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

Abit AW8-MAX 3rd Eye II, Continued

The motherboard ran well, just as we have come to expect from Abit. Once again, the µGuru chip (including compatible software) is used, which enables convenient over-clocking and first-class monitoring of vital functions. One reason for the rather cumbersome case is the µGuru Clock. This is a device somewhat similar to a radio alarm clock, which accesses the µGuru chip through USB. It displays - and to some extent regulates - system functions. In addition, the device can display the room temperature, or the time, as long as the computer has stand-by power available to it.

As part of its clever design, the µGuru clock is set up as a separate USB audio device, so it can be selected as a sound device for programs like Skype, and used for Internet-telephony independently of the 7.1 HD sound system. The intelligent alarm comes with the appropriate jacks, and the controls are adapted to Skype or MSN, so that a call can be easily answered. The µGuru clock also handles measurements from the integrated Port 80 module, so that system diagnosis can now be done without crawling under the table. But all this functionality has its price: there are no legacy serial or parallel interfaces.

With seven fan connections, Abit has set a new record. Firewire interfaces are a must in this product category, and the manufacturer enables Firewire B on this board with speeds up to 800 MBit/s.