iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ABIT IT7-MAX2 2.0 i845PE Based Mainboard

The board is identical to its predecessor (IT7-MAX2 on i845E); the only key difference is the chipset (and probably a new textolite color which makes the model looking less stylish). 


  • Package of the standard design with a handle; the board is packed into a plastic case; 
  • Documentation: user manual in 6 languages; 
  • Cables: FDD, SATA, 2 ATA66/100/133; 
  • ABIT Serillel adapter for connection of Parallel ATA devices to Serial ATA; 
  • 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;
    • user guide in PDF; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • system monitoring utility; 
    • BuzzSoft packet; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • 3Deep E-Color; 
    • Norton Antivirus 2002; 
    • InterVideo WinDVD. 

Because of multiple controllers and connectors the layout is far not perfect, even in spite of only 4 PCI slots: IDE RAID and audio-ins are in bad positions, 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 6 capacitors of 3300 uF and 3 of 1200 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio inputs/outputs; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100B chip 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; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the VIA VT6202 chip; 
  • FireWire bus controller based on the Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 chip. 

The board has reset and power switches, as well as a POST controller displaying information on 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/ 3 FireWire/ 10 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
BIOS based on the AwardBIOS 6.00PG from Phoenix 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, 4:5
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 0.025 V steps
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage -  

We used the BIOS CV as the latest available version. 

The board offers excellent functionality and attractive tweaking settings, but it doesn't break records in speed, like all other "special" models of this company. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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