In House Abit BX6-2.0 Review - Part 6

Conclusion

The Bad  
Some rough edges could have been refined. The floppy IDE cable problem as well as a less than well thought out positioning of the mainboard power socket, and the clumsy CPU retention mechanisms can be further polished. It is safe to say that these are minor gripes and should not post a problem at all to your finished system.

The Good  
There are plenty to like about this board since I migrated from my P2B. The splendid manual was the first thing that impressed me.
Next was the provision of a thermistor for measuring CPU temperature and the presence of 5 PCI and 4 DIMM slots, as opposed to 4 and 3 on my P2B.

How often does one have 1Gb RAM on his system to use the 4 DIMM slots? That is a valid question, but it is a godsend for people who  already have 2 x 64Mb DIMMs or 2 x 32Mb DIMMS, since it gives them more physical room for expansion.

The 5 PCI slots are the most welcomed addition for me, definitely an essential criterion if you are buying boards today. More is better!

Of course the upgrade from a jumper-based motherboard to a Abitís SoftMenu II system which allowed me to toy with the settings like never before (NOT necessarily always a good thing), is one of the most compelling reasons for an Abit. Chief 'overclockersí features such as the wide selection of FSB bus speeds (up to crazeee 153Mhz), clock multipliers (2.0-8.0), PCI bus dividers and CPU core voltage adjustments, are all readily accessible through an intuitive, menu-driven BIOS.

Since the values are adjusted in minute steppings, you can tailor the settings to suit different peripheral tolerances, reducing the chance of causing any damage to the hardware. Your ultimate overclocking success will be determined by how closely you can stay below that safe level.

The benefits of the SoftMenu II will be best appreciated by someone who had been through the suicide-inducing procedure of -- taking apart casing -- moving tiny jumpers with gigantic fingers -- over and over again till you got your perfect setting.

Verdict
Minor rough edges aside, it is hard not to recommend an Abit BX6-2.0 to anyone looking for a BX board. The only other board capturing my attention is the new AOpen AX6BC Pro which comes almost on par with the BX6-2.0. While I have never used an AOpen board and have been a loyal fan Asusís high quality boards, itís difficult not to be won over by the comprehensive range features found on the BX6-2.0. Until I am convinced otherwise, the Abit BX6-2.0 will remain at the top of my 'A' list of Slot-1 boards. At S$215, it makes for a near perfect choice altogether.

 

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