FIRST LOOK: Abit Fatal1ty AA8XE

by Wesley Fink on 11/9/2004 8:30 AM EST


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  • Badash7 - Monday, November 22, 2004 - link

    Does it have or will it have through a bios update support for ddr2 667mhz or faster memory like the asus 925xe p5ad2-e does? Reply
  • jonmcc33 - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    The "real" Jonathan Wendel is uncovered!
  • jonmcc33 - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Number 1 in talentless games like Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament and that makes him respected? A 5 year old could play those games.

    Maybe if he played Call of Duty or something else that requires skill then I'd think he deserves a motherboard named after him.
  • knitecrow - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    those numbers don't matter for this board

    this board is targeted towards hard core gammers... who are slightly smarter than the average dell buyer.

    the break down between AMD and Intel is very different for the performance gamming market. My guess is 60-40 (amd:intel)

    Even Intel fanboyz are being persuaded by hard facts... for gamming Athlon64 is king.
  • OzMowerman - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    x86: 14.9%
    notebook: 8.4%
    server: 4.8%

    x86: 83.6%
    notebook: 90.1%
    server: 96.9%

    "a flea in the crack of an elephants arse" is the only thing that springs to mind

    Its not hard to see why the amd fanboys get upset....LOL
    when it comes to the end of the day, they make crap products and are untrustworthy.

    Isnt it funny that its always the tight arse low income that sprulk amd the hardest.
    If Intel made a chipset for amd processors, i would seriously consider buying one, but while our only choice is the backyarders via, and the incompetant nvidia, no thanks.
  • cryptonomicon - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    sorry, hard to resist flaming this board for some reason. Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    so this board is really killer at.. uh.. what? media encoding and workstation performance? drool! Reply
  • Concillian - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    If those gamers are only overclocking the video card and do not overclock the CPU, they are potentially doing the right thing. What game fully utilizes an FX55 at the resolutions people actually use?

    Games in general are not CPU bound at this point, so why fret over 5% here and there if the video card is going to limit your frame rates anyway? Get what's cheap for CPU and pimp out on the graphics card.

    It would be nice to eventually see a review that exhibits just how GPU limited most games are even with the highest end GPUs. We always see CPU articls with the highest end GPUs to try to remove that side fo the equation and vice versa. But for a consumer they often have to take their budget and decide what gets spent where between CPU, RAM, and video cards. Probably the single most common decisions among gamers focus on these types of decisions, yet there are surprisingly few articles that focus on how to approch realistic purchasing decisions for these three critical components.
  • vailr - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #25: A serial port can be added to any USB port, using a USB-to-serial port adapter.
    $14.99 here:
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #35 - My experience has been that ENTHUSIASTS know about water and phase-change cooling, but gamers usually don't know much about overclocking systems. If they overclock anything it's the video card. There are exceptions to every rule, but this is a GAMING system and I think our comments are apropos.

    If you believe the FX55 (2.6GHz) are not overclockable, you are not reading many articles. Most are reaching 2.9Ghz to 3.OGhz at stock voltage with air cooling. Those using water and phase-change are getting much higher results. The 90nm die-shrink will likely open the high-end even more for A64.
  • T8000 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Altrough this board seems to be a good overclocker and lots of buyers will at least consider an overclock, there was not a single benchmark run with any overclock.

    The default clock was even lowered somewhat! Especially next to the (almost unoverclockable) AMD64 2,6 Ghz CPU's, this review seems more like a way to ask for an AMD version than to measure real gaming performance.

    I mean, if you only want stock speeds, why would you buy a high-end Abit mainboard?

    Also, an Abit mainboard of this performance class will likely be combined with a Prometia cooler or at least good water cooling, making the few air only overclock tests (and the remark that a big aircooler would not fit) a bit odd.

    Even more because OTES was designed to keep enough airflow without aircooling on the CPU.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Abit has replied to our questions about an Athlon 64 version of Fatal1ty:

    "We don’t want readers to have the wrong impression that we are not coming out with an AMD version. We will have the AMD version of the Fatal1ty AN8 coming out around December. The AA8 Fatal1ty is only the BEGINNING of the Fatality line of products. The purpose of the AA8 is to show both gamers and enthusiasts ABIT’s dedication in the gaming community. The AN8 Fatal1ty is where we are hoping to ramp up the volume because the Ultimate Gaming Platform is definitely AMD based."
  • dvinnen - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    People laugh at him alot. He's a game hopper picking up the next big thing, gets good at it for a while, then leaves when others surpase him. Just look at his failed CS expirment. Counter strike is pretty much the only game with any following in NA currently, he tried to start a team a while ago and got stomped.

    Other than the fact that this board has his name all over it, it's pretty cool. I like the OTES set up, could of used a better spokesman though.

    The Ksharp or Aimetti board anyone?
  • TimTheEnchanter25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    In the picture that ABIT had in their forums, they also show a 2 fan cooler for the ram:

    I would like to see someone do some sound and thermal benchmarks for this mobo. It would be nice to know if the fans make enough difference on the temps to justify the massive sound I assume it makes.
  • zyzzix - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    While it appears strange that Abit would choose Intel to launch a hot concept, it's very PC for them long term. It just makes us AMD'ers put off buying anything else until the other shoe drops (kicks). Reply
  • nastyemu25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    wow that picture makes fatal1ty look like a real bad-ass!

    and by bad-ass i mean asshat
  • SLIM - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    "At stock settings, Fatal1ty is overclocked to 271 FSB. For a fairer comparison, the FSB was set to 267. Since most will want to see gaming benchmarks with this gaming board, the Game Accelerator was left to the default "Enabled" mode."

    What exactly is the "game accelerator"? The only reference that I could find was, " the AI7 also comes with Game Accelerator, a BIOS tweak that allows users to increase their performance up to 30%". That kind of sounds like marketing talk for dynamic overclocking to me. Anybody at anandtech have a better description of what exactly this game accelerator does? Point being, if you changed the FSB from 271 to 267 to make if "fair" and then enabled dynamic overclocking, that's one step forward and 5 steps back on the fairness scale.


    PS: I also checked the manual for the aa8 fatality and it was less than helpful as to the nature of this tweak:
    "Game Accelerator: This item enables or disables the Game Accelerator."
  • Live - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Great write up. Not much more needs to be said. While the chipset is crap Abit at least made some improvements over the reference design. Now bring on the new breed of AMD boards so we can game in style.

  • bob661 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Own3d. :-)
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #20 - there ARE on-board power and reset switches. They are on the bottom right edge of the board (or the upper right edge of the picture on p.2).

    #23 - There are 3 Firewire ports on the Fatal1ty AA8XE. This is detailed in the specs on p. 2 and mentioned in the article.

    #25 - One ATA port for 2 IDE devices is a 925X/XE limitation, not a choice by Abit. It was mentioned prominently in the 925X launch review. Abit could have added additional IDE ports with an added chip if they chose to do that.

    #4 and #22 - Anand's 925XE launch article tested with the ATI X800 XT so they are not directly comparable to the results here which were all nVidia 6800 Ultra as we have used in past motheboard reviews. The point of this First Look was to test Abit's claim that this was "the best of the best gaming board".

    If you will check the Anandtech data base you will see there has not been a 925XE review other than the launch article by Anand and me 9 days ago. This is the first 925XE to make it to the labs, but others are on their way. Anand also pointed out the performance of 925X and 925XE was trhe same - the XE adds 1066 but the chipset is otherwise identical. Anand also found the 1066 performance increase essentially negligible.

    I considered running benches with the 3.6 on the 925XE as we have database data to compare that configuration, but then there would have been an uproar that we didn't test with a 1066 gaming chip like the 3.46EE.

    We will include benches here in the future 925XE motherboard reviews. For now we ask that you try to see the points we were making in this review, and the data we used to examine those questions.
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Only two IDE devices? What were they thinking? I'd have to buy new SATA hard disks and spend more cash yet. This board is a real niche design, and I think while Abit's quality is there, there are few people who will buy into this one. I can get an Athlon 64 much more reasonably than a P4, and wipe the floor with the P4 system. I can build a quieter, better cooling setup with a good case so I don't need the fans of the OTES system, and can get a board that still has one serial port like I need and also doesn't take up as many slots with additions. With the money I save not going to this board, I can optimize my system even further with better components. Unless you're a die-hard Intel fan with deep pockets looking to build a system from scratch, I can't see you buying this board. Reply
  • TimTheEnchanter25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Whoops, I read the firewire part wrong. I see one port in the picture now. Reply
  • TimTheEnchanter25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    The AN8-Fatal1ty will be based on the Nforce4 Ultra. I think it will be released in the next 2 weeks.

    Until I read this, I was planning on the AN8-Fatal1ty. I would rather be able to cool my CPU better than the transistors and capcitors... I would also rather have firewire than 2 ethernet ports.

    Maybe the AN8-Max will be a better choice.
  • smn198 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #4 Agreed

    Did some Excel math but unfortunately different ATI and nVidia graphics cards make the results from the 924XE article earlier useless to compare. For example, there is hardly any difference on this review between the FX55 and 4000+ cards with nVidia on Halo but with an ATI there is a pretty big gap!

    OK its a first look but without the same chipset and CPU to compare against I am still not really much wiser.

    Check: and
  • OzMowerman - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Gee, is the world so full of pubescent tools?. well, after reading the above posts, it seems so. Reply
  • mrdudesir - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    wow, aside from the fact that it is a poor choice of platform, the board looks like a simply poor design. As it was pointed out in the article you can't use a good air cooler. Plus with 3 40mm fans already on that thing its probably gonna be louder than a jet. not to mention losing a pci slot to the audio daughter card. Not to mention with all these "improvements" they left off some of the best little things, like on-board power and reset switches. Big thumbs down to abit and their sellout spokesman. Reply
  • j@cko - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    I don't get it... Why didn't you include another 925XE board for comparison? Reply
  • FinalFantasy - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Read #16



    that's all...
  • ksherman - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    if this is boad that 'Fatal1ty' uses, he's gonna start lagging behind everyone else with their AMD64's.... ;) Reply
  • knitecrow - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    Something is wrong with the following.... a P4 extreme gamming mobo

    Only if you are a stupid gamer will you spend a premium to get a p4 Extreme Edition system.

    Go figure...
    buy a FX-55 system... people envy you
    buy a p4-EE system and people call you a retart
  • topcat903 - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    I agreed with post#4 totally. Reply
  • GnomeCop - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    I think I threw up in my mouth a little... Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    @10, Linkcat:

    at 1600x1200, all the platforms would most likely be GPU bound. 1024x768 is a better resolution to see which platform is faster.
  • phaxmohdem - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    What a tool. Who else wants to join me in kicking this dude in the ballz. I don't even know why I want to, but my foot feels compelled to inflict pain on this poor kid. Perhaps I should seek professional help. Reply
  • Decoder - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Its clear, AMD FX-55 performs a fatal1ty on Abit AA8XE + P4 3.46EE.

  • Linkcat - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    1024x768? is that the resolution harcore gamers run these days? It would be more useful if the comparison showed the performance differences at 1600x1200. Reply
  • Gioron - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    I think the words "What in hell were they thinking?" sums up this board best. Great implementation, poor platform choice. Now is not the time to claim that an Intel board is the "best of the best" for gaming performance. Reply
  • Adul - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Guys adjust your reading glasses. This is a first look and not an in depth review. Reply
  • drifter106 - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Glad to see you make the effort to show the other side of the coin.... Reply
  • ariafrost - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    w00t! Go ABIT! :P

    But... wait... I have an NF7-S Rev. 2 right now... where's the nForce 4 SLI based NF8-S ABIT!? :(
  • Chuckles - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    One question: Why was the board layout not analyzed? Reply
  • shabby - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Is it me, or are the comparisons totally useless.
    An fx55 vs 4000+ vs 3.46ee vs 3.6... how the hell can you do a mobo comparison with 4 different cpu's?
    If your going to compare a mobo, compare it to 3 other mobo's with the same chipset to see which one performs better.
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    That fatal1ty guy is one ugly dude. I guess looks doesn't matter when it comes to playing games :)

  • LtPage1 - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    im sure they will, eventually. cmon- give the intel fans a break. up till now, they had nothing. :) Reply
  • Desslok - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Wat was ABIT thinking? Why not make this board for the Athlon 64? Reply
  • InsaneInDaBrain - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    OMG i have this old crappy mobo and it only hold DDR2 RAm and its sooooo funny with its old Pentium 4 CPU and 4 GB ram XD im laughing so hard XD typing this on an AMD FX-8350 machine..... Rockin' The AMD finally Reply

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