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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [11.12.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: Abit
Price: ~$90

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Give your PC Attitude....

No seriously, that's what it says on the motherboard box! I could've sworn I left the DFI board out back... but anyway, I digress. To much fanfare, Intel released its two new motherboard chipsets back in June, with the I875P having top billing, and the I865PE in the supporting role. The big buzz surrounding the I875P was it's implementation of Intel's new PAT technology. This extra boost given by PAT was what set the big brother from the little brother and made that little extra bit of cash worth spending.

Just around a month after the original release from Intel, Asus published a release on their website stating basically that they had discovered how to enable PAT support on the I865 through a BIOS tweak. Work soon got around to Intel and the release we quickly removed from Asus's website the next morning. The damage had been done though, and soon Abit followed suit and released an I865PE based motherboard with a 'PAT-like' BIOS tweak, better know as a "Game Optimizer". With this new knowledge in hand the I865PE chipset has become the new darling on the Intel platform world. Today we will be looking at Abit's I865PE offering, the IS7, which just so happens to have the 'PAT-like BIOS' optimizations included, although they are never mentioned in any of the supporting documentation.

The Specs

Abit's IS7 motherboard ships with the following features:

CPU: Socket 478 for Intel Pentium 4 Processors (HT Support)
Chipset: IntelĀ® 865PE / ICH5-R RAID-T
FSB: 533/800
Memory: 4 DDR SDRAM PC3200 with Dual Channel Support, 4GB Max
Onboard IDE: 2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/100, 2 x SATA RAID 150. 6 drives max
USB: 8 x USB 2.0 ports, 4 onboard, 2 with included back plate connector
Onboard Audio: 6 channel AC 97 integrated sound
Onboard NIC: 1 x 10/100 Onboard NIC
Onboard Firewire:3 x IEEE 1394 ports, 1 onbard, 2 with included back plate connector
Expansion Slots: 1x AGP 8x/4x, 5 x 32bit PCI

For a full list of features you can check out Abit's IS7 website.

There really isn't a whole lot to note at this point beyond the listed specs. Something I found interesting though was that there was no support for ATA rates beyond 100mhz. Apparently this is the same across all Intel made chipsets. It's been proven that any increases gained from ATA 133 are minimal, but I still find it interesting that support wouldn't be included if not only as a larger number to be included on promo material.

Abit has included an onboard 3com Network Interface as unlike the nForce2, the Intel I865PE does not include an onboard network controller.


Finally IS7 board we are reviewing has only the two standard IDE ports and no PATA raid support.  For that you'd have to look to the IS7-G revision of this board, which also includes Gigabit Raid support as well as an additional two SATA connectors.

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