The Value Connection of 6 Intel 945P Motherboards

Abit AL8-V: For Overclockers

Board Revision: 1.0

BIOS Version: 1.4

At first glance, the glaring red Abit motherboard with the 945P chipset doesn't merely look like it's well equipped, it actually is. In our photos, you can clearly see the four phase voltage regulators that are powerful enough to use a Pentium Extreme Edition with a thermal power loss of 130 W. Likewise, it should run equally well with all the lower class Pentium processors.

There are three x1 PCI Express slots on the AL8-V, cutting down the number of 32 bit PCI slots to only two. Apart from that, the manufacturer makes use of all chipset options available, including the ICH7-R Southbridge with support for RAID 0/1/5.

The board has both an optical digital input and output for the High Definition Audio compliant sound system. Broadcom's networking chip supports Gigabit Ethernet. In addition to these features, Abit has integrated a port 80 debug and analysis module on the motherboard. It is capable of monitoring the system status and displaying a two-digit hex code. These codes can be looked up in a table and represent different steps in the startup sequence for locating the source of error in case the system does not start properly.

All connectors have color-coded sockets in order to be easily distinguished from one another (power, reset, LED etc.). The placement of the floppy connector seems somewhat odd, because if you want to attach a floppy drive that is installed in the upper section of the tower, you would need a cable that is much longer than the one included.

Again, Abit's µGuru chip is included on this motherboard. It takes control of the clock generators for overclocking and helps to control and monitor fans and system component temperatures as well. Thanks to an extensive software suite, these features can all be accessed under Windows.