Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review :: The Board

03-05-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Abit AN8 32X Spec Sheet
Powered by MOBOT
Motherboard Photo
Part NumberAN8 32X
ManufacturerAbit
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetNvidia nForce4 SLI X16
North BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI X16 MCP
SocketSocket 939
Processor TypesAthlon 64X2, Athlon 64FX, Athlon 64
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1GHz HyperTransport Bus Link
Memory TypeDDR
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory8GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI MCP
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireIEEE 1394a
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
BIOSAWARD
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

The nForce4 SLI x16 chipset supports all current AMD Athlon 64 Socket 939 CPUs, including the 4800+, the FX-60, and the single-core CPUs on the market. AMD is set to release a new Socket chipset later this year in the AM2, but for now, all the high-end CPUs are supported.


Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review CPU Socket area

CPU Socket area

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review DIMM slots

DIMM slots


ABIT outfitted the board with 4 DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) slots. This brings the memory supported on the memory to 4GB of unbuffered non-ECC DDR memory. AMD will move to DDR2 later in the year with their AM2 Socket, but at the moment, DDR memory is the only memory supported on the AMD platform. 4GB is the normal amount on motherboards today, as 32-bit Windows can only address 4GB.


Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review PCI Express slots

PCI Express slots

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review PCI slots

PCI slots

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review PCI Express lock

PCI Express lock

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review Dual PCI Express x16 slots

Dual PCI Express x16 slots


Expansion on the board is dominated by the fact there are 2 PCI Express x16 slots on the board. The nForce4 x16 chipset supports dual x16 lanes on the chipset. Previous SLI chipsets supported dual x8 lanes, due to the 20 lane limitation of the chipset. NVIDIA introduced the x16 chipset to allow full use of 2 x16 slots. Whether it makes any difference in applications is another story.


Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review 2 SATA ports

2 SATA ports

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review PATA ports

PATA ports

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review Floppy drive port

Floppy drive port


Drive expansion on the board is excellent. There are 6 SATA ports on the board, 2 above the normal seen on most motherboards. SATA has replaced the IDE port for hard drives and there are even SATA CD-ROM drives on the market today. Some manufacturers build boards with 8 or even 10 SATA ports, but there usually aren't 10 drive bays in a case. ABIT includes two IDE ports and a floppy drive port to round out the drive expansion on the board.


Realtek Audio shots


Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review
Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review
Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review
Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review
Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review
Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review


Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review Audio Jacks

Audio Jacks

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review Realtek ALC850 CODEC

Realtek ALC850 CODEC


Onboard audio is provided by the Realtek ALC850 CODEC. This CODEC supports 7.1 Surround-Sound; which means you would have front left, front right, left surround, right surround, rear left, rear right, and Center and Subwoofer speakers. NVIDIA has introduced HDA (High Definition Audio) into their GeForce 6150 motherboards, but HDA is not available with current nForce4 x16 motherboards.


Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review Rear I/O USB

Rear I/O USB

Abit AN8 32X Motherboard Review Vitesse PHY

Vitesse PHY


The back panel I/O ports on the board include the standard PS/2 Mouse and Keyboard ports, 6 jacks for the onboard audio, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a RJ45 jack for the LAN, a Firewire port, a S/PDIF In and a S/PDIF Out port. Missing from the package is a Parallel port; however, most printers today use the USB 2.0 interface, so the need for the Parallel Port is diminished anyways in most situations.