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ABIT AW8-Max Mainboard Review

Today, We will be taking a look at the latest Intel Mainboard from Abit, the AW8-Max. Featuring the latest Q-OTES Technology from ABIT, a fanless solution designed for the enthusiast, let’s take a closer look and uncover it’s potential.

Abit has always taken pride with innovation and overclocking capabilities on
their boards. Since the introduction of the OTES (Outside Thermal Exhaust System),
a special thermal system designed to cool ctritical components around the PWM
area of the motherboard, Abit engineers has taken great pains to further improve
the system to give consumers the best cooling solution and meanwhile, keeping
noise generated by the system at minimal. Today, We will be taking a look at
the latest Intel Mainboard from Abit, the AW8-Max. It featuring the latest Q-OTES
Technology from Abit, a quiet solution designed for the overclocking enthusiast.
Before we go into details, let’s take a look at the specifications of the mainboard.


CPU Support Socket 775 for Intel Pentium XE/ D / Pentium 4 / Celeron Intel(r) EM64T
/ EIST Intel(r) Hyper-Threading Technology ready New power design supports
Intel(r) next generation 04B/04A & 05B/05A CPU
Memory Support 4 x DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR2 667/533/400, non-ECC, un-buffered or buffered
memory Dual Channel Architecture
Chipset Intel 955X, ICH7R
Expansion Slots

1 x PCI-Express x16 for VGA
2 x PCI-Express x1 for peripherals
2 x PCI 32bit/33MHz
1 x AudioMAX expansion slot

Audio 8 Channel Intel Azalia High-Definition Audio via Abit AudioMax Expansion
featuring Realtek ALC882M
IDE 1 x ATA100 via ICH7R
SATA 4 x SATA via Intel ICH7R southbridge
2 x SATA II via Silicon Image 3132 PCI-Express Controller
Networking 2 x Broadcom BCM5789KFB PCI-Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
RAID RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 10 via Silicon Image 3132 SATA RAID Controller
RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel Matrix Storage technology via ICH7R
Firewire TI TSB81BA3/TSB82AA2 3 port transreciever/OHCI LLC providing 1x IEEE1394a
& 2x IEE1394b ports
USB 2.0 4 on rear panel, 4via onboard headers, 8 in total
Power Connector 24pin+4pin ATX
Form Factor ATX, 12″ x 9.6″ (30.5cm x 24.5cm)
BIOS 4 Mb PhoenixBIOS Flash ROM

Some initial impressions about the board: The Q-Otes system is pretty ingenious,
Abit made use of a heatpipe heatsink to dissipate heat from the northbridge
chipset to a copper heatsink found on the IO panel of the mainboard. Apart from
that, Abit also stuck heatsinks on the MOSFETs around the PWM area to dissipate
heat. A couple of pretty impressive stock cooling solution provided by Abit.

Apart from the bunch of heatsinks Abit included onboard, Another notable mention
is the existence of both Firewire 400 and 800 onboard.
Abit used a TI TSB81BA3 three port cable transreciever that’s both Firewire a
and b capable for the single IEEE1394a port, coupled up with a TSB82AA2 OHCI LLC for another 2 IEEE1394 ports.

Let’s go on and look at the features of the board in detail.

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