I'm in the market for an 865/875 motherboard, and so far the Abit IC7-G is in the lead, except that I have read criticisms on this website and elsewhere of its Northbridge fan (noisy, with a too-small heatsink). I just read the "Motherboard Tsunami" article and it mentioned that Abit is starting to ship an improved HSF with the board.
yeah, also over on the ABIT forums, there's been several people say that the NB HSF has FALLEN OFF ... i'm not kidding. so, there's fixes over there on that too. maybe they fixed it with this new version.
i have only seen the new NB HSF in reviews and have e-mailed NewEgg but they don't know when/what they get until they get it. So... waiting until it comes.
also - if you go to the abit forums (it might be down now - was earlier), you might see other postings on how some mods were made to make it passive. kinda cool.
btw... i have an ic7-g(see below) and love it. also, i have an is7 and it seems good too.
IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2
I built a rig with this mobo in it for a customer of mine. I couldn't even hear the fan, so im not sure if I either lucked out, or the other posters are anal. I used stock fan, and 5 pc power and cooling 80mm silencer fans. I couldn't even tell the system was running it was so quiet. That mobo was rock solid, no problems with it whatsoever.
What I learned though about this mobo:
1) Use a quality power supply, Either Fortron, Antec, or Enermax.
2) Be VERY careful on your memory choice. I chose Corsair pc3200, the regular one, not the Low Latency LL version. There have been many problems with these, but they might have been corrected by recent bios versions. I built this box over 1 1/2 months ago.
3) When you install it, RELAX THE MEMORY TIMINGS IMMEDIEATELY, as in the first boot up. Don't chance it. Set everything very slow, and then work yourself up.