iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ABIT IT7-MAX2 (i845E) Mainboard

The new version of the board on the i845E doesn't differ much from the previous one, IT7 of the MAX series. It acquired PS/2 ports (the developer had to cater to the needs of numerous owners of such keyboards ad mice); secondly, it has one more PCI slot (3 PCI slots are not enough for modern computers even if the board has a lot of controllers), and finally, as a step forward within this series, it was given two Serial ATA controllers. 

Accessory pack: 

  • Package of a standard design with a handle; the board is packed into a plastic case;
  • Documentation: user manual in 6 languages; 
  • Cables: 2 ATA66/100/133, 1 Serial ATA and FDD; 
  • ABIT Serillel adapter for connection of devices with the ATA33/66/100/133 interface with the SerialATA cable to a respective connector; 
  • Power splitter for connection of the Serillel adapter; 
  • Bracket with 2 USB ports; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • Several buckles for cables; 
  • Diskette with drivers for IDE RAID; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • e-version of the user guide; 
    • system monitoring utility; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • 3Deep E-Color; 
    • Norton Antivirus 2002; 
    • InterVideo WinDVD; 
    • BuzzSoft programs. 

The layout is ordinary except the fact that a lot of space is taken by various controllers. As a result, audio-ins and IDE RAID connectors are not easy to reach, and when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules. It's not difficult to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its functions are shown on the textolite. 

The 4-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 5 capacitors of 3300 uF and 3 of 1200 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having SPDIF; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100B chip and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the HighPoint HPT374 and Marvell 88i8030-NMC chips supporting RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 on the ATA133 and SATA 150 protocols; 
  • IEEE 1394 bus controller based on the Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 chip; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the  VIA VT6202 chip. 

The board has reset and power switches. 

The POST procedure is monitored with two 7-segment LEDs. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none.

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83627HF-AW chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, AGP bus, memory, 1.25, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 3 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 4 PCI; I/O ports - 2 PS/2/ 10 USB 2.0 / 3 IEEE1394; dimensions - 305x245 mm.  

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
BIOS based on the Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Active To Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge
Setup of memory frequency + at FSB 100 MHz CPU:Memory = Auto, 1:1, 3:4; at FSB 133 MHz CPU:Memory = Auto, 1:1, 4:3
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + PCI (AGP/2) = FSB/3, FSB/4, 44, 37, 33 MHz
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-250 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x32
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-1.85 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage -  

We used the BIOS C6 as the latest available version. 

The board is more attractive for an end-user compared to the IT7 at the expense of the differences mentioned above, but its price will hold back the sales as the market offers boards on more up-to-date chipsets with richer functions and approximately at the same money. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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