The once mighty Abit, will be no more

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by XMAN26, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. XMAN26

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  2. Skrying

    Skrying S K R Y I N G
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    They really haven't had much good since the days of NForce 2. They had that one good P35 board but otherwise.. zzz. Kinda sad but been expecting it.
     
  3. BRiT

    BRiT Verified (╯°□°)╯
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    Looks like Gigabyte now will be getting most of my new orders moving forward.
     
  4. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    There were industry rumours about this six months ago (I remember posting something about it). Looks like Abit just couldn't keep up with the resurgence of other companies into the motherboard market since their glory days of Nforce 2, and bad management drove away talented staff.
     
  5. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Funny thing is I think my Abit BF6 (440BX) mobo that I still have after 9 years now is one of the most troublesome boards I've ever owned. It isn't particularly stable, but most notably it has big problems with PCI IRQ sharing. It will simply not boot with some cards in certain slots. I'm not sure if ASUS P2B was better, but Abit's 440BX boards were not perfect by any stretch (how bout that HPT ATA66 chip! yikes). I've worked with BE6-II, ZM6, BH6, BF6, BX133, KT7A, NF7-S 2.0, and KW7.

    Softmenu was definitely what got them the positive press. This feature was neat back then, but it certainly wasn't a sign of superior quality or workmanship. I think their tweaking options are about all they had going for them that was ahead of the rest and that advantage died really quickly.

    They also went through all of the capacitor espionage + bursting problems with most other manufacturers, meaning most of their boards from 1999-2003 or so are probably unstable or dead. My BF6 had bad caps but I recapped it. Also had a dead BX133 with burst caps everywhere. What sticks in my mind about those cap problems is that the OEM boards (Dell, Gateway, etc) from Intel are fine, unlike most of the cheaply built "enthusiast" boards (i.e. Abit, ASUS, Shuttle, Epox, Iwill, yada yada).

    I think their "peak" was probably the NF7-S 2.0. The board still fetches good money second hand. Contrary to the infinite enthusiast love for it, it has its problems, mostly caused by the NVIDIA drivers though (audio & IDE come to mind.) And it had one of those cheap northbridge heatsink+fans that always die. I purposely went for a Shuttle AN35N instead because it had a passive cooler and I didn't care for expensive onboard audio that needed an optical output connection to sound any good. Good call on that too because NVIDIA didn't put much work into the drivers.

    I guess what I mean to say here is that they were usually ok boards but I never saw them as exceptional. The press talked them up like they were the best thing ever, but experience tells me otherwise.
     
    #5 swaaye, Dec 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2008
  6. Sunrise

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    I´m running a BE6 (i440BX rev.C1 chipset) and an Intel Pentium III E (Coppermine) 650MHz @ 825MHz and _never_ had one BSOD since 1999. I think that´s pretty good. I also have 768MB of only average quality RAM in there, which makes this even more impressive. Yes, that HPT66 crap always scared the hell out of me, too. The above system is still running every day, but will get exchanged in January with something that can cope with todays workloads.

    Abit surely isn´t remembered as top-notch since ages, but back in the days where you couldn´t just buy _any_ CPU out there and overclock the damn out of it, they were still one of the best, if not the best brand. Overclocking was very hard work and you just need to talk to different people who were owning an Abit board (BX chipset) and e.x. an Intel Celeron 300A. They loved it.

    I also had a lot of different boards from Gigabyte (yes, they sucked back then, had about 5 dead boards in 2-5 weeks), Asus (average - good, stable) and MSI (crappy quality components) which is one of the reasons why I think that Abit made particulary good boards in these days.

    Today this has obviously changed completely, Gigabyte and Asus seem to lead the mainstream and o/c crowd, while MSI has improved a lot since then and certain other vendors like DFI always had a special something to be worth owning.
     
  7. tongue_of_colicab

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    The NF7-S kicks ass! The first pc I bought for myself had this board and its still working in my brothers pc (actually, im now typing from it). Never had any problems with the board. Except for the fan, that died. Funny enough the board run fine too without the fun running. But this is a problem with just about any fan. I also had to replace my x1600 because the fan died. I think its a great board, good performance and it wasnt expensive either at its time. Got my 2500+ up to 2.5Ghz on it with air :)
     
  8. BoardBonobo

    BoardBonobo My hat is white!
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    Is it just me or was that article written in Bush'isms?

    Or maybe it's just appalling grammar?

    I personally used to prefer Abit MBs, especially for Athlon boards.
     
  9. RudeCurve

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    I'm a fan of Abit boards too, never had any problems with them. Still have an old I think BM6 running a Celeron 400 at 450MHz. The PC is on its 3rd power supply.
     
  10. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I got a Barton up to 2500 MHz with no special tricks other than a voltage bump on my $85 Shuttle AN35N Ultra. So don't get too excited about NF7-S being some exception... A friend of mine had a NF7-S 2.0 for years and I did most of the tweaking on it. It was a reliable, stable board yes, but it wasn't really tangibly better than my cheaper board. And the onboard audio was trouble in EQ2, which was his fav game at the time. He ended up getting an Audigy 2 to solve the horrible screeching it would do.
     
    #10 swaaye, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2008
  11. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    My BF6 hasn't exactly been trouble free but it has been functional for the most part. Problems grow with the number of PCI cards you try to run and you get to see the board freak out with PCI IRQ sharing issues. It works better with XP than 9x though. The biggest problems with Abit's boards from those days (aside from bad caps) were with the Highpoint UDMA66 chips they used on some. Those chips were unreliable garbage.

    I actually still am running the power supply I had when I got the board. It is a PC Power & Cooling Turbocool 300. Bought in 1999. Costly sucker but it still works so there you go.
     
  12. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    I had a few abits over the years including a rock solid BF6-II and two NF7-S (the first came from newegg with a ripped trace that I fixed with a trace pen until the replacement arrived. The NF7-S was good but the Iwill that replaced it overclocked much better. Over the years I have been leaning more and more Gigabyte with troublesome boards from MSI, Chaintech and Asus. Can't say I've ever had a troublesome Gigabyte but maybe I'm just lucky. Still that BF6-II back in the "ooh I oc'd my p5 from 600 MHz to 800 MHz days" was quite a board.
     
  13. ban25

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    Long live the BP6!

    Seriously, that was probably their best board, what with the SMP Celeron 300A crazy. I had a BP6 with two 366As overclocked to 523 MHz. Good times.

    I owned:

    - BP6 (Dual Celeron)
    - KG7 (Athlon with 4 x ECC DIMMs)
    - NF7-S 2.0 (nForce 2),
    - IN9-32X Max (680i, my current board)

    I also built systems for friends with the AX5 (K6), KT7A (Athlon), and NF7 (non-SATA version). My favorites were the BP6 and KG7.

    Jarry Chang moved from ABIT to DFI a few years ago to start up the LANParty line. My IN9 will last a long time, but if ABIT is truly no more, then at least I can look forward to a DFI LANParty in a future PC.
     
  14. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I ran a DFI NF4 Ultra-D a few years ago. That board was great. The BIOS had just too many options though lol!! ;) One thing that put me off was that it wasn't stable at defaults because the RAM settings were too aggressive that way. Apparently their newer Intel boards have been problematic though. I've read that around the web.

    An AX5 huh? I've never seen a pre-Slot 1 Abit mobo. I saw them for sale back then but never used one. I know they had a few others, such as the rather liked IT5H.

    My worst Abit experience, beside seeing bad caps on nearly all of them made from 1999-2002 or so, was an Abit ZM6. Basically a value-edition BH6 but with Socket 370 and running the 440ZX chipset. It was either defective or just garbage because we just could not get it stable at all. That was a long time ago... I bought it for a friend's sister or some such and was sure it would be great "cuz it was from Abit!!" but that was not the case.

    I've gone Gigabyte now, like Mize. Running a 965P-DS3, P35-DS3R, MA78GM-S2H, and MA74GM-S2H myself. Have gotten a few others for friends too. They work well and are similar to each other in various ways so that working on one gets you somewhat familiar with them all. I've had them from ~1-2 years now and they've all been very dependable.
     
    #14 swaaye, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2008
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I think you mean either BE6-II or BF6 cuz there is no BF6-II. ;) Those two are identical aside from BF6 not having the awful Highpoint UDMA66 chip and gaining a PCI slot as a result.
     
  16. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    Yep. Thanks for the correction. The highpoint worked but badly.
     
  17. nutball

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    The BP6 was an awesome board, great fun(*). I wish there were more like it these days, though trying to crow-bar two Scythe Ninjas onto a single board could be entertaining :) I'm also mostly Gigabyte now, they do seem to be making good boards for what I want.

    (*) it also marks the last time I ever overclocked. Got bored with it after that.
     
  18. ban25

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    Yep, those were the days:

    http://www.bp6.com/board/kb.php?mode=article&k=11
     
  19. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I went with the BF6 to skip that chip purposely after dealing with a friend's BE6-II. :twisted: We had problems with IRQ sharing, USB, and that Highpoint chip. Drove us mad trying to get it working well. Made me appreciate minimalist boards. I still have IRQ sharing probs with the BF6 and try not to use its USB at all. I instinctively grab a USB->PS2 convertor for the mouse. Heh.

    These days when I mess around with the 'ol BF6, I just drop in a UDMA133 or SATA card. And really, UDMA 66 and UDMA 33 (onboard 440BX southbridge) were hardly different in performance, especially with the drives of '99-'02 or so. I'm pretty sure that I just used the UDMA33 of the Intel chipset.

    I remember that I had upgraded from a BH6 to the BF6 cuz the BH6 had an annoying cold boot problem. BF6's Softmenu had the FSB in 1MHz increments too, whereas BH6 had like 66,75,83,100,103,112,124,133... Or something similar.

    One thing that was interesting was that Abit wasn't really comfortable relying on Softmenu. The boards had dipswitches you could use instead.
     
    #19 swaaye, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2008
  20. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Tragically I've never even seen one AFAIK. Somebody I know must have had one but I just don't remember checking one out.
     
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