abit was the top manufacturer of enthusiast level boards a few short years ago, but after they expanded into areas where they didn't have the manufacturing expertise or cost advantages to compete with the larger tier one manufacturers they fell on hard times. As a result, abit lost market share as well as mind share. Fortunately, abit entered into a long-term partnership with USI that saved the company. With that save came a name change, Universal abit is the successor to the Abit motherboard brand name. Since the merger, the company has tried to rekindle their former leadership in the computer enthusiast, extreme overclocker, and high performance markets.

The first wave of products in the summer of 2006 from Universal abit was interesting to say the least. In some cases like the abit AW9D-MAX they released a top performer that reminded us of the old Abit; in other areas, however, we found boards like the ABP9 Pro represented a crossroads in abit's new product launch. This board held great promise in our early looks, but it quickly turned into disappointment at launch and then finally redeemed itself near the end of its product cycle. However, this series almost spelled doom for the new Universal abit as it only reinforced problems that users had grown tired of in the last year of Abit's existence.


abit took tremendous criticism for the AB9's poor layout and early BIOS issues when the product launched. It was not feasible to alter the layout after the product launch, but they solved most of the initial performance and compatibility issues after several BIOS releases. After listening to the loud chorus of boos, abit did something that most motherboard companies do not; they addressed the majority of complainants with the AB9 Pro board by introducing a mid-life product update. Thus the abit AB9 QuadGT was born and it most definitely addressed the layout, component selection, feature set, and BIOS options that dogged the AB9 Pro.

Sadly, the BIOS engineering and quality assurance groups did not make the same headway, and the QuadGT board again experienced nagging BIOS problems for numerous weeks after the initial launch. It seemed as if the ghosts of Abit's past were determined to see the new abit fail. It was with great apprehension that we awaited the release of their P35 boards. Would this series of motherboards continue the downward spiral of being late to market with severe BIOS problems like the previous product launches, or would the new Universal abit finally have products that would capture the minds and hearts of the enthusiast community once again?

Fortunately for abit's remaining customers (and us), they succeeded in delivering an entire series of P35 motherboards that make amends for the past. These boards are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they do show that abit is finally back to delivering products that target certain market sectors and have the features and performance to back it up. With that said, let's look today at the IP35-Pro feature set and performance results.
abit IP35-Pro: Board Layout and Features
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  • Crafty Spiker - Sunday, July 27, 2008 - link

    This board should be called the Catch-22. I'm on my 4th day and 2nd chassis (and peripherals) trying to find some combination of hardware that this piece of crap will handle properly.

    Catch #1: Trying to get an LSI SCSI RAID card and a Promise SX4000 to work at the same time. Far as I can see, can't be done. No diagnostic messages at all. Great BIOS engineering

    Catch #2: Tried a smaller rig - just one Adaptec SCSI RAID card. Won't work at all.

    Catch#3: IDE does not work. The BIOS sees the attached devices but the OS won't/

    Catch #4: Digital audio output is optical ONLY. How do you spell "reconfigure the home theater"?

    Catch #5: the onboard NIC's are crap. Won't do 9KB jumbo frames.

    All in all I'd say that unless you are doing a completely dirt simple build that you look elsewhere. And reviewers should look a bit more carefully at what they're reviewing.
    Reply
  • Dacalo - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    I notice that under Bios UGuru, your screen shows 1.25V. Mine MB's lowest option is only 1.3175(?) around there. I thought this was odd. Do you think it's because I have older BIOS? Reply
  • Cybertori - Friday, November 09, 2007 - link

    I have one of these boards, and its been very good and reliable. Works with my new dual-core CPU, the BIOS is amazingly accomodating, and no problems whatsoever. This is my first purchase of an Abit product, but I am impressed. CPU and MB temps have been very cool, even under load, so I'd have to say the passive cooling is working well. Apart from the placement of some connectors, a really good motherboard - one of the best available for Intel processors, and a good value too. Reply
  • Zak - Monday, November 05, 2007 - link

    A couple of years ago I had so many problems with abit mobos (and MSI by the way), like 4 lemons in a row, that I will never ever touch their mobos no matter what they do, my distrust for their quality is too deep. I'll stick to Asus (despite their horrible support) and Gigabyte.

    Zak
    Reply
  • MichaelD - Friday, November 02, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Out of the three boards we tested, two had problems with the heatsink properly making contact on the PWM components and the MCH heatsink was not completely flat. A quick Google search will lead you to a forum user who "fixed" this problem. We tried it on one of our boards and noticed the MCH temperatures dropped 5C while PWM temperatures dropped over 9C when overclocking the board.


    So, there's a "trick" or "tweak" that fixes a deficiency and makes the board more stable and reliable...yet you don't tell us what that is? Why not just link directly to the webpage showing the fix? OR just TELL US what said fix action is? "A quick Google search" yielded me nothing but other reviews of the board. I could not find the fix. Great article and review, but you fell short by not linking directly to the fix action.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, November 03, 2007 - link

    The hot link was in the article if you mouse over "user" - but here it is in case that does not work - http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showpost.php?p...">http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showpost.php?p... . Reply
  • Shimmishim - Friday, November 02, 2007 - link

    This board has been out since about July? X38 reviews have been popping up all over the web. Anyway.

    I've owned this board for over 3 months now and it has been one of my all time favorite boards. It o/c's 4x1GB of ram very nicely and quadcores (with a bit of tweaking).
    Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    for those who cant wait another month for AT to achieve a good enough review so as not to threaten ad revenues - here's a fairly good overview from Toms
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/31/x38_compari...">http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/31/x38_compari...
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Saturday, November 03, 2007 - link

    quote:

    for those who cant wait another month for AT to achieve a good enough review so as not to threaten ad revenues


    You are an arse. I have not seen any ads on AT with abit so that blows your statement. Also, they had the one of the first X38 previews on the web and at least they are doing the reviews right instead of some photos and a couple of tests while declaring any and all boards to be the greatest. AT's X38 launch article was the only one that told the truth about this not ready for prime time chipset. I guess they did that to improve ad revenues in your book.
    Reply
  • Anonymous Freak - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    I mean, who doesn't have a router nowadays? Even goofier are the boards with Wi-Fi and "built-in routers". Call me old fashioned, but I actually want my router separate from my PC.

    What I want is a micro-ATX board, dual PCI-E x16 slots, (not that I actually expect to use SLI/CrossFire anytime soon, but what if I want to slap a RAID card in there?) onboard "HD Audio" with optical in and out, eSATA, onboard FireWire on the backplane (some of us still use FW camcorders,) and ONE Gigabit NIC. No need for a second, really.

    Is that too much to ask?

    It's like they now equate "enthusiast" with dual NIC. (A few years ago, before decent Wi-Fi routers could be had for http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3635275">less than $30, it might have made sense. But not any more. There are even http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5117566">multiple http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4832150">under http://shop1.outpost.com/product/4863030">$100 http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5232917">802.11n http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5284527">wireless http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5192516">routers.
    Reply

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