The Pentium Elite, Part 2: 955X versus nForce4 IE

Abit AW8-MAX 3rd Eye II: Large Case, And A Lot In It

Board revision: 1.0

BIOS version: 1.2

The issues of noise and cooling seem to still be very important to Abit. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that the OTES cooling system - which is responsible for cooling various components of the motherboard - functions without any moving parts in the AW8-MAX. All four components in the voltage transformer circuit are equipped with passive cooling elements, which are cooled by the same air currents produced by the processor ventilators. The same is true for the Southbridge, except that the manufacturer had to resort to a more complicated solution here. A copper heat pipe channels the waste heat produced by the 955X chips to the rear panel, where copper ribbing is serviced once again by the CPU ventilators. In practice, this setup functions well; during our tests, the Northbridge was not measurably hotter than that it was on boards made by the competition. However, because of this design, Abit had to separate out the sound system in the form of a soundcard for PCI Express.