Doing well and then some
Despite economic downturns and corporate problems associated with such events, ABIT is still holding up quite strong, evident from many of its most recent offerings. The BH7 is one of ABITís recent Pentium 4 motherboard solutions to roll off the assembly line. ABIT has been quite fast to the punch in releasing up to date products and the BH7 is no exception. Although itís not quite the most decked-out ABIT motherboard weíve come across, it has all the features that weíve come to love from ABIT.
The BH7 is based on popular and successful 845PE chipset. In some of our reviews in the past few months, weíve been wondering if the 845 chipset would become the next 440BX success and indeed it has. Motherboards based on this now mature chipset are being recognized for stability, speed, and versatility. Intel has introduced a few versions based on the 845 core which shows how well designed the 845 chipset actually is. The only drawback with the 845 family is that Intel kept updating the chipset on an overwhelmingly short schedule.
It seemed that before one chipset had the chance to show what it was capable of, Intel made a press release about yet another new 845 chipset. To list the extremes, thereís the 845, 845G, 845G, 845GV, 845E, and now 845PE. If this wasnít enough, there came 845-based boards from manufacturers everywhere, making the buying decision more frustrating than anything.
If you can remember back far enough, you may realize that all the things that the enthusiast community love about ABIT was started with ABITís BH6 motherboard some five years in the past and there hasnít been a board since the BH6 to carry the BH prefix. Perhaps it is with the highest honor that the BH7 is named what it is today. Breakthrough features such as software jumper, in-BIOS front-side bus configuration and the ability to sustain long up-times.
The BH7ís main attraction is its overclockability. Itís designed quite well and overall is a board without fuss and excessive features. Itís a little more simplistic than some of ABITís other boards that weíve seen but definitely stays focused on what the BH boards are known for. Some of its basic specifications are:
400 and 500MHz Front-side bus
2GB DDR333 support
RealTek ALC650 6-Channel ACí97 codec with S/PDIF optical
RealTek RTL8101L 10/100M Ethernet
Marvell 88i8030 SATA bridge
Standard affair as far as recent motherboards go, except for the Marvell 88i8030 SATA bridge, which weíll go into depth in the following pages about why itís not really Serial ATA.