Conclusion: Fatal1ty Is Looming Large
When it comes to the number of on-board features and add-ons, the Fatal1ty AA8XE is not very special at all compared to other Socket 775 motherboards . Despite this, Abit is blazing a new trail with this new board. In the area of overclocking, the Fatal1ty has a potential at least equal to that of the Asus P5AD2 and P5GD2 motherboards. In fact, some sites on the net have already reported reaching FSB clocks well over 300 MHz. We can confirm its overclocking abilities up to about 300 MHz; unfortunately, there are no processors available that would let us really test the limits of this new motherboard.
Aside from the noise-reducing audio system, the Firewire chip and the twin network controllers, Abit more or less sticks to the feature level that Intel provides with the 925X/XE and the ICH6R chipset chips. That includes SATA RAID including MatrixRAID, PCI Express interfaces, High Definition Audio and DDR2 memory support.
The performance numbers we measured during our benchmark lie within the expected range, and compete directly with those of other top brand motherboards. We have to admit that we did not expect anything less, given the huge expectations that were riding on this board. We also found that the OTES cooling system delivered noise levels that were certainly tolerable. The only thing we can't help but consider unnecessary is the RAMFlow cooling device. DDR2 memory works fine with 1.8 to 2.1V and usually does not get even close to hot.
The Fatal1ty AA8XE is a motherboard that will please users who are looking for a solid board with impressive overclocking capabilities. Our expectations are pretty high now, which leaves us to wonder: what will be the next product released under the Fatal1ty brand?