The BX133 RAID unfortunately has only 3 DIMM slots leaving a total of only 768MB of PC100 or PC133 SDRAM. Since the BX chipset can only recognize the 256MB DIMM modules the 512MB modules supported by VIA chipsets are useless on this board. 4 DIMM slots would have been nice giving us a total of 1GB or SDRAM but my motto is that you have to sacrifice something to get the other you want, in this case it's a DIMM for RAID. The 2 Blue connectors shown in the picture belong to the ATA-100 RAID controller powered by the Highpoint HPT370, the same chip that powers the KT7 RAID, KA7-100, BE6-2 and BE6-2 revision 2 - This chip is also used in the ABIT Hotrod 100 Pro card.
In our KT7 RAID review we explained to you what RAID is and what RAID does, but if you are like me and are too lazy to go and look here it is again.
RAID 0. RAID 0 is the most used RAID array. RAID 0 is known as a Striping array. This RAID array allows you to use 2 or more hard drives spaces to be combined into as a single drive. While you can mix and match the hard disks (use 2 different size hard disks and 2 different brand hard disks), the ideal array is to use two identical drives.
RAID 1. RAID 1 is different array to RAID 0. RAID 1 is known as Mirroring, this RAID array allows 2 hard drives space to be combined in to as a single drive, however the primary drive is duplicated on the secondary drive. This is ideal for environments that require a backup of the data without any effort. RAID 1 is the most reliable RAID array, since it backs up of all your data, however it does slightly hinder the performance.
RAID 0+1. RAID 0+1 is a mixing of both RAID 0 and RAID 1. On the primary channel, you can have a Striping array which maximizes performance, and on the secondary channel you can setup another Striping array which is actually mirroring the primary channels array.
The ABIT BX133 RAID supports Softmenu III jumperless setup to allow you to change the FSB and multiplier settings (on unlocked Intel CPU's if u can ever get one) from within the BIOS but recently with all the latest Intel motherboards with Softmenu III ABIT have also provided a set of onboard dipswitches. This new design seems to indicate to us that ABIT wish to sell some of their board to OEM's like IBM, Compaq and DELL. The jumper set allows you to set the FSB, Multiplier and the AGP ratio and to disable the Softmenu III setup so no BIOS adjustments can be made. This would come in very handy to prevent end users from dangerously overclocking their systems if they received them from DELL or Compaq. Looks as if ABIT are trying to expand as ASUS have done.
Along with all these good hardware feature ABIT also supply a new breed of Linux called Gentus Linux. This breed of the Linux operating system have been specially designed for ABIT boards and has some nifty ABIT logo's incorporated into it, unfortunately we didn't get time to test this new Linux OS out but we will try and find the time later on to show the new Linux that ABIT are not supporting.
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