Abit's Fatal1ty: Motherboards Go Premium

Motherboard Details

The basic technical specifications of the AA8XE do not differ very much from other 925XE motherboards. Abit supports all Socket 775 P4 processors up to model 570 at 3.8 GHz, as well as future 600 series P4 CPUs with 2 MB L2 cache. For memory, there are four DIMM sockets that accommodate DDR2-533 RAM. However, if you plan to overclock your system, be sure to purchase faster DDR2-667 memory, since the memory clock increases whenever the FSB clock is raised.

One downside of the Fatal1ty board is that there are only two 32 Bit PCI slots, which limits upgrade options. Offsetting this is the fact that the most important components have been integrated onto the board itself. There are four Serial ATA ports, one UltraATA/100 channel, a Firewire-400 connector, a total of eight USB 2.0 ports, and a High Definition Audio compliant sound system which also carries Dolby Digital certification. All connectors have been placed onto a little daughter board called AudioPure in order to avoid audio interference caused by high frequency noise on the motherboard.

Abit also did not forget network connectivity, placing on the board both a 100 MBit Ethernet chip and a Gigabit-capable companion. The slower connection uses PCI, while the faster is attached via x1 PCI Express.

The µGuru is based on a little add-on chip that controls overclocking and system monitoring. Abit also placed hardware power and reset buttons on the board.

The North Bridge is cooled by a little fan. However, this is only necessary when overclocking the system.