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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Abit BE6-2 motherboard review


Abit BE6-2 motherboard review
Posted by Adam Klein on February 3, 2000
Company: Abit     Product: BE6 2 Slot 1 BX based motherboard

If you remember my Abit BF6 review, you know that I thought of the BF6 as a really solid board with features to make any overclocker happy. The BF6 had something that made it very special and that was the inclusion of the Softmenu 3 control implemented in the BIOS of the motherboard.

Softmenu 3 allows the front side bus speed to be increased in 1MHz increments. This allows for a person to push their CPU to the max if they have willing components. The BE6-II includes this feature and is very much like the BF6 that I reviewed previously, so much the same that it actually uses the same printed circuit board (PCB).

The only main difference between the two would be the added HighPoint ATA66 controller chip with IDE connections and one less PCI slot compared to the BF6. I would recommend the BE6-II over the BF6 only if the one using it also plans to use an ATA66 compliant hard drives or plans to use one in the future. If you donít, then get the BF6. The BF6 costs a little less than the BE6-II due to the lack of the HighPoint controller. In this review I used different CPUs than when I tested out the BF6.

Installation and Impressions

The installation of the BE6-II was super easy on my part. This was only due to the fact that I had the BF6 in the system before installing the BE6-II. If your going to install a new motherboard though. I would recommend a new OS install to go with it, unless you are really good at manually setting up hardware resources. When you do a fresh install of an OS with the BE6-II the installation has a better chance to correctly set up the resources. When I setup the BF6 I took me a while to set the resources up, but I finally did it without reinstalling the OS.

I didnít even bother running my P3 450 CPU at default speed when first getting into Windows. I set the bus speed to what I knew was stable in the BF6 and that was 653MHz. 653MHz was totally stable and didnít exhibit any weird problems. Thatís one of the greatest things about Softmenu III. I can allow you to set the CPU speed to just about anything. I lot of motherboards have front side bus speeds from 140MHz to 150MHz.

This can be a big jump for a CPU to take when overclocking. Thanks to Softmenu III, I could use the 145MHz bus speed. The Alpha cooler that I had on the CPU was modified so that I could also use the first DIMM slot on the motherboard without the cooler obstructing it. What I did was to cut the second row of fins so that they were equal in length to the bottom row.


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