Motherboard Specifications

CPU Interface
Intel 82875P MCH (North Bridge)
Intel 82801ER ICH5R (South Bridge)
Bus Speeds
up to 412MHz (in 1MHz increments)
Core Voltages Supported
up to 1.925V (in 0.025V increments)
I/O Voltages Supported
DRAM Voltages Supported
up to 2.80V (in 0.05V increments)
Memory Slots
4 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Expansion Slots
1 AGP 8X Slot
5 PCI Slots
Onboard IDE RAID
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394
Eight USB 2.0 ports supported through South Bridge
TI TSB43AB23 IEEE-1394 FireWire Controller (up to 3 ports total)
Onboard LAN
Onboard Audio
Realtek ALC650 codec
Onboard Serial ATA
Two SATA connectors via ICH5R (RAID 0 & RAID 1 only)
BIOS Revision
Rev. 13 (5/19/2003)

There are a few things that separate the IC7 from the IC7-G. The biggest difference is in Serial ATA support. While the IC7-G comes with an onboard PCI Serial ATA controller from Silicon Image (SI3112A) that controls two SATA connectors, the IC7 is stripped of this feature (the picture above is actually of the IC7-G). The IC7 is not stripped of all Serial ATA support by any means, as ABIT includes the ICH5R South Bridge, which comes with two onboard Serial ATA connectors capable of RAID 0 and RAID 1. There will be some users that'll desire more than the two Serial ATA connectors that the IC7 affords, and so they will undoubtedly go with the ABIT IC7-G. Barring some high-end users, the vast majority of users should do fine just fine with two Serial ATA connectors and the Primary and Secondary IDE connectors, especially since Serial ATA drives are not by any means being shipped in great quantities, nor do they provide a significant performance advantage over IDE drives.

The ABIT IC7 also lacks Intel's PRO/1000CT Gigabit LAN controller that travels through the CSA (Communications Streaming Architecture) bus. In fact the IC7 lacks onboard Ethernet altogether. This is one of the more glaring losses, as there are more and more users connecting to broadband services by the second. Buying an add-in PCI Ethernet card will force you to take time out of your day, while also costing you an additional $9-10.

The final feature the IC7 lacks is not an onboard component but ABIT's convenient Serillel 2 adapter that can convert your existing IDE hard drives' interface into SATA. Though there is a bit of performance degradation, the difference is minute.

Overall the ABIT IC7 keeps the vast majority of components found on the IC7-G. You still get all those rear SPDIF ports as well as a rear IEEE 1394 FireWire port (with the bracket as well). You get the same bundle (minus the Serillel 2 adapter of course) and most importantly the IC7 keeps the same excellent BIOS options for overclocking and performance tweaking. As we will mention in the ABIT IC7-G section, there's an AGP/PCI lock at 96MHz/48MHz and a very high 1.925V Vcore ceiling, adjustable in 0.0250V increments.

Unfortunately the IC7 contains the exact same faults as the IC7-G in terms of layout. The horizontally placed Primary and Secondary IDE connectors force you to twist and weave your IDE cables, and the fact that they're placed below the midsection of the PCB make it even more difficult for the bundled IDE cables to reach the upper bays of many ATX cases. This will cause users to drop the top drive bay for the 2nd or 3rd bay, making the front of your case look quite ridiculous. As we mentioned before, ABIT's 875P series of boards comes with a very loud North Bridge fan, which is certainly an annoyance if you desire a silent system. Thankfully this will be replaced with a quieter unit in the near future.

Index ABIT IC7-G
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  • Zak - Sunday, January 18, 2004 - link

    I bought IS7 after reading this article and I've been having problems. Random resets, then BSOD after changing XP recovery settings. Over the past few months it worsened. In the begining it like once a week maybe. I wasn't concerned, bad driver I thought. Now it won't run more than an hour without BSOD. I have Corsair XMS DDR400 in it. I've played with memory settings for weeks, timings and voltages as well, reinstalled XPPro several times, updated BIOS, got all newest drivers and run out of ideas... I've put a stick of DDR333 because that's all have to test and I still get the same random BSOD, even durnig XP installation. I have no PCI cards in this box. Mushkin calls this board problematic and attributes the memory problems to forced implementation of PAT that is not normally present in 865. I may try getting it replaced by NewEgg but I don't suppose it'll help. I'm thinking about getting a 875 board instead. Zak.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    I would like to see part II of the roundup of the 865 chipset. I wonder what is the delay?
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 13, 2003 - link

    I thought Part 2 would be out by now at least... There are good new boards out there I'd like to see... Shuttle AB60R (cheap and full featured) and Abit IC7-MAX3 (OTES for mobo power area). I am still looking forward to seeing this, eventually, right guys?
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, October 7, 2003 - link

    Any comments on newer motherboards? Why hasn't supermicro been tested since 2000?

    Looking to compare supermicro
    Intel s875wp1-e and Super P4SCE (SuperServer 5013C-I (SYS-5013-CI)) for a $50k cluster

  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 29, 2003 - link

    Evan, how in the world is #4 going to research your statement when the articles/review comments forum gets purged/is gone now ?
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 23, 2003 - link

    Any word on Revision 2 of the Gigabyte 8knxp ultra board yet?
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 10, 2003 - link

    I bought the is7 after I read this article. It had many problems. I ended up having to ram this board twice. If you read the abit forum boards you will see alot of problems I am fairly surprised after all the tests this board was put through nothing ever went wrong. I will not buy another abit product period. I will stick to gigabye i've built 6 systems with Gigabyte and yet to have any problems with them. Save for the chipset fans having a low life.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    I bought the Abit IS7 and am completely pleased. One note is that many of the IS7's appear to be getting shipped with the gigabit lan as opposed to the sales brochure stated 10/100. (mine has the gigabit)
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, August 5, 2003 - link

    How could it be that the Asus p4c 800 de luxe is more expensive then the asus p4p deluxe but in the testresults it is slower?

    I would think i am misinformed by the computershop?

    And the p4c deluxe got a gigabit lan on board, despite mentioning in the summary of this Mb it has not.
  • PixelDoc - Sunday, July 27, 2003 - link

    Error Re: Gigabyte GA-8KNXP MoBo
    This MoBo has 4, not 2 SATA connectors, 2 controlled by ICH5R and 2 more contolled by the SIL3112 chip.

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