Abit AB9-Pro: Basic Features

Abit AB9-Pro
Market Segment: Mid-Range/Performance
CPU Interface: Socket T (Socket 775)
CPU Support: LGA775-based Pentium 4, Celeron D, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo
Chipset: Intel P965 + ICH8R
Bus Speeds: 133 to 600 in 1MHz Increments
Memory Speeds: Auto, 533, 667, 800
PCIe Speeds: Auto, 100MHz~200MHz
PCI: Fixed at 33
Core Voltage: Auto, Base CPU V to 1.7250V in 0.0250V increments
CPU Clock Multiplier: Auto, 6x-11x in 1X increments if CPU is unlocked
DRAM Voltage: 1.75V ~ 2.30V in .05V or .10V increments
DRAM Timing Control: SPD, 4 Options
NB Voltage: 1.25V ~1.45 in .05V increments
SB Voltage: 1.50V ~1.70 in .05V increments
Memory Slots: Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 8GB Total
Expansion Slots: 1 - PCIe X16
2 - PCIe X1
2 - PCI Slots 2.3
Onboard SATA/RAID: 6 SATA 3Gbps Ports - Intel ICH8R
(RAID 0,1,1+0,5,JBOD)
2 SATA 3Gbps Ports - JMicron JM363
(RAID 0,1,JBOD)
2 SATA 3Gbps Ports - Silicon Image 3132
Onboard IDE: 1 Standard ATA133/100/66/33 Port (2 drives)
JMicron JMB363
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394: 10 USB 2.0 Ports - 4 I/O Panel 6 Headers
2 Firewire 400 Ports by TI TSB43AB23
Onboard LAN: Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Realtek RTL 8168
Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC882D HD-Audio 8-channel CODEC
Power Connectors: ATX 24-pin, 4-pin EATX 12V, 4-pin 12V Molex
I/O Panel: 1 x Serial
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x RJ45
1 x eSATA
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
2 x S/PDIF (1 optical in, 1 optical out)
8-Channel Audio I/O
BIOS Revision: AWARD M516A-11

Abit has delivered a well optioned but performance oriented P965 board that should sell for around US $142 or under. While our BIOS is still beta and now includes full memory configuration capability, we were surprised at the stability of the BIOS during our benchmarking. We certainly believe that future BIOS releases will extract additional performance from this board, but it basically works as advertised now.

Click to enlarge

Abit designed a board that has one of the more interesting layouts we have seen in the labs in a long time. While the board was very easy to install in our mid-size ATX case we did have some issues with utilizing our optical drive in the top bay due to the location of the JMicron powered IDE port that is located in between the number two PCI Express X1 slot and the number one PCI slot.

The Abit board features an excellent voltage regulator power design with high quality capacitors located in each major component section of the board that yielded superb stability during our testing with the latest beta BIOS. The Intel P965 MCH chipset is passively cooled with a low rise heatsink unit that did not interfere with any installed peripherals. This heatsink is part of the Abit Silent OTES technology that includes a heatpipe system and additional passive cooling for the VRM components. This system kept the MCH cool enough that additional chipset voltage was not a factor in our overclocking tests.

Overall, the layout is acceptable, but certainly not perfect. Abit has stated that the layout was created in part to provide better quality power signals to the various areas of the motherboard. They appear to have succeeded in this endeavor, as this is the most stable 965 motherboard we have tested so far, but routing cables to the appropriate ports can be a bit trickier than usual.

Index Overclocking and Test Setup
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  • Zebo - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    I do not understand not finding the MAX FSB of these Conroe Boards by lowering multiplier to say 6-7. Many of us want to buy a Yugo(E6300) and make a Mercedes (3000Mhz +) and with these crappy sub 400Mhz bus speeds shown here: http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/abitab9proupdat...">http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/abitab9proupdat...

    We will be unable to do so. The very best board there can crank a E6300 up to 2800Mhz? Yes or No? No probably but we will never know based on your limited info.
    Reply
  • Tujan - Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - link

    What is the least wattage power supply that would be used with these boards. For examples sake,the Abit board just reviewed ?

    700 watts is fairly large wattage. I would like to use a 450 watt high efficiency unit. Or 500 watt at the most.

    Whats the 'least' wattage power supply that you might use.? Considering you wouldn't be doing any of the tweaks,that is running the board at factory stats. [1]?

    This board is going to cost how much ? [2] Is this board in the same range as the 975s from Intel ? Or within the same range as the 945 MBs wich run the Pentium,Pentium Ds (Prescotts)?

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    quote:

    What is the least wattage power supply that would be used with these boards. For examples sake,the Abit board just reviewed ?


    What CPU? Conroe/Pentium D and a X1900XT would still justify 500w range if you expect to upgrade to the next generation video card and also overclock. Conroe and a 7800GT as an example would be fine with a high quality 400~450w power supply and still allow decent headroom for overclocking.

    quote:

    Whats the 'least' wattage power supply that you might use.? Considering you wouldn't be doing any of the tweaks,that is running the board at factory stats. [1]?


    A high quality 400w power supply would be fine, depending on the 12V rails a 350w might suffice with zero overclocking and a 7600 / X1600 level video card, all of this depends on the number of drives, cooling, and cards you add-on.

    quote:

    This board is going to cost how much ?


    At this point, $140, probably come down $125 as more boards are introduced in this price range.
    Reply
  • Tujan - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Thanks for reply. Yes probably an Antech power supply. True Power,or Smart Power HE unit. Most of my regards in builds doesn't dismiss the overclocker market. Still it is good to know what the normal configuration will require.

    7600GT,or 1600XT, Maybe a single large Sata,or two high-end Sata 3s in Raid 0. USBs in use,keyboard etc. 2 gigs of Ram. Core Duo 6300 . Creative latest sound card. DVD /DVD writer.

    144$,.. not bad for sure.
    Reply
  • xsilver - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    does this uguru bios allow on the fly overclocking without reboot? (in windows)

    actually do all motherboards pretty much allow that these days?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    It normally does, testing a new version now that works with the latest bios and P965. Hopefully, I can report on it before the 965 roundup. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    7 slot motherboards? First it dropped to 6 slots, and now it's down to 5! With dual slot GPU coolers becoming commonplace, we need all the slots we can get. Reply
  • monsoon - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    I know you CONROE overclocking dedicated article is still on the way; I just wanted to mention I'm one among those who would rather see the E6600 results rather than the E6700 or other, if we have to choose one CPU only.

    ...Also, do you think an overclocking comparison between MEROM and CONROE ( and YONAH ) is coming in the future ?

    Thanks for another great article; I'll be drooling until one of those chips is in my hands...

    ;)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    Right now, E6600 chips would top out at the same spot on most motherboards. The boards are holding back the E6700, not the CPU - except for the ASUS P5WDH, of course. So until the companies can get better OC'ing BIOS versions out, you're limited to 9x367 (roughly) with this Abit board.

    As far as comparing Merom and Conroe overclocking, that will be a bit difficult since Merom is going to fit in a different socket and won't be available for a few months more. The most we got out of Yonah on the AOpen motherboard was about 2.8 GHz, Conroe is clearly the better choice for overall performance since high end cooling is allowing people to reach 4.0 GHz and beyond. Merom could be interesting in that it will have higher multipliers so you won't need the high FSB speed support, but the inability to run Merom chips in socket 775 boards means you'll have to go for something like the AOpen board we reviewed, which is very expensive, though granted it's about the same price as most of the 975X Conroe motherboards.
    Reply
  • dugbug - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    Do you really think it will be two+ months before we see a merom laptop? What about sneek-preview laptops for review sites? Info on merom can't get here fast enough :) Reply

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