Feeds
65%
abit_aw9d_max_sm

Abit AW9D-Max 975X-based mobo

Abit rises from the ashes?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Review Abit was synonymous with top-performance motherboards, but of late its products have been less than impressive. Abit has set out to correct this with its latest line-up of boards, including the AW9D-Max, designed to be a top-of-the-range Core 2 Duo mobo based on Intel's 975X chipset. But does it live up to the expectation?

abit_aw9d_max_1

Abit's Max series of motherboards has always been quite different and daring in terms of design and features. The AW9D-Max doesn't surprise here as it has some rather quirky features. The rear I/O layout is very basic, with two PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two Ethernet connectors for the dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet controllers, and finally an e-SATA connector.

You might wonder what happened to the audio connectors, but as anyone that has owned a recent high-end motherboard from Abit will know, these come in the shape of an AudioMax HD riser card. This fits into a special slot at the bottom of the motherboard and adds 7.1-channel HD audio with optical S/PDIF output. The line-in jack also doubles up as a 3.5mm S/PDIF input.

Moving onto the board itself, the most noticeable features are the two heatpipes that help cool the chipset. These are connected to a heatsink at the rear of the board which also cools the power regulation circuitry. The hot air is vented out of the case through a hole in the I/O shield. All of the heatsinks have copper plates in the bottom to further enhance the heat transfer away from the chipset and MOSFETs.

If you're still not happy with the system cooling and want to add some extra fans, you'll be happy to know that there are no less than seven additional fan headers not counting the one for the CPU cooler.

abit_aw9d_max_2

In terms of expansion capabilities, there are four memory slots for DDR 2 memory, two x16 PCI Express slots - which will operate at x8 when two graphics cards are used in CrossFire mode - two x1 PCI Express slots and a single PCI slot. Having only one PCI and then placing it this close to the lower x16 PCI Express slot is a poor design choice, as it becomes unusable if you fit a dual-width graphics card in the lower x16 slot. Considering how many things still use PCI, Abit should make it more easily accessible. A nice touch is the top-mounted release clips on the x16 slots, as this makes it much easier to remove your graphics cards than some other boards do.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.