Abit WX6: i810 with quality
Continuing with our lucky collaboration with the company ABIT, in this occasion we have the opportunity to prove one of his last developments: the motherboard WX6, based on the chipset i810. Will it manage this badge to be on a par with his antecesoras (thing not easy at all)? Let's see it.
The ABIT WX6, although it dresses quickly might look alike to any badge ATX with chipset BX or ZX, it has some peculiarities that separate it from the "classic" badges; internally, the most clear is that he lacks groove AGP; in his place there is a small groove of scarcely 4 cm, called AMR, which is destined to support a card with one of the called "soft-modems", that is to say, modems that use the potency of the microprocessor to do without some components and to low the price of his price.
Externally the most significant thing there are the connectors, which are codified by colors as the norm PC99 to identify them more easily; between them we find the keyboard habitual ones, mouse, USB, parallel port... and here it finishes the habitual thing. The following thing that we find the only connector of port series is, a connector VGA for the monitor and the habitual exits of a sound card, including the essential port MIDI for joystick.
First of all, let's not confuse the terms: the badge supports two ports series; what happens is that the connector of the second one is not grouped with the rest but on the motherboard, where there must get connected a cable that joins it to a small sheet with the exterior connector in itself, who holds as if it was a card of expansion. This will turn out to be slightly strange to those who only have treated with badges ATX, but it is a question of an operation immensely simple typical of the badges in format Baby-AT, at present almost completely missing persons of the market.
As for other connectors, they indicate us not any more not less that the badge brings integrated the checkers of video and of sound. This is precisely the principal characteristic that defines the badge and the source of all his advantages and disadvantages, as we will see further on.
Otherwise, the distribution of the components is practically perfect; despite his only 19 cm wide, it has become possible to install 5 grooves PCI, something very important for future enlargement that distinguishes it from other badges with chipset i810 with only 3 grooves PCI. Also, the cards of expansion can be so long as love, since some obstacle does not exist in his way, and the electrical connector is placed in an unbeatable position.
It does not owe minusvalorarse the importance of this tidy and clean design; the correct laying of the connectors will avoid the used cables jumble, favoring the correct ventilation of the components and the access to the same ones. On the other hand, the wide minimum of the badge allows to install it in almost any casing of the market without problems, something that there will appreciate those who have met for example one day a reader of longer CD - ROM of the normal thing (it has happened to me, and it is not anything agreeable... not easily to solve).
The badge only has 2 grooves for memory DIMM, as it corresponds to an "economic" badge, but nevertheless we will be able to come up to a maximum of 512 MB, which in practice will remain like much in 196 MB (a 64 MB module and other of 128) or 256 MB 128 MB (two). Ah, the memory must be PC100, because it is used also like video memory.
And as curious note, the badge has a child led integrated (we go, a bombillita) that indicates us if the team is or not completely subdued, what can avoid more than one grief to us to the absent-minded persons that we forget to disconnect completely the team before installing nothing.
BIOS and other characteristics
Apart from the previous thing, the WX6 includes, like other badges ABIT, his worldwide famous system of configuration of the microprocessor from the BIOS, SoftMenu II, which turns out to be an essential utility to realize overclocking. They are included up to 15 bus speed options, although unfortunately in the status that we are interested in with the current Celeron only we are provided with the 75 and 83 MHz options, what is not great but yes sufficiently to be able to force a Celeron 400 to 450 MHz, for example.
And the fact is that the badges ABIT are prepared to realize especially overclocking safely, as it demonstrates the presence of the chipset Winbond, that combined with the utility Hardware Doctor (who also is included in the box) allows to control from Windows the speed of the fans and, much more important, the temperature of the mike and of the interior of the casing.
This safety cross-check also can do to itself in the isolated "PC Health Status" of the BIOS Award, more modern that we have seen in the last times. The menus have been re-designed to organize them better and to give capacity to more options, like starting from practically any device (CD - ROM, Zip, network...), IRQs allocation as much as one wants, configuration of the multiple integrated devices...
... a heap of options which the manual included with the WX6 faces entire success, undoubtedly THE BEST MANUAL of motherboard that I have never seen, even top to the already excellent manuals of previous ABIT. He explains with clarity all the options of the BIOS, the process of physical installation of the badge (and of the mike, the memory, the disk drive, the hard disk...), the installation of the controlers of video and sound, the position, form and utility of every connector, the description of the process of update of the BIOS... and enclosed an introduction to the UltraDMA66.
Anyway, the whole literary jewel with more than 100 pages and not less than 150 images. His only "problem" is to be written exclusively in English, but if it understands this language I recommend to him to unload it of the FTP of ABIT, it will be useful to him be which be his motherboard.
And to end, the bundle Doctor includes a cable IDE UltraDMA66 (a cable not cheap at all), other of disk drive, the sheet with the connector for the second port series and one of the magnificent and replete CDs-ROMs of ABIT, which in this case includes the drivers of the chipset i810 and the checkers of video and sound, a digital copy of the manual, the ABIT web site in diverse languages (between them Spanish), a formateador of hard disks at low level, the Hardware, a salvapantallas and much more, too much to comment for on it here.