D. J. Bernstein
Computer hardware

Why I will never buy another Abit motherboard

In 2000-07, when I was buying my first Athlon, I heard about a serious bug in the Asus K7V BIOS: the K7V wouldn't boot when ECC was enabled. So I bought an Abit KA7 instead. This was a serious mistake. Abit habitually makes fraudulent claims of ECC support. This page gives some examples.

At the beginning of 2001-03, I sent technical@abit-usa.com a pointer to this page, and asked for their comments. They did not respond.


Abit's announcement of the KA7 claimed that the KA7 ``supports ECC.'' As of 2001-02, Abit's web pages continue to claim that the KA7 ``supports ECC.'' The KA7 BIOS has an ECC option. [local copy of www.abit.com.tw/english/press/2000/press27.htm, 2001-02-27] [local copy of www.abit.com.tw/english/press/2000/press72.htm, 2001-02-27] [local copy of www.abit.com.tw/english/product/motherboards/ka7.htm, 2001-02-27] [local copy of www.abit.com.tw/english/product/motherboards/ka7-100.htm, 2001-02-27]

In fact, according to Peter Heckert, the KA7's ECC option does not support error correction; it merely looks for ECC memory.


``The Abit web site, http://www.abit.com.tw/english/product/kt7-raid.htm, says: "Supports ECC",'' Andrew E. Schulman (andrex@zzapp.org) said in a 2000-10-04 16:01:02 PST posting to comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.systems. ``I bought a kt-7 raid because on the site it stated: ECC Support !'' Roderick den Haring (hatex@planet.nl) said in a 2001-01-08 posting to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit.

In fact, the KT7 doesn't support ECC. ``According to our KT7 designer, the ECC function is non-functional,'' TechSupport@ABIT (support@server2.abit.com.tw) said in a 2000-08-17 20:15:37 PST posting to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit. ``We're planning to remove this option in future BIOS releases.''


Abit's original specifications for the VP6 claimed that the VP6 ``supports ECC.'' As of 2001-02, some of Abit's web pages continue to claim that the VP6 ``supports ECC.'' Resellers are continuing to repeat this information; for example, Micro X-Press's web pages say that the VP6 ``Supports ECC.'' [local copy of www.abit.nl/english/product/motherboards/vp6.htm, 2001-02-27]

In fact, the VP6 does not support ECC. ``VP6(BIOS: UR) does not support ECC memory module,'' the Abit FAQ says. According to Peter Seebach, the new manual says that the VP6 ECC option ``checks whether the memory installed is ECC.''