abit BG7E - Page 6

..:: System BIOS ::..

For the BIOS, Abit has opted to go with their usual layout and SoftMenu III features. When you enter the BIOS, you’ll come across all of those usual options such as SoftMenu III Setup, Standard CMOS Features, Advanced BIOS Features, Advanced Chipset Features, Integrated Peripherals, Power Management Setup, PnP/PCI Configurations, PC Health Status, and all of the Default Settings, etc. We’ll, as always, be primarily interested today in the Integrated Peripherals, PC Health Status, Advanced Chipset Features, and of course we can’t forget the SoftMenu III Setup.

The Advanced Chipset Features menu is home to the memory timing settings. Within this window, the user has the ability to adjust the CAS Latency Time, Act to Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, and the RAS Precharge. The CAS Latency Time can be set to as low as 1.5 for serious performance. You can also choose to enable or disable the option/s to make the Video BIOS and Video RAM Cacheable, AGP Aperture Size, Transfer Rate, along with several other settings. There is also a setting for enhancing DRAM performance. If you’re looking to get every last bit of performance out of your system, you’ll want to make sure this is enabled as we have.

The Integrated Peripherals window should as always be self explanatory for what it is responsible for. Within this window, the user can configure the IRQ settings of the integrated peripherals, along with enabling or disabling the ones that they wish to use or not to use for that matter. Within this menu, we can enable or disable several items such as the USB Controller, Onboard Sound, LAN Controller, LAN Boot ROM, Serial Ports, Parallel Port, the Game / Midi Port, and you can select which display to initialize first as well. Needless to say, if you want to enable or disable any feature of the BG7E, this is the place to do it. There is no obvious option to turn off the onboard graphics, though if you do decide to add on an AGP graphics board it will be disabled with no problems.

The PC Health Status submenu should be another easily understood one. Here we have the ability to check the system temperatures, RPM readings, and voltage readings. We can also select from several options. Those include whether or not to enable the alert when the CPU temperature reaches or exceeds the preset warning temperature, and the fail warnings of the three system fans. Each of these could help keep your system running cool and safe so you might want to leave these enabled unless you don’t plan on using the three-pin power connectors on the motherboard as I do. As you can see, we’re getting some very nice voltages running inot our motherboard.

Abit, as previously mentioned, is well known for their SoftMenu III Technology. Within this menu, you have the ability to custom set both the processor and DRAM voltages, along with being able to select a preset processor speed grade, or manually entering in the speed you wish to run at. We can also see that the BIOS does employ some preset PCI Bus Frequency Ratios. These are very important for overclocking as they can allow you to hold your PCI Bus Frequency in a safe zone while you can get the maximum performance and speed out of your system. You can set the PCI speed at fixed rates of 33MHz, 40MHz, or 44MHz. One important thing to note is that just as we saw with the i845PE based BE7-RAID, the BG7E doesn’t support DDR333 unless you’re utilizing a 533MHz FSB Pentium 4. Thus, if you’re running a 400MHz FSB Pentium 4 as I am, you’ll only be limited to DDR200 or DDR266, a sure a disappointment.