Feeds
65%
abit_aw9d_max_sm

Abit AW9D-Max 975X-based mobo

Abit rises from the ashes?

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.