ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review :: ABIT AW8D Features

07-21-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Abit AW8D Spec Sheet
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Part NumberAW8D
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ChipsetIntel 975X Express ICH7R
North BridgeIntel 82975X MCH
SocketLGA775 Socket
Processor TypesPentium 4 HT Extreme Ed., Pentium D
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1066/800/533MHz
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory8GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeIntel 82801GR ICH7R
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
FirewireIEEE 1394a
Expansion Slots
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

The 975X chipset supports all current Intel CPUs based upon the LGA-775 platform. The new Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Duo CPUs are not supported due to a requirement for a new PWM. New ABIT boards have been announced to support the Conroe CPUs, the AB9 and the . The ABIT AW8D Max supports everything up to the 965 Extreme Edition CPUs, however. Other 975X boards work well with Core 2 CPUs, so it's a little disappointing that this one will not.

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review memory slots

memory slots

There are four DIMMs (Dual In-line Memory Modules) on the AW8D board. The 975X chipset supports up to 8GB of DDR2 memory. 32-bit operating systems can address a maximum of 4 GB of memory, so to run 8GB of memory you need Windows XP 64-bit or Linux 64-bit. DDR2 667, 533 and 400MHz memory is supported. The latest DDR2 memory is rated for 1067MHz, but no boards support it officially yet.

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review Expansion


ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review Dual PCI Express slots

Dual PCI Express slots

Intel's 975X chipset supports Crossfire with ATI cards. Crossfire normally requires a ATI Crossfire Edition card and another card of the same type (i.e. Crossfire X1900+X1900XTX). To facilitate Crossfire support, the AW8D comes with 2 PCI Express x16 slots. In Crossfire mode each slot runs in x8 mode, as the 975X chipset doesn't support more than 22 lanes for the PCI Express bus. To round out the device expansion the board comes with two PCI Express x1 slots a PCI slot and a AUDIOMAX slot.

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review 2 SATA ports

2 SATA ports

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review FDD Port

FDD Port

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review IDE port

IDE port

ABIT decided to outfit the board with 6 SATA ports. Four ports are controlled by Intel's ICH7R chip and 2 are controlled by a Silicon Image Sil 3132, their latest SATA controller on the market. The Silicon Image chip runs off the PCI Express bus, giving it more bandwidth than the normal PCI bus. RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 modes are supported by the RAID controllers. For legacy drive support a PATA controller and a floppy drive controller are included.

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review AUDIOMAX slot


Onboard audio on the ABIT board is provided by a REALTEK ALC882 CODEC. ABIT takes a slightly different approach to onboard audio from their competition. They put all of the audio components on a card they call the AudioMax 7.1 HD. AudioMax 7.1 HD has a REALTEK ALC882 chip on the card instead of the motherboard. This also saves room on the back panel I/O as the jacks are on the card.

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review I/O


ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review 3/4 view of I/O

3/4 view of I/O

The back panel I/O on the board is different than most motherboards on the market today. The inclusion of AUDIOMAX meant there is extra room on the rear back panel. The ports on the rear are one PS/2 Mouse port, a PS/2 Keyboard port, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 RJ45 jacks for the LAN, and ABIT's Silent OTES cooling system rear grill.