As usual the BIOS features the Abit's SoftMenu III, which allows you to set FSB speed, multiplier and core voltage directly in the BIOS menu. The Chipset Features sub menu includes many options to influence AGP and memory parameters. Though the manual mentions all options, it does not explain most of them but only shows the possible values. However, freaks are given powerful BIOS options to optimize system performance - or to risk stability, depending on your BIOS and hardware knowledge.
Configuration And Manual
Thanks to the SoftMenu, there is nothing to configure before putting your system together. Everything can easily be set within the BIOS.
Abit's manual is very comprehensive and includes BIOS information, software installation instructions and contact information for technical support. If you take the time to read it, you will find useful information just like the following facts:
- PCI4 and USB controller share one IRQ
- PCI5 and RAID controller share one IRQ
- PCI1 and AGP share one IRQ
- DDR modules have to be placed starting at socket 4
The IRQ sharing information applies to most motherboards while the memory installation information is quite important.
Test & Performance
The Abit board is one of the best performers. There were no stability issues during the tests. Of course I wanted to know if the board is able to run reliable with four DDR DIMMs. I used two different pairs of 128 MB modules. Each of them would run reliable even with CL2, but all four require the timings to be set to CL 2.5.
The box includes the manual, a driver CD, an IDE RAID driver disk, one 80-pin IDE and a floppy cable as well as a USB cable.