iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ABIT IS7-G (i865PE) Mainboard 

This is a top model in ABIT's line of the i865PE based boards, that is why it must have high functionality, good components, and, what's the most important, proper tools for system tweaking and overclocking based on the SoftMenu III technology. Those who do not need all the frills of modern products should take a look at two simpler models: IS7 with the same layout but without an additional SATA RAID controller and with a usual 100Mbit network controller from 3COM instead of a 1Gbit on the IS7-G; and IS7-E with a slightly changed PCB without a FireWire controller and limited by the ICH5 south bridge (with SATA, but no RAID). 

The layout is not standard: the IDE connectors are put behind the PCI slot and turned at 90° (they actually lie on the board) so that you can easily handle even full-sized PCI cards. However, the audio connectors are in front of the PCI slots, memory chips will be locked when a video card is installed, and the chipset has a too big cooler (on the first revisions of the board) which may not let you put inside a video card with a cooler on its back. Also, it can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are indicated on the PCB. The 4-phase switching voltage regulator incorporates 7 capacitors of 2200 uF and several less capacious ones. There are also voltage regulators of the AGP bus (1 2200 uF and several less capacious) and of the memory (4 of 1000 uF). 

The board measures 305x245 mm ("wide ATX", 9 screws fastens it). 

No wasted space for components that didn't get included in the final design. +5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with the green LED, the red one goes on when the system turns on. System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83627HF-AW chip (which also functions as LPC Super I/O). It controls: 

  • processor voltages: +3.3, +-5 and +-12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby
  • rotation speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor) and the board (2 built-in sensors) 

The undocumented activation of the PAT technology is named Game Accelerator Technology (this is the second variation of the PAT). The modes are Auto, Turbo, Street Racer, F1 (the latter is the speediest). 

Ports & connectors onboard

  • Socket 478 with preinstalled CPU cooler holder;
  • 4 slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM (for the dual-channel mode pairs of the memory modules must be inserted into the slots of the same color);
  • AGP slot (not Pro, with a retention clip);
  • 5 PCI slots (32bit, 33MHz);
  • Standard power supply connectors (ATX and 4pin for 12V);
  • 1 FDD;
  • 2 IDE (Parallel ATA) - on chipset;
  • 4 Serial ATA: 2 on chipset, plus 2 at the expense of an additional controller;
  • 2 connectors for a bracket with additional FireWire ports;
  • 2 connectors for a bracket with additional USB (2.0) ports;
  • Connector for audio-out from CD/DVD drive;
  • Connector for AUX1 audio-out;
  • Connector for SMBus devices;
  • Connector for standard IR module;
  • 5 connectors for fans (2 with rotation control, 3 without it, one being taken for the cooler on the chipset north bridge).

Rear panel (left to right, in units)

  • PS/2 ports for keyboard & mouse;
  • COM port (1) and LPT port, S/PDIF-In and S/PDIF-Out (optical);
  • 2 audio connectors: Rear Left/Right and Center/Subwoofer;
  • 3 audio connectors: Mic In, Line In, Front Left/Right;
  • 2 USB (2.0) and 1 FireWire;
  • 2 USB (2.0) and 1 RJ-45 (Ethernet).

ABIT keeps on changing the rear panel trying to house as many various connectors as possible. Taking into account that users are often too lazy to install additional brackets or simply do not have free connectors for them (all PCI slots are used), I welcome such approach. 


  • Package of the standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English, brief installation manual (in 9 languages);
  • Cables: 2 SATA (with two power supply adapters), 1 ATA66/100/133 and 1 FDD (both are "round", in black cambric);
  • Bracket with 2 USB and 2 FireWire ports;
  • I/O Shield (for respective connectors);
  • Diskette with drivers for SATA RAID;
  • CD with software:
    • drivers;
    • user manual;
    • Hardware Doctor (monitoring utility);
    • ABIT FlashMenu (BIOS update checkup on the Net and its flashing from Windows);
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • Microsoft DirectX 9.0.

Integrated controllers

  • audio controller based on the Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio-outs and S/PDIF connector provided;
  • network controller based on the 3COM Marvell 940-MV00 chip supporting 10/100/1000 Base-T  (Gigabit Ethernet); 
  • Additional Serial ATA RAID on the Silicon Image Sil3112ACT144 chip, RAID 0 and 1 supported on the SATA150 protocol;
  • FireWire on the Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 chip with 3 ports supported.


jumpers and switches Jumper to clear the CMOS  
Jumper for starting up PC from PS/2 devices  
Jumpers for starting up PC from USB devices  
BIOS based on Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG  Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, Act to Precharge Delay, Game Accelerator (Auto, Turbo, Street Racer, F1), Refresh Cycle Time, tRD, tRDA, Command Per Clock
Setup of memory frequency + CPU:DRAM = Auto, 1:1, 5:4, 3:2 (at FSB 800 MHz)
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
AGP/PCI frequency setup + Auto, CPU:AGP = 3:2, 4:2, 5:2, 6:2, 7:2, 8:2, AGP(PCIx2) = 66-99 MHz in 1MHz steps
PCI IRQ manual assignment +  
FSB frequency setup + 100-412 MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU clock ratio + x8-x50
CPU voltage control + 1.1-1.925 V in 0.025V steps
DIMM voltage control + 2.5-2.8 V in 0.05V steps
NB voltage control -  
AGP voltage control + 1.5-1.65 V in 0.05V steps

We used the BIOS 13 as the latest available version. 


The board keeps the second position in speed among all new Intel chipsets. Add impressive overclocking tools and you will see that this board will have no problems in finding its way on the market. Moreover, its rear panel has more components than the others, and it's also handier than multiple brackets. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)

Vladimir Rybnikov (puree@ixbt.com

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