Motherboard: Abit BD7-RAID Review :: Installation

02-28-2002 · Category: Motherboards

By Doc Overclock

Stability & Compatibility Testing

Test System

You can review our stability/compatibility testing methods here. This Abit motherboard obtained a perfect score in this category of testing.

Setup

The BD7-RAID is one of the easiest and user-friendly motherboards available for the P4 platform. All the setup is done within the SoftMenu III eliminating the need for messy or confusing jumpers. To enter the Award BIOS hit the DEL key immediately upon boot up and the BIOS screen will then appear. There are many options available for custom configuring your PC environment, and it starts out in the main BIOS screen.

You can manually adjust all of the settings for your CPU within this screen. You have the options to alter your FSB, CPU clock multiplier, and memory frequency including both CPU and memory voltage options. With this much control you can attain very good overclocking results without too much of a hassle for the end user.

For the test results I used the 2.0GHz P4 Northwood in its default state. I was able however to get the 2.0GHz up to 2.4GHz and the 2.2GHz to 2.5GHz all using the Intel retail fan as my CPU cooler. The Intel retail fan is actually a good little bugger that works quite well. I am sure with a giant Swiftech air jobber you could get even better results than I did. There is a jumper onboard for disabling the SoftMenu but most people just use the better BIOS driven options available within the SoftMenu itself.

There is a drawback however to the BD7 series of motherboards and I was quite shocked to have my Abit contact confirm my fears about this little dilemma. The CPU core voltage, which is usually changeable up to 2.2mV, is automatically disabled when you install a Northwood CPU. I thought I was losing it after reading other reviews stating that the voltage went that high, but after a call to Abit I was informed my mind was still intact and the core voltage settings were just disabled when using the Northwood. I have not seen this fact on any other review site, which in itself is a bit of a strange one, I would think.

This needs to be addressed in a new BIOS release along with a 24X clock multiplier option for the new P4 2.4GHZ that is right around the corner. One good thing was though that even if the board does not like your overclocked settings it would still post without having to manually reset the BIOS. This can be a big time and headache saver when pushing your system to its limits and beyond. In the end this is one easy board to install and configure and can be used by the beginner as well as expert.