abit BG7E - Page 3

..:: Layout: Socket Area ::..

As we always do, we'll now begin our tour of sorts around the PCB of the BG7E. Overall, the design of the BG7E is rather nice, although there are a few more notable items than we saw with the design of the BE7-RAID. The motherboard headers and jumpers are all easily accessible and are arranged nicely over the PCB. The BG7E uses a condensed PCB as we saw with the BE7-RAID. Since the board is not outfitted with numerous extra chips, this can allow for Abit to lower manufacturing costs, and therefore lower your cost to purchase the final product. The main 12V ATX power connector is in, what I believe to be, the best spot available once again, however the smaller four-pin power connector is not. That’s a quick overview of the more important aspects we’ll be discussing, now let’s get on with a more detailed look at the BG7E.

The BG7E comes along with the usual black heatsink retention system. Normally I quickly disassemble the retention mechanism before snapping the review images, though I left it on this time to bring up a minor issue which I’ll be discussing momentarily. The processor socket is oriented lengthwise from north to south and reaches to the top edge of the PCB. The area to the right of the processor socket is fairly clean and clear of any larger capacitors. There is one, red, three-pin power connector that is going to be a little tough to get to when you’re using a heatsink with the retention mechanism and have DIMM one filled. The spacing in-between the retention mechanism and DIMM’s is rather small, and the fact that there are two small capacitors near the power connector doesn’t help the situation much. I’d prefer to see this connector located farther up the board in a slightly more accessible position.

Along the left hand side of the socket area, we come across the usual mass of electrical components and capacitors. The components are very neatly organized in a linear fashion as you can see from the image above. In case you’re interested there are three 16v 1200uF (Silver) capacitors, and six 6.3v 3300uF (Purple) capacitors. Here we can also see the four-pin ATX power connector. I don’t particularly care for it to be so low on the board, although I do understand why it was placed there. I’d rather see it placed in an area that is slightly higher to prevent any airflow disruption over the processor fan. Granted, the cable isn’t exactly what you’d call thick, but when you’re talking about today’s high speed processors, every CFM counts. There is also yet another red, three-pin power connector located here. This connector should be much easier to get to than the one between the processor socket and DIMM slots, although it is sandwiched right next to the capacitors and four-pin power plug. Lastly, we can also see that the Abit BG7E utilizes a three-phase power solution to keep electricity flowing to that Pentium 4.