abit IP35-Pro: Houston, We Have a Winner

by Gary Key on 11/1/2007 7:00 AM EST
POST A COMMENT

29 Comments

Back to Article

  • 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
  • Odeen - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    In this day and age, PCI LAN = fail.
    Dual PCI LAN = double fail.

    Realtek ANYTHING does not belong on a board that advertises itself as a "Pro"

    Whatever happened to the good old days where the south bridge had a MAC that just needed a PHY to have a network connection that was completely independent of other external buses? I know the ATI/AMD RD600 doesn't have a MAC and requires an external network adapter, the ICH9 has a gigabit MAC, and requires merely an Intel 82566 PHY chip to have a gigabit Ethernet connection.

    For that matter, who here uses dual NICs? Please raise your hands and tell me what you use them for. Seems like a waste of power to use a computer for internet connection sharing, in the day and age of $25 wireless routers....
    Reply
  • Mekreluk - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    Right, so let me get this right.

    You give the IP35-Pro a gold award, and the DFI P35-TR2 a silver award?

    The IP35-Pro had bigger vDroop, reaches a lower FSB with a Quad and scores a mark above the DFI?

    I'm not disputing that it's a good board, after all it's cheaper than the DFI and has uGuru but these motherboards are for enthusiasts. The users who chuck the most expensive, best performing hardware into their online carts without a second thought.

    So, I'm thinking a Vauxhall Zafira should score more than a Lotus Elise because hey! It's slower, costs less and can fit 7 people in it.

    Add to that the fact the DFI P35 review walks all over the IP35-Pro one as it's also a more in depth guide into it's overclocking with the GTLREF settings etc.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, November 02, 2007 - link

    It has been said that the vdroop on these boards is associated with inexperienced users *not* using a different 12v rail for the 4 pin PCIe AUX power connection. The only vdroop I had with my IP35-E and E6550 @ 3.33Ghz was a very small MCH vdroop, which was easily corrected in the BIOS by bumping the MCH voltage up one notch. I am also using a Power supply that is known to work well with the IP35 series.

    The award for this board is well warranted in my opinion, and I cannot help but wonder exactly how stable that DFI PoS is, and how easy it is to setup. I could care less if it runs at a slightly higher external clock if it is not stable, or is extremely hard to set up. ANYONE with half a brain can setup the IP35 boards with a reasonable OC in about 1 minute, and these boards work 100% out of the box the way they are intended, and are dahmed stable(meaning I have not experienced a single BSoD, or crash since this board made it into my system).

    As for the 'bad' ethernet performance, ANYONE who is serious about their ethernet performance is going to be using either an Intel Pro 1000 desktop adapter, or an Intel pro 1000 server adapter, and not some PoS onboard ethernet. As for why dual ports ? Maybe someone wants to run their desktop on multiple subnets ? Ive done it before . . . it can be great for remote booting. Now tying the GbE port(s) to the PCI bus is a serious no no, I will agree with that.

    Let me guess . ..you own said DFI P35-TR2 board ? If you like it, fine use it , be happy and quite whining about some review that is 'dis'n' your motherboard . . . and go wonder how serious overclockers on the ABIT forums have hit 4Ghz + with their E6600's on this board.
    Reply
  • Mekreluk - Sunday, November 04, 2007 - link

    I didn't say the board doesn't warrant the review score, as I said, I know it's a good board but there are users on XS who have gotten a higher clock out of the P35-T2R after migrating from the IP35-Pro.

    How stable the DFI is? Very stable, it's been described as rock stable by C-N, BrotherEsau, Solarfall who are 3 regular posters in the thread over at XS. I didn't actually own the P35-TR2 when I posted my comment before, I don't actually currently have a PC due to having my PC343B custom modified for a dual water cooling loop. I made my observation on real end user experiences with the board. I've since received my DFI board though.

    Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    First of all, these AT mobo reviews are always way late, with endless forum posts by Mr. Key about hourly "bios updates" being emailed to him by manuf. Can't they test their own boards - why do they need a reviewer to spot a bug? Abit doesnt know about Vdroop??? Dont they test firewire thruput?
    I'm sick of motherboards that work 90%.
    And I dont want to hear about buggered up bios for months - when you get a "bought in store" retail board, then review it, other than that, stifle yourself.

    You practically sleep with these guys - where's your objectivity? Its not your job to help them bring out a working board. I mean, like they need Gary Key for input - what are THEIR engineers doing all this time?
    And why is it after all these years that mobo makers still cannot create a lousy <1MB bios that works right out of the gate.
    They are still shoving crap out the door and hoping it flies - eventually.

    I say Gary Key must go - get someone who doesnt put out all those "teaser" blurbs. Maybe that's one reason why you only have 422 members online at this moment. Its so annoying.

    And FWIW: Abit is skipping the X38
    http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/showthread.php?%20th...">http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/showthread.php?%20th...
    Reply
  • Heidfirst - Friday, November 02, 2007 - link

    "And FWIW: Abit is skipping the X38
    http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/showthread.php?%20th...">http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/showthread.php?%20th...
    No, they aren't - in fact IX38 QuadGT DDR2 stock arrived in the UK today.

    As for the dual PCI LAN there is a reason & it's a deliberate design decision - it's upto you whether it's right or wrong for you but as Gary said it won't affect the vast majority of people as it's still waaay faster than domestic broadband & also faster than a single hard drive can cope with.
    By using PCI LAN on the Pro(the IP35-E & plain IP35 use PCI-E LAN) it means that you can use the x16 PCI-E slot & the x4 PCI-E slot & still have another x1 PCI-E slot active (the last PCI-E lane on the chipset is used for the JMicron) for use with a wifi card, soundcard etc.
    Other boards from competitors disable other PCI-E slots when the x16 & x4 are used to their capacity.
    Maybe not so important now when there are still relatively few x1 PCI-E cards available (although 1 of course is abit's AirPace wifi) but in a year or 2?
    Reply
  • crabnebula - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    One of the negatives I've seen about this board in other reviews is its Firewire throughput, which is considerably slower than competitors.

    See here for example: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/07/12/abit_i...">http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/07/12/abit_i...

    This might be of importance to some people who use FireWire devices.
    Reply
  • Heidfirst - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    there was a BIOS released after that which supposedly addressed the firewire transfer rate issue. Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    At the start of the review you mentioned a problem with the heatsinks.

    Is abit planning to fix this? It sounds like kind of a serious thing that the heatsinks don't work properly out of the box in 2 of your 3 boards.

    quote:

    Engineering can only take you so far, and unfortunately the execution is not always up to standards. 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.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, November 03, 2007 - link

    We have abit to screen their production process and to improve this design. We had one board that the PWM heatsink refused to make decent contact with the components and the other two were close to perfect. It could be manufacturing variations in the heatsink design or just plain bad quality control. Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    And if http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid...">this is the fix, then it's even more complicated than I had expected!

    Personally, I would RMA a board with this sort of defect present.
    Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    I love how these pro boards rarely have Firewire800. It's really a shame that others did not jump on the Gigabyte bandwagon a few years back when they started putting it on their high-end boards. If I remember correctly, they were cheaper than the current crop as well.

    Of course, I will wager that someone will say that people should use eSATA instead. There are only a few enclosures that have both FW and eSATA, and eSATA is not available on most PC's, and no Macs that I have seen have a eSATA port. I'm not even sure if you can daisy chain eSATA, and I like the FW800 connector better (feels more sturdy). Recently, I looked around for an enclosure to replace one of my old trusty FW400/USB2 enclosures with built in power supply. I ended up not finding the one I wanted, and was very sad, as my requirements were not great.

    1. FW800
    2. eSATA
    3. USB2
    4. 5 1/4" drive capacity
    5. Built in AC/DC converter (no bricks)
    6. Fan if neceaary, I don't care as this is a service drive, not involved with audio

    The closest I could get was a NewerTechnology MiniStack V3 from eshop.macsales.com.

    1. FW800
    2. eSATA
    3. USB2, including hub
    4. 3.5 inch drives only
    5. fan
    6. Stupid brick power supply

    It cost me $120 empty. It's a great enclosure, meant for stacking under a Mac Mini (and would be awesome for that, though I personally have no mini). There were also the mercury series from OWC at that store, but none had the built in PS, so I figured at that point who cares about 5 1/4.

    The end result is that I tried it for a week. It now stays at home. While I used it, I got insane speeds when backing up customer systems over FW800 (Macs doing CarbonCopyCloner clones in a flash, despite the clones being around 30GB. USB2 was as expected (kind of lame), and FW400 was acceptable (but a downer after FW800). For anyone who is interested, the drive I put in it was a Seagate 320 SATA with the crazy SCSI-sized jumper removed. I never got to use eSATA, as I have found no systems that have the port, except one production server that I am not going to test on. I'm sure it's nice and fast.

    Of course, with all the back and forth, carrying a brick around is annoying, when previously all I needed to carry was a firewire or usb cable. Of course, this has nothing to do with Abit's board, except that if more boards were made that included FW800, more varieties of enclosures would be available, and someone would make my above list come true.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, November 03, 2007 - link

    I have always been disappointed with the lack of Firewire 800 on the upper end boards but it appears the users requesting it are in a very small minority (which includes me) according to the suppliers. We do have USB 3.0 and Firewire 1600 to look forward late next year. :) Reply
  • sheared - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    It should be noted that the Abit forums are, while not full, scattered with threads regarding incompatibilities between this MB and various PSU's. For now at least, you should be careful to select a PSU from a manufacturer that is known to work with the board. I selected a Seasonic thinking that a good, reputable manufacture such as that would have no issues. Wrong. POST code 8.2.

    Just be careful in the selection, and you'll do fine with this board.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, November 03, 2007 - link

    PSU-

    We tried everything from a Seasonic S12 II 430W to the OCZ 1000w without a problems including a couple of "inexpensive" 500w power supplies out of generic cases without a problem. We tried to recreate some of the problems that users have noticed and could not with three different boards.
    Reply
  • feraltoad - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    My X-fi xtreme music works great fortunately, it didn't crackle in my old Asrock DualSATA2 which some people reported as being a problem.

    I have a ZerDBA psu that works fine and a WD5000AAKS & WD3200KS & 36gb Raptor that works great, no raid though.

    I've been very happy with the ip35 pro. I think editors choice is very well warranted. I use the uGuru program to OC in windows! How often can you OC in windows and have it be stable?

    My heatsinks were OK, but I have heard some problems but the fix is super easy. Just replace the plastic pushpins in the sinks with bolts. That's an easy fix, sure you shouldn't have to paying that much for a mobo and they need to fix it, but if I had to saddled with a problem and I'm a pessimist(read: realist) and expect things to go bad I would rather have a problem that I can easily fix myself. So really it's a pessimist dream come true even if it comes out as the worse case scenario!

    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    there are also scattered reports of the larger Raptor HDDs not working under certain circumstances with these boards, as well WD SE16 HDD issues(mainly with RAID I think), and possible X-FI incompatibilities.

    ABITs forums though is one good example as to why their products still sold well, despite for having a 'bad rep' compared to other companies. Its these Forums that helps ABIT customers solve, and potential avoid issues with any given product.

    For what it is worth, I have read about certain Seasonic PSUs being an issue with these boards, but the PSU I am using; an Antec EA500(EarthWATTS 500) *is* supposed to be built by Seasonic as well . . . it also works very well. However, I am also using the IP35-E, not the Pro.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 01, 2007 - link

    that it is about time you guys did a write up of this board, but I am mystified as to why you guy did not mention the IP35-E(the IP35 Pros 'little brother'). Sure it does not have all the bells and whistles, but on an extreme budget, the IP35-E is very hard to beat.

    My IP35-E is running an E6550 @ 3.33Ghz with stock cooling and stock voltages, and 100% stable for the last 1.5 weeks or so. Just being able to drop the FSB:DRAM ratio to 1:1, bumping up the MCH one notch, and setting the external clock to 475Mhz makes for very simple overclocking. I have a very hard time imagining any other board being easier than this when overclocking. All this, and superb functionality(everything worked straight out of the box) without updating the BIOS. I can imagine never updating the BIOS, the functionality for me is that good.

    Now if I could only fit a thermalright cooler into my case, I would be in 'hog heaven'.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, November 03, 2007 - link

    quote:

    that it is about time you guys did a write up of this board, but I am mystified as to why you guy did not mention the IP35-E(the IP35 Pros 'little brother'). Sure it does not have all the bells and whistles, but on an extreme budget, the IP35-E is very hard to beat.


    abit did not supply the IP35-E for review, but we bought one anyway and will show it against the MSI NEO2 and DFI Bloodiron shortly.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now