- Abit BH6: the badge all area

- Abit BX6: to the maximum of memory

- Abit BM6: for Celeron socket 370

- Conclusions and recommendations

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Juan Herrerías Rey

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Abit BH6-BX6-BM6 and Celeron socket 370


Abit BM6: for Celeron socket 370

Abit BM6

This badge has been presented last November 16 in the Comdex98 of Las Vegas, for what we are before almost a novelty. It is so recent that we will have still to wait until January or February to see the microprocessor that must settle in her, the Celeron for socket 370.

This chip is not but a Celeron Mendocino (that is to say, with 128 KB of cache memory L2 integrated) that instead of being welded to a badge of circuit that gets connected to the Slot 1 (like Pentium II) is mounted in an encapsulated plane PGA, like that of the AMD K6-2, Pentium, 486, etc.

This measurement is logical, since the small secondary cache memory of the Mendocino fits perfectly together with the rest of the chip, therefore it is not a necessary added space. And what is more important, this type of encapsulated ride many years on the market and is cheaper enough than the Slot 1, therefore Intel can cut costs away and even re-use chains of assembly of which at present Pentium MMX is made to make this chip.

Socket Socket 370

Nevertheless, the sockets used for Pentium (the Socket 7) are not compatible with this microprocessor, but there must be used a new socket, named Socket 370 or PGA370 (the name comes of 370 pines - connectors - that it has; very original). The badge that occupies us is one of the first ones that include this socket, which at first will be used exclusively for processors of the type Celeron, not for Pentium II.

The Socket 370 is a socket type ZIF, physically almost identically to the Socket 7, but they are incompatible because they use different type of bus and also to that Intel refuses to promote the market Socket 7, since it is the one that there uses his most direct competitor, AMD, for his K6-2.

Making the type of socket separate, this badge turns out to be almost identical to the BH6: chipset BX, 1 AGP, 5 PCI and 2 ISA, 3 sockets DIMM... It is of supposing that when it comes to the final market, the combination of this badge and the Celeron for Socket 370 it will be a very economic way of gaining access to a potency similar to that of Pentium II, but of course: at the cost of there are able to be updated neither Pentium II, Katmai nor other mikes Slot 1.

And the fact is that it is already known that there are no five-peseta coins to 3 pesetas, especially in case of Intel. Anyway, last years have demonstrated to us that often it turns out to be more profitable to renew the whole set tackles - micro-memoria that to buy a badge thinking that is going to be actualizable in the future. If not that say it to all those who have mikes Pentium MMX, memoirs EDO or boxes of computer Baby-AT...

Conclusions and recommendations

Three basic Abit badges have quality more than exceeded to satisfy most of users, for demanding that are. The BH6 is the most modern and it completes, and it is a fantastic election as for quality / price.

The BX6 is a good badge for those who need to install a lot of memory; the lack of connector SB-Link is not too important, since they exist (and they will exist for the long time) multitude of sound cards ISA of exceptional quality. And if he has already a good card ISA, like the SoundBlaster AWE 64, for example, is not probable that he wants to get rid of her at this point.

We cannot benefit yet from the descent of price that the Celeron will experience when they go out in format Socket 370, but when this happens there is not doubt that the BM6 will be one of the best cards of the market for this chip... if it is that it is interesting to us to remain suspended in a badge that scarcely will be actualizable in the future, skylight is (has anybody seen any "Intel OverDrive Pentium II" for Pentium or Pentium MMX? Since that).

Of what we have not left doubt is of that, well it is BH6, BX6 or BM6, of Abit, Asus, Iwill, A-Trend, Supermike, Gigabyte, Zida or Soyo, a motherboard must always be of mark. Prick does not talk each other of an obsession, but of a verified fact; the mark badges have like principal advantages:

  • they have components of the first quality;
  • they are better designed and testeadas;
  • they are accompanied usually by a clearer and finished manual (sometimes in Italian in addition to English...: or even in Spanish!), in addition to software if it needs;
  • there are the only ones that allow us to have a safety minimum in which BIOS updated in the future will exist.

This topic, that of the updates of BIOS, has a lot of more importance of what seems. To update the BIOS can be necessary to install new processors (like the still recent Mendocino or future Katmai), to repair errors of the current one or to incorporate support for new technologies. But to support a record of updated BIOS is a little that only the big manufacturers of basic badges realize... and nevertheless not always it is possible to find the necessary update.

Clear it is that to update the BIOS is a risky task, since it is not necessary to interrupt the process for anything of the world or we will meet a useless badge, in addition to which the updates obtain only Internet route (certainly, in case of Abit in and that the instructions for the update come in English... but it is always a better knowledge that is possible to do it.

And finally and speaking about basic badges, I cannot but recommend care with the basic badges mark Intel. Intel does a few very good chipsets, especially the BX (the rest some desfasados are or cannot handle mikes to 350 MHz or any more), but his basic badges tend to be slightly expensive, not to be much updated, not to stand out especially (between the mark badges, it is understood) and especially it turns out to be impossible to do overclocking in them, since they select automatically the bus speed to 66 ó 100 MHz, without giving other options. We go, that make use of his reputation thoroughly; if he wants a high quality badge and the price does not matter for him, look in the Asus catalog, for example, and buy a mike Intel that in of course that are unbeatable (with AMD pardon).


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