ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review :: ABIT AW8D Layout

07-21-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

The layout of the board is mostly good with a few tradeoffs for the included features of the board. The 4-pin power connector is on the lower edge of the board, allowing the user to snake the power cord directly from the power supply. The 24-pin ATX power connector is in the normal place.


ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review 4-pin power

4-pin power

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review Silent OTES

Silent OTES

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review Rear heatsink

Rear heatsink

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review North Bridge

North Bridge

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review South Bridge

South Bridge


The CPU area is clear of obstacles. Almost any CPU cooler on the market for Intel CPUs can be installed without issue. The capacitors are located in neat rows. The MOSFETs have heat sinks, keeping these notorious warm components cool in operation. ABIT decided to cool the North Bridge with a heatsink with a cooling pipe leading to another heatsink that draws the air out of the case. This solution has a big advantage over normal cooling: silent operation (no fan).


ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review USB Headers

USB Headers

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review Firewire

Firewire

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review LED

LED

ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review Front Panel connectors

Front Panel connectors


The memory slots are positioned in the normal area under the CPU socket. Long video cards will block one of the memory slots, so removal and insertion of memory might require removal of the video card first. There are two headers for USB brackets on the board and one header for an additional IEEE-1394 Firewire bracket. ABIT decided to include a LED with status numbers. If there's a problem, the number on the LED will likely indicate where it is. The Front Panel connections are clearly labeled and color coded)


Fan headers


ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review
ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review
ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review
ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review


ABIT AW8D Motherboard Review MOSFETs

MOSFETs


One odd placement is the 4-pin Molex connector. ABIT chose to place it on the far end of the board meaning you need to snake a power cord from the power supply, across the CPU cooler, both ATI video cards (if Crossfire is enabled it is recommended to use the Molex connector for stability) and across any other installed cards. Another oddity is the placement of the FDD connector near that Molex connector. The FDD cable needs to go around or over the video cards from the floppy drive to use.