of the P4 oldies, from the point of view of performance, it does not really lag behind more recent models with 845E or 845PE chipsets. The package is somewhat lean - besides the manual, ribbon cables and drivers, it only includes a monitor.

Although it could run faster, the BD7-E offers a full-size ATX board with a tried-and-tested Intel chipset and minimalist dimensions - all at an absolutely competitive price.

Manufacturer link