Fall Comdex '98 Coverage

by Anand Lal Shimpi on November 21, 1998 11:19 AM EST

  • BM6 - ABIT's first attempt at the Socket-370 market is in the form of a BX based motherboard ala BH6, with 5 PCI, 2 ISA, and a single AGP slot to complement the 3 SDRAM DIMM slots, the only difference this time around being that the BM6 ditches the Pentium II slot in favor of a cheaper 370 pin Socket-370 alternative.   

    ABIT's BM6

    According to ABIT, the BM6 will feature a fully functional SoftMenu II Jumperless CPU setup with the ability to modify the core voltage of the Celeron, as well as support for FSB settings as high as 100 and 112MHz, no other settings have been confirmed/denied yet.
  • IT6B - If you remember back to Fall Comdex '97, ABIT announced a high end motherboard with on-board IDE RAID, however after numerous delays that product never made it to the hands of the consumer.  This year ABIT is making another go at it, the IT6B is ABIT's first Dual Processor motherboard with on-board UltraWide SCSI 3.  You get all of the ABIT quality, plus on-board SCSI and a dual processor option.

    ABIT's IT6B

    Unfortunately ABIT chose to primarily target the IT6B at high end server markets, and never took into consideration that a tweaker or an overclocker might want an ABIT motherboard with dual processor and SCSI support, because of this the IT6B isn't jumperless.  Instead of making use of ABIT's patented SoftMenu Jumperless CPU Setup, the IT6B is configured entirely by the use of dip switches.  It's a tradeoff, but because of that the IT6B loses some of the unique value you come to expect from an ABIT motherboard.
  • SK5 - Although ABIT originally announced a Super7 motherboard at last year's Comdex, delays and even a manufacturing flaw (ABIT's engineers accidentally put too many expansion slots on the board) kept that dream from becoming a reality.  Finally, after about a year, ABIT realized that the booming Super7 market desired their attention.  The result?   The SiS 530 based ABIT SK5, a baby AT contribution to the Super7 market.   Unfortunately very little information is available currently as to the performance, pricing, or any other features of the SK5.  One thing you may find interesting about the ABIT SK5 is its integrated SiS video chipset.  Other than that, don't expect the SK5 to turn too many heads.
  • Socket-370 to Slot-1 Adapter - Here's a cool little toy, this device plugs into the CPU slot you'll find on most Pentium II motherboards, and essentially converts the slot into a Socket-370.  The card itself is simply a pin converter, so you don't really have any chance for compatibility issues to become a problem as they were with the old Pentium Pro Socket-8 Riser Cards. 

    Socket-370 to Slot-1

    The primary target for this product, which happens to be featured by many motherboard manufacturers including ABIT, will be for large system integrators, as well as users who have older LX motherboards laying around.  As long as the cost of a socket-370 Celeron and this adapter are below the cost of a Slot-1 Celeron, this product should become a quite useful and cost effective solution.
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