Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review :: Layout and Special Features

10-14-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

Layout of the AW8-Max board is generally excellent. One especially nice placement is the 4-pin power connector. Many manufacturers make the mistake of placing this around the CPU socket, forcing the power cable to snake around the CPU cooler. ABIT placed the 4-pin power connector below the area, making for easy placement from the motherboard.


Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review 4-pin Power

4-pin Power

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review 20-pin Power

20-pin Power


One potentially bad placement is the floppy drive connector. The bottom of the board is not the best of locations in any design, as any full-size case would force a longer floppy drive cable than you would normally find being used. ABIT outfitted the board with specially designed MOSFET heatsinks, ensuring less than 50 degrees Celsius operation under full system load.


Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review S-OTES

S-OTES

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review MOSFET Heatsinks

MOSFET Heatsinks

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review South Bridge

South Bridge

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review USB Headers

USB Headers

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review FP Headers

FP Headers

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review LED

LED


As already mentioned, ABIT includes a Silent-Outside-Thermal-Exhaust-System to cool the North Bridge (955X chip). This uses heat pipe technology to draw the hot air from the 955X chip to the outside of the board instead of using a noisy heatsink/fan. In operation, the AW8-Max is very quiet. In an open air test station I only heard the CPU fan. No crashes or instability was noticed, so the Silent-OTES did its job.


Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review uGuru

uGuru

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review uGuru

uGuru

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review uGuru

uGuru

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review uGuru

uGuru

Abit AW8-MAX Motherboard Review uGuru

uGuru


ABIT lumps their overclocking features into something called uGuru. uGuru is an application used in both the BIOS of the board and in Windows. The Windows uGuru has the following special features: OC Guru, ABIT EQ, FlashMenu and Black Box. OC Guru has 6 modes for overclocking: Turbo/Normal/Quiet and User1/User2/User 3. Turbo mode gives a FSB of 220MHz. Unfortunately, due to the 3.4GHz EE we use not being a good overclocker, and this mode wasn't available. Normal Mode sets the FSB to 212MHz, and Quiet mode sets it to 204MHz. Quiet Mode was the only stable clock. I was only able to use the board in Quiet mode successfully. The ABIT EQ feature is ABIT's Fan, Temperature and Voltage monitoring application. In Windows, the EQ can monitor the temperature of the CPU, the System, PWM1-4 with current status, the High Limit and the Status displayed. Fan EQ monitors the Temperature and Voltage of the CPU, the North Bridge, the System Fan, and AUX1-5.