Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review :: Layout and Bundle

09-26-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

The location of the floppy drive connector on the board is in one of the worst places it could possibly be on a motherboard, on the far left hand side of the board, under the PCI slot #2. This positioning of the floppy drive connector, means you need to have a long floppy drive cable on large cases. In my test station, the floppy drive cable rested on the SATA cables and the power cable for the 6800GT we use in our test station.


Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review Board Layout

Board Layout

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review South Bridge

South Bridge


Other that that little bugger of a problem, the layout is pretty good. The location of the ATX power connector is in an optimal position. The 4-pin connector is above the CPU. This position is not optimal, as the cable went over the CPU cooler. If you have a huge CPU cooler like the Gigabyte 3D Rocket cooler you'll need to route the power cable around the CPU cooler.


Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review USB headers

USB headers

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review Jumper tabs

Jumper tabs


ABIT decided to cool the South Bridge with a passive heat sink. The placement of the USB headers is on the bottom of the board, allowing easy access to a USB bracket. One especially good point of this board is ABIT includes tabs for the jumpers. Many board manufacturers include jumpers that are a pain to remove, but on ABIT's board you simply pull off the tab and it's off.


Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review LED

LED

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review System Connections

System Connections


One feature becoming more prevalent on motherboards today is a LED display. The NI8-SLI board comes with a LED that displays a series of numbers. If your computer fails to boot with a A0 error, for example that means the likely cause is there is a CPU problem. A reading of FF means the system will likely POST and be on its merry way. I had an A0 error, but after clearing the CMOS, the system booted without a problem.

Package Content

  • ABIT NI8 SLI motherboard
  • 1 IDE 80-pin cable
  • 1 Floppy drive cable
  • 6 SATA cables
  • SLI bridge
  • SLI bracket
  • AudioMax card
  • Back plate

ABIT includes a minimalist bundle with their NI8-SLI board, for the most part. While I would prefer that the company include 2 IDE cables for the IDE controller, the inclusion of all necessary SATA cables is more important, as the vast majority of hard disk drives sold today are SATA. Another thing I would have liked to have seen is the inclusion of a USB bracket.


Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review SATA Cables

SATA Cables

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review IDE Cable

IDE Cable

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review Manuals

Manuals

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review Drivers

Drivers

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review Back Plate

Back Plate

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review SLI Connector

SLI Connector

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review SLI Bracket

SLI Bracket

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review SLI Card

SLI Card


As far as included software goes the NI8-SLI comes with a floppy disc for installing SATA drivers on a fresh install of Windows, a driver CD with the drivers required for operation, and ABIT's uGuru utility. Many motherboard manufacturers to include antivirus software or hard drive partitioning software, as these are useful for new motherboard purchasers.


Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review OCGuru

OCGuru

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review OCGuru

OCGuru

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review OCGuru

OCGuru

Abit NI8-SLI Motherboard Review OCGuru

OCGuru


The AudioMax card replaces the sound jacks on the back panel I/O of the board. The ALC850 chip is on the card itself, allowing the user to add a audio card with no problem of disabling it in the BIOS beforehand. The NI8-SLI has a dedicated slot for the AUDIOMAX card. This is necessitated by the inclusion of the QTES cooling system.