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 GideonTech Reviews
-- Iwill BD133 Socket 370 Motherboard
-- Price: ~ $112 USD
-- 8.21.2001
-- By: winterstick
-- Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

When my Abit BE6-2 decided to give up the ghost, I decided it was time to upgrade in to the world of 4x AGP and ata 100.  After a couple emails to Iwill and a couple days later I had a brand new Iwill BD133 sitting on my doorstep. 

The BD133 sports the i815EP chipset, ata 100, 4.1 onboard sound, 4x AGP, and Iwills Microstepping Technology.  The BD133 also comes with a pretty cool little feature: Voice Alert Technology.  You know when sometimes you don't completely set your ram all the way and you get that annoying beeping sound?  Well instead of that annoying beeping sound the motherboard tells you “Hey stupid, the ram isn't working.”  Well not those exact words but you get the idea, more on this later. 

Now for some specs.

CPU: Socket370 Intel® Pentium® III processors from 500 MHz to 1 GHz and higher 100/133 FSB, Intel® Celeron™ processors from 300 MHz to 733 MHz 66/100 fsb.

: Intel® 82815EP (BGA544) core chipset, Intel® 82801BA (BGA360) chipset.

Memory: 3 x 168-pin unbuffered DIMM slots support up to 512 MB of PC133/PC100/ESDRAM SDRAM.  The memory speed can be faster/slower than the cpu by 33 Mhz; although I never found this option in the bios :/

: Bye Bye Jumper Iwill Smart Setting with Iwill Microstepping Technology, which allows 66 to 200 FSB in 1 Mhz increments.  The nice thing is that you can enter the front side bus in, instead of scrolling through a long list of supported FSB's.

Dual ATA/100 IDE Channels which support PIO Mode up to Mode 4, C-Media® CMI-87383D Sound Chip with 4.1 Channel Hardware Sound, Voice Alert Technology.

Expansion: One AGP Slot (4X), Six PCI 2.2 Slots, One CNR Slot (WHY?)

Layout: The layout of the motherboard isn't the best that we have seen.  The ATX power connector is in the middle of the board, potentially causing the ATX power cord to lie across the HSF.  Not a problem for us, but there is always one or two people that will yell bloody murder if we don't mention it. 


What is even worse is the location of the floppy controller.  For whatever reason the engineers decided to put it in the bottom right hand corner of the board I have no idea why, maybe they were hitting the Sake a little to hard?  This didn't cause any problems in our setup, however this would be a huge problem in a full tower case with the floppy drive at the top of the case. 

We also had issues with the CD in header placement, with our Geforce2 GTS 64 Meg installed the header was right under the video card.  While this may not be an issue for some, anyone planning to use the onboard sound to save a few bucks may have some issues.   Although I don't think I have ever used the CD in on my soundcard, there still are some people that might.

In this pic you can see the clear bios jumper and and the case intrusion header.

The two jumpers are mentioned in the manual as the "FSB control" but doesn't mention what settings do what, we tried all the possible configurations and we don't know what it does either.

Voice Alert Technology:  This is probably one of the most innovated features to be included on the motherboard for a first time DIYer.  Instead of reporting a beep code, the motherboard uses the system speaker to tell you where the problem is.  Its very nice once you assembled your computer to have a ladies voice tell you that you made a mistake instead of hearing that annoying beep, that tells you absolutely nothing if you don't have the manual handy.  Some of the ones we tried out was when we flipped the floppy cable it said “Floppy Drive maybe installed incorrectly or damaged.”  And when we didn't push our Geforce2 GTS all the way into the agp slot we got a message saying “AGP maybe possibly damaged or not installed correctly.”  Overall a nice feature except you can't hear it if you don't have your system speaker installed.

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