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Would you recommend the AB9 Pro to someone like me?

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December 21, 2006 4:20:35 AM

I've been all over the map trying to decide upon my motherboard. Any advice would be great.

I want to build an e6600 system for gaming. The thing is, this will be my first build so Im looking for a mobo that is novice friendly while still offerring good out-of-the-box and OC potential (which will also be a first for me).

I had settled on the asus PB5 Deluxe but read that it can be difficult for the uninitiated to get it up and running properly and that its manual is rather poor. The thought of that is fairly scary to me. I liked this board b/c is seemed to be well regarded and had lots of features (tho some, like WiFi, were not necessary).

So would you recommend this Abit board to a novice? For both initial set-up and eventual OC? Or is it more for an experienced enthusiast?

I really like that it has an external SATA port, something that is sorely missing from the GB DS3, which is another that I'm considering that is at a comparable price (unlike the expensive PB5-D).

Thank you very much

R

EDIT:

I should give more information. Here is what im considering:

Intel Duo e6600
2 gig DDR2 800 (tho which brand will depend on mobo, what would you recommend for the AB9 Pro?)
Seagate 320 HD
Perhaps a small Raptor for WinXP
Armor Jr Case (the aluminum one)

And I already own, but have never used, a BFG 6800 GTS PCI-E. My plan is to use this card for a while then upgrade to a DX10 card when they are more reasonably priced (I havent used it b/c my current system is AGP (ATI 9700 Pro)). Speaking of which, how much of a performance increase do you think I should expect with the new rig and the 6800? Should be pretty good, right? even tho its an old card?

Existing BFG 550 PSU (Model PT-6550NV) (also old but never used)

Thanks again! R

More about : recommend ab9 pro

December 21, 2006 5:43:27 AM

imo the AB9 is very good vfm in terms of features that you get for your $£€.
It's got very good stock performance & it's a reasonable overclocker (typically ~400fsb) but not as good as the Asus P5B or Gigabyte series which can do 500fsb.
However, with an E6600 400fsb gets you 3.6GHz ...

It's other potential flaw to some people is it's unusual layout.
With SATA optical drives now available cheaply & the JMicron controller (used by all the mobo mfrs with 965 for IDE) having it's own quirks it's probably worth springing the $30/£20 for one.

Ultimately the P5B Deluxe is the better board for an overclocker but in the UK at least it's ~35% dearer than the AB9 Pro & only you can decide if it's worth that to you.

Btw the AB9 has far better hardware/fan monitoring & control than the Gigabyte series (I've got a DS4).

P.S. there's a raft of new 965 boards coming incl. the AB9 QuadGT from abit
December 21, 2006 5:49:55 AM

The performance on your 6800 should be better than that of your 9700, im not sure what your budget is, but I would go for the ABIT AW9-D, which is a great OC'er and is around $190'ish, not sure of the exact amount, but the layout is great and has been stable in many builds that I have done for customers! Plus you can drop a quad core in that puppy later on down the road, which is always nice if they are able to trully optimize games for that many cores well enough to make a significant difference!

Best,

3Ball
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December 21, 2006 6:11:57 AM

Thanks a lot guys. Great info.

As far as budget goes, im not really limited. Naturally, i dont want to pay for features that im not going to use (WiFi, SLI/Crossfire), but i will if thats what it takes to get the right board.

For OCing, ive never done it before so my feeling is that I would not push it very far. Its more important to me that its good out of the box and perhaps has user-friendly (read novice) software OC offered.

Doesnt the AB9 Pro support Quad Core? I thought it did. Actaully, i read that all 965 boards did. Tho there is probably a big difference between "supported" and optimized.

Any opinions of the AB9 Pro and AW9-D ease of use for a noob? Hows the documentation, etc?

EDITED: to remove the double-negative and other clarification/typos, damn its late
December 21, 2006 6:31:02 AM

I had read about the unusual placement of the IDE controller, but I figured Id just get a longer cable if necessary. But youre suggesting other problems with the JMicron. I've read other rumblings of issues with the JMicron, but nothing very concrete.

Which sata optical would you recommend? Do they actually offer better performance? If so, then the xtra cost is justifiable. If not, well....
December 21, 2006 5:12:10 PM

Well since it is your first time the Uguru software is great OC'ing software, but I would still recommend doing it in the bios...alil guess and check and u will get the drift of it pretty quick. Anyways, if the AB9 Pro does if fact support quad core as well then I would say go for it, because I am pretty sure you wont be needing more than 380mhz or so for the OC since this is your first time and that would be taking it to 3.42ghz, which is pretty high up there. Assuming u would probably use air?

Best,

3Ball
December 21, 2006 5:56:07 PM

Hi,
Fantastic mobo, everything perfect.
Easy to setup and config, and of course has S/PDIF output - but also has S/PDIF input (which other brands don't have).
Very solid and cool-running mobo!
'Default' memory voltage setting provides 2.0V (fantastic).
My rig has never locked-up, not once, not yet heheh...
Of course I am a huge fan of ABit anyway, but this is a great product.
Better than DS3 for sure (dunno why they are popular).
Regards
December 21, 2006 6:08:51 PM

Have you OC'ed at all, OGS?

Best,

3Ball
December 21, 2006 6:19:43 PM

I don't know if any 965P board can be considered suitable for OC newcomers but since you've been reading up on this board, you should be well enough armed to give it a go. One unusual thing that I've run into is a Windows ME/DOS 8.0(?) boot CD that I used to use on previous systems no longer works properly, somehow the old ATAPI drivers do not see the CD drive properly through the southbridge so my utilities won't load.

Please keep in mind that the AB9Pro is not fond of OCZ memory. I have the Patriot Low Latency DDR2 800 running 4-4-4-12 with E6400 @ 3.28 GHz (410x8). On BIOS 14, I had a slight problem with the boot drive getting corrupted every 3 weeks or so, and that was only @ 3.2GHz (400x8), but now on BIOS 15, it seems much more stable, though I had to bump up the MCH voltage a bit to see IDE 3 & 4 properly now.

If you use the AB9Pro with an Antec P180 case, expect a traffic jam of SATA and power cables near the area of the SATA ports on the motherboard. Also, be advised that this board flexes a little more than most other boards I've used in the past, so carefully support under the CPU from the underside when attaching the CPU heatsink/fan -- you don't want to blow trace.

HTH
December 21, 2006 7:27:20 PM

Just curious is to if anyone knows what the differences are with the AB9 and the AB9 Pro, and if they OC the same or not? Thx

Best,

3Ball
December 21, 2006 7:39:57 PM

I've read a bit more now about the AB9 Pro and I have to say I'm really liking this board.

I havn't yet completely confirmed that it supports Quad Core, however. The Abit website says its "Quad Core Ready", but that wording seems suspicious to me. Similar to saying a TV is "HD-Ready", perhaps. Can anyone confirm?

The only other possible negative I notice about this board is that does not have an PCI-E 4X slot. But this would only be used for weak SLI, right? If so, then I don't care.

Oh and yes I will be using air cooling, so my OC capability would be limited regardless.
December 21, 2006 7:51:30 PM

Yes, it would have been nice to trade a PCI slot for a PCIe 4x to give it a little more versatility.
December 21, 2006 8:05:12 PM

Great tip about this board flexing, btw. Thanks.
December 21, 2006 9:02:33 PM

Get the Gigabyte. My opinion is that it will give you less headaches setting up and it overclocks real well. If you need an external SATA you can add one later. Plenty of open slots, and plenty internal SATA.

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3. Easy for your first build.

This also has a really good set-up guide.
December 22, 2006 2:51:24 PM

Quote:
Just curious is to if anyone knows what the differences are with the AB9 and the AB9 Pro, and if they OC the same or not?


ICH8 southbridge on AB9 & ICH8R (R for RAID) on AB9 Pro.
They should overclock the same.
http://abit-usa.com/products/mb/comparison.php


Quote:

I havn't yet completely confirmed that it supports Quad Core, however. The Abit website says its "Quad Core Ready", but that wording seems suspicious to me. Similar to saying a TV is "HD-Ready", perhaps. Can anyone confirm?

well, Intel have recently tightened up the specs for quad core.
My DS4 V1.0 is "quad ready", the new V2.0 is "quad optimised" but as to what that will actually mean in practice ...

Quote:
The only other possible negative I notice about this board is that does not have an PCI-E 4X slot. But this would only be used for weak SLI, right? If so, then I don't care.

SLI isn't officially supported, Crossfire is although there would be a performance drop on x16/x4 compared to dual x8 - Anandtech did an article.
December 22, 2006 4:28:35 PM

Thanks, Buff.

So yeah, then I don't care about the lack of a 4X slot b/c I won't use dual GPU.

Great info about the quad core capability or possible lack thereof. This isn't very surprising and actually makes this selection easier b/c now I dont have to care about that either. When it comes time to upgrade, I will want a new mobo regardless.
December 24, 2006 2:41:28 PM

Quote:
Have you OC'ed at all, OGS?

Oh yeah, I've been OCing (mostly AMD) since the 1980's...
All you need to do with these Core2 CPUs is to raise the FSB a lousy 33MHz, from 266 to 300MHz, and you reach the next faster CPU rating!
For me that's 2.4GHz (ie. E6600) speed.
333MHz FSB is also easy, and matches DDR2-667 memory perfectly. You can OC these rigs without even needing DDR2-800, heheh...
But for me it's all about low heat, low electric power, low noise, and tight memory latency timings. My memory runs 3-4-4-10 @ 2.0V
So I run EIST (SpeedStep) and all default mobo and CPU voltages!
Heat is the enemy :twisted:
Therefore I just leave it @ 300MHz (FSB1200), it's bloody fast enough already...
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