RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.08.04]
Manufactured by: Abit

Est. Street Price: $115
Avg. 865PE Price: $90-100

Discuss this article in the forum!
Registration NOT Required! 


Do you uGuru?

That is the catchy tag line I was innundated with when I visited Abit's booth during Comdex last November. uGuru is touted as a "2nd Processor Helping You Reach a Higher State of Enlightened Performance"...

Okay, that sounds like the typical overdone hyperbole we see from Taiwanese companies, so I'll try to explain it a bit later in the CPU. It is really a cool feature, and may just be 'the next big thing' for hardcore OCers. But first, let's have a look at the board.

Once again we are reminded that uGuru is second only to the return of good ol' JC himself. Actually worth noting is the way this board is packaged - it is a gorgeous presentation. 2 crisp, clean white boxes hold the manuals and cables neatly, and the board is underneath. It's a nice presentation while maintaining simplicity, and certainly better than a lot of low cost boards I have seen, where they throw the mobo in the box, and the scatter all the cables and crap on top.

The Board

Like all Abit boards now, the layout is nearly perfect. All the power and IDE connectors are near the edge of the board, and all the USB and FireWire connectors are clearly labeled. The only thing that is suspect is the floppy adapter, but how many people use a floppy now? The LED diag is a staple on Abit boards now, but as a reviewer I wish they would start using onboard power and reset switches...

In the above pic, you can get a better look at the monster heatsink/fan unit they use for the northbridge. This is because it supports "GAT" - essentially overclocking the 865PE chipset to enable "PAT" and make it perform like an 875P (or better).

To the right of that, you'll notice the odd placement of the CPU socket. I don't think this serves anything other than looking neat. Also, note that the dimms are placed a safe proximity from the AGP slot, and it is quite easy to install dimms while the video card is install. +1 for the AI7!

The AI7 includes a 5.1 channel Realtek AC97 soundcard, and it is awesome to see them include both optical input and output connectors. The LAN is a 10/100 Realtek. 4 USB 2.0 ports and a single FireWire port adorn the main back connector, but Abit also includes a PCI bracket:

With 2 more USB 2.0 ports, a standard 8 pin FireWire port, AND a mini 4 pin FireWire port! This is an awesome idea, since a lot of devices come with 4 pin cables.

Next Page: (2)