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  • yyrkoon - Thursday, September 21, 2006 - link

    Heya Gary, seems this motherboard is availible from newegg in the U.S. currently (which also seems to have the lowest price, even lower than ZZF, and mwave currently), are they still using the beta BIOS marked as a production BIOS or what ?

    Also, I noticed my question concerning the SATA port multiplier compatability never realy got answered fully ;) However, I DO realize that you guys are probably very busy :)
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - link

    The 1.2 beta we used is now official. Should have another beta bios update late next week. I will get to the eSATA question this weekend. Have a new external SATA setup that will make for the perfect test. Reply
  • biggersteve - Monday, September 18, 2006 - link

    Gary, can you comment on when you hope to publish the upcoming P965 shootout? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - link

    I hate to give a date as I have already moved the article out twice. It should be within a week, just received two boards that are both exclusives along with one more coming tomorrow that I will need to get into the article. Expect 12, maybe 13 boards and a novel size review. Reply
  • BadThad - Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - link

    I'd like to see information on the board components used like capacitors. Any board is only as good as it's weakest component. Also, how many phases is the power control? Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - link">Abit AW9D Features Page

    I know it is a boring page but most of your questions are answered in the second paragraph. :) The board features a four phase power regulation setup and solid aluminium electrolytic polymer capacitors. The manufacturer of the capacitors will vary at times so until we have a definite word from Abit on the subject we hazard to guess which ones they will use. However, the difference in the quality of solid aluminium electrolytic polymer capacitors between suppliers is minor at this time when comparing the quality of traditional aluminium electrolytic wet capacitors.
  • BadThad - Thursday, September 14, 2006 - link

    DOH! OK, yea, I do a lot of skimming because I don't have much time....good article BTW! :)

    Why don't reviewers start pressuring the mfg's to make a REAL enthusiast MB? I want a board with no intregated sound, video nor integrated ANYTHING dasmit!
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    I see ABIT is still using *some* non grounded motherboard retaining holes on thier boards, I cant help but wonder WHY they are doing this. I'm fairly sure my Asrock AM2NF4G-SATA2 board has all motherboard screw holes 'tinned' (and grounded?), but even looking at my old ABIT NF7-S2G board, there are atleast two screw holes that have no 'tinning'.

    Is this to help with noise, or is there something else I'm missing ?
  • SocrPlyr - Saturday, September 09, 2006 - link

    That isn't for grounding. It is actually not connected to anything. the point of the metal around the screw holes is to prevent the PCB from cracking when the screws are tightened Reply
  • yyrkoon - Saturday, September 09, 2006 - link

    Thats funny, because its been known for a long time, that when using a ABIT motherboard, you DO NOT put metal screws in those holes . . . Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Sunday, September 10, 2006 - link

    ...probably to avoid cracking. Yes? Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    Actually, Its a known issue with some ABIT motherboards, that if you put a metal screws in these holes, it will short the board out. Dont take my word for it though, look around on ABITs forums :) Reply
  • jackylman - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Abit also integrates additional cooper layers in between the PCB layers to aid in the extraction of heat from these areas. Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    While we're picking nits:

    The 24-pin ATX connector is conveniently located on the edge of the board in front of the number four DIMM slot. The 12-pin ATX connector is located at the edge of the first DIMM slot. The CPU fan header is located next to the 12-pin ATX plug and due to the size of the CPU area requires your heatsink/fan to be properly oriented if the cable is short.

    Am I daft, or do you mean 8-pin instead of 12-pin? Sorry if this was already mentioned, I skimmed the comments.
  • jackylman - Saturday, September 09, 2006 - link

    Both typo's fixed. Good job! ;) Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, September 10, 2006 - link

    I apologize about those errors, using DNS on this article and still do not know how eight became twelve (eight in the charts and my type written text), flat missed catching the other one as that is one word that DNS does not like. ;-) Reply
  • joex444 - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    you say one of the bios issues was not being able to change the multiplier down, then describe how you went from a 9x to an 8x multiplier... does it allow multiplier changing only with the new bios and the stock one didn't? i don't really care what the stock bios does if i'm going to flash it to the newest one anyways... Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    We could change the multiplier on the X6800 only. We used that chip as stated in the overclocking section to test at 8X and 6X. The issue with the X6800 is that you cannot raise it past 11x. :) Reply
  • johnsonx - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link


    Not pictured but placed on the back of the board is Abit's Overclocking-Stripes that are designed to divert heat away from the board.

    You gave us over a half dozen pictures of the board from every angle, but you couldn't toss us a picture of these 'overclocking stripes'? what the hell are they, and how do they work?

  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    A picture of the OC-Strips technology along with additional wording is available now. Reply
  • johnsonx - Saturday, September 09, 2006 - link

    Thanks Gary. Those look interesting; I don't imagine they're overly effective given complete the lack of airflow behind the mainboard in 99.9% of systems. However I suppose just the additional radiative area is enough; in most system layouts they'll be near the upper edge of the mainboard, so convection will carry the heat into the air flow around the power supply and back fan(s).

    Presumably Abit didn't put them back there just to amuse themselves.

  • hibachirat - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Thanks Gary, but...i could have sworn that i saw strips like that on the back of my 775i65 . I didn't pay them any attention...or maybe it was it the motherboard i installed the week before--a Gigabyte. Crap, now i have to disassemble and look... Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Pictures will be up later this evening. Sorry about the delay but we had a technical issue. Reply
  • hibachirat - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Yeah, I wanted to see that too. Plus maybe a night shot or mpeg of the disco diodes in action. :-p
    Seriously Abit, scrap the light show and give me back my old school serial and parallel ports! Once or twice a year I need my PC to talk to old hardware. And one PCI slot? This isn't a mATX board.
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Drop the multipier to 7x when testing mobo overclockability. Think for the E6300 users, besides you may hit the CPU ceiling before the mobo one with 9x. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    We dropped the X6800 down to 8X and again to 6X. As stated our board and bios combination would not post past 460FSB. Abit is getting near 480 in their labs now and we hope to see a new bios spin in the next couple of days for our board. The same limitation holds true with our E6300/6400 processors, very stable up to 448FSB at this time but we hit a hard lock at 460FSB. I will provide an update once the new bios arrives. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Anyone remember top of the line boards used to cost less than $150?

    These boards are way to expensive, the preminum your paying for a board to OC kinda defeats the purpose of OC to get better performance for cheap imo.
  • mostlyprudent - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    It's all about market share. Even in the good-ole days (6/8 months ago) of AMD 939 and nVidia nForce4, the top boards occassionally debuted above $200, but did not stay there long. 975X chipset based boards were ridiculously priced even when there was no real reason to choose the platform. We NEED more competition! Reply
  • GoatMonkey - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Top of the line boards for a long time didn't include decent sound, network, usb, multiple hard drive controllers with raid capability. You can still get a good board for less than $150, but they sometimes cut some of the high end features that are so nice to have. Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Same with the DFI Lanparty NF4-Ultra only $130 for pretty much everything you listed along with extra's. SLI was $160 or so. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    My MSI K8N Neo-4 Platinum came with eight SATA ports, FireWire, dual gig nics, and a full complement of every port and feature I can think of, as a top-of-the-line Socket 939 board.

    I bought it very shortly after first release --for $140 from ZipZoomFly. That was going on two years ago, but by then, top-of-the-line boards all had onboard sound, network, USB, and multiple hard drive controllers with raid capability. And while that price is two years ago, a $100 price hike for flagship boards (Intel, ASUS, Abit, and the like) isn't just inflation taking its toll.

    Current mainboard prices truly are a joke. I think it is truly an attempt to capitalize on Intel's really cool new processor --the idea that we all want to run it badly enough that we'll pay beaucoup bucks for a new flagship board.

    The review was good, but any company who thinks I'll spend $200-plus for a mainboard with only one PCI slot (blocked in a dual-vidcard scenario, so useless in that case) needs a major reality check. Abit did a lot right with this board, but that one slip makes this board utterly useless as an enthusiast product, IMO. The only way they could have rescued it was to put a real sound chip on the riser card instead of an ALC solution, and they failed that too.
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    You get what you pay for, and usually for ABIT boards thats stability / performance. Not to mention that RIGHT_NOW, this platform is the top perfomer. I also hav a problem with paying too much for current tech motherboards, however, you dont really have much of a choice, you can buy one now, at a premium, or you can wait 6 months, when the prices have come down alot.

    Look at ABITs top AM2 motherboard, it was in the $200usd range not long ago when released, but because of shipping issues damaging the boards, and bad publicity because of this, the boards are now down to around $150usd. Anyhow the ABIT AN9 32x (non fata1ity) has features comparable to this board, and some (mainly because of chipset) that are better. However, I think we all know which platform is preffered by enthusiasts at the moment. . .
  • LoneWolf15 - Saturday, September 09, 2006 - link

    However, I think we all know which platform is preffered by enthusiasts at the moment. . .
    Yep, that'd be the ASUS Core 2 Duo boards. ;)

    Seriously though, if I bought now (which I have no need to do, but for sake of argument) I could buy an ASUS board with all of Abit's features, great performance, and the PCI slots enthusiasts need for the same price. I really think that if Abit wants to regain lost market share, they either have to not miss silly things like this, or if they make that decision, to beat their competition in price. Failing to do either, I can't see why one would choose them.
  • Madellga - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    True, but the difference is much smaller than the CPUs or GPUs. You need almost 100 bucks to go from E6400 to E6600. That's the mobo difference. And without a good mobo, you can't do 50% overclock - look at ASRock, for example: cheap but low overclock. Reply
  • Madellga - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Hi Gary,
    It seems most people didn't get your joke.

    Nice review and thanks for posting VCore and MCH. I think it is essential in the current socket 775 platform to inform the readers about such settings.

    I noticed also on the pictures that the board has only solid capacitors, like the Gigabyte DQ6/DS4/DS3 family. That's a good trend.

    I use myself a SB Audigy 2 ZS and would be a pitty to give up using it.

    This new board seems to be available for sale next week:">

    This store is pretty reliable for delivery lead time (currently 3 working days).

    I might give it a go with an E6600. I'm also thinking about a pair of 7950GT's and hacked drivers.....if the 7950GT price is around 250 bucks.
  • Doormat - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Any chance that this board selling for $225 or so would push the prices of other 975X boards down? I see the Asus P5W for $270+ everywhere and its just rediculus to spend that much money on a motherboard. I'm holding off on Conroe until motherboard prices go down.. Reply
  • Madellga - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    It is listed at 219 euros, above 270 dollars. I hope you guys can get it at a better price. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Parts in Europe often cost more than in the states. Compared to US prices, Europe purchases seem to cost an additional 20-30% premium. I find it highly unlikely that this board will be more than $230-$250 USD, if so, it wont sell good for awhile (until the price comes down). Reply
  • Gambit2K - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    What's the retail color theme? Black and red or Black and blue? Im hoping for red, it looks wicked. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    The official color scheme will be blue and black.">Abit Link Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Oh heck yea! I thought I was going to have to go with Asus P5B deluxe board mainly due to the color scheme as I'm a bigger fan of Black & Blue than Black & Red. Too bad for all those other people who prefer red tho. Reply
  • wolf550e - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    How much is Scyhte paying you? Reply
  • Madellga - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Actually his review is very neutral and not a PR stunt.

    This space is to discuss the review itself and the product there.
    If you want to make such comments I suggest paging him, instead of writing here on the open.

  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link


    How much is Scyhte paying you?

    Actually I paid NewEgg $51.99 for the pleasure of using the Scythe Infinity. :) Scythe does not advertise with us and the picture was published based upon numerous reader requests wanting to know how the larger heatsinks fit on the boards. I still love and use the Tuniq 120 but until they are readily available again my current air cooling favorite is the Infinity. Just in case it comes up, the E6600 was also bought from NewEgg and is not supplied by Intel.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link


    Overall, the new color scheme gives the board a very clean yet menacing look worthy of the MAX designation.

    LOL! First time I've ever heard a motherboard described as "menacing".
  • mostlyprudent - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    I am very pleased to see Abit producing a strong board again. Two of my older systems are still running with Abit boards (4 years old and 2.5 years old) with no issues. I am still deciding, but the PCI slot issue is a tough pill to swallow.

    BTW, there is a type-o in the last paragraph on page 3 "Although this 'typcially' worked..."
  • GoatMonkey - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    I used to be a big Abit fan. I bought 5 Abit motherboard for myself over the years, and built at least 4 other systems for friends with Abit motherboards. Unfortunately, over half of them failed after several months of use. Abit really needs a good warranty and some good testimonial of quality to get me back. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    ABIT has a decent warranty policy, the only problem is that they exchange 're-certified' boards for your new one.

    We've had to deal with ABITs RMA a couple of times in the last two years, and while they did replace the boards, the process was slow, and again, they replace it with a re-certified board. However, it turned out it wasnt the motherboard that was bad at all, but a ATI videocard (pre-PCIE, and additional card power), that was drawing too much power from the AGP slot.

    ABIT forums, while not owned or paricipated by any ABIT workers (that I know of), is second to none. If you cannot find someone on ABITs forums to help with an issue, then said issue is rare, or hard to trace.

    I'm finding that more, and more, that motherboards dont really go bad (short term), but often 'broken' motherboards are configured improperly by the user, that has limited experience with that brand, or a user that really hasnt a clue how to properly setup a motherboard. This doesnt include the rare chance of a dead out of the box motherboard, or the random hard to troubleshoot other than motherboard issues, and I've recently experience the latter here myself (an Asrock board that would lock up within three days, no BSoD, and nothing standard fixed the problem).

    The main reason why I like ABIT, is that usually ABIT boards have stability that is second to none, and they perform very well.
  • granulated - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    I know that the Scyhte Infinity is approx 12cm x 12cm but blimey !
    It's looks massive !
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Gary, was wondering if yo ucould confirm if ABIT boards with eSATA, and a SIL 3132 controller will in fact work with a SATA port multiplier. From all the researching Ive done for the last year or so would indicate so, but I would like ot make sure before investing loads of cash in an external RAID 5 array, only to have it not work. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    It should work but I will test it once we have the final bios. The SiL bios on the Abit board is updated from the last 3132 we tested (Asus M2N32) which worked fine with a SATA port multiplier on the external port. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Thanks Gary, sounds great. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    Ok Jarred, great article, now WHEN CAN I BUY ONE ?! Seriously, I was considering a ABIT AB9 Pro, but it looks as though I may be geting one of these instead, provided, they keep the good work up, when releasing production BIOSes. This is very good news for me (and ABIT I'm sure), as I've been an ABIT fan, since the mid 90's, and Until recently, only deviated to buy a budget Asrock board, even though, Asrock is in league with ASUS. Its bee my opinion for a long time that Asus, and DFI DO NOT deserve thier titles as 'head manufactuers', Asus boards are quirky, assuming they're not dead out of the box, and I find it very hard to believe, that DFI stability issues have been fixed in the last couple of years, but you know what ? I wont find out, because I'm a tried and true loyal ABIT fan :) Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    err, Gary :/ Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, September 09, 2006 - link

    A couple weeks at most I think Gary said. Or maybe not - from the intro, they go into production next week. I don't know if that means they become available or not. :) Reply
  • rqle - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    always been a fan of abit and it max series back then. didnt really like it when the replace it flagship "max series" with "fata1ty" or something like that. hope this board bring it back on top or at least fight the raising cost of "lan party" board =(.
    Anyways, nice conroe chip you guys got there.

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