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Looking ahead to Intel's 925XE chipset and FSB1066

Abit AA8 - 925X

BIOS Version: AA8_13.B00

Compared to the Asus boards, the overclocking options in the Abit board reveals more finesse. For instance, you can choose from 15 voltage settings ranging from 1.3625 and 1.7215 V for the CPU. The options for DDR2 are even more interesting: while Asus offers 1.8 to 2.1 V, Abit enables 0.05V increments between 1.8 and 2.25V. This could prove to be useful, since DDR2 memory requires additional voltage at clock rates above 350 MHz. Abit does not restrict the voltage supply to the Northbridge to 1.5 or 1.6V, and instead allows for a maximum of 2.05V. This in turn could be too much of a good thing. Unfortunately, the voltage options can only be selected automatically as a group or manually.

A disadvantage of the µGuru chip that Abit uses to control all system functions is that it is deeply integrated in the architecture. The advantages for monitoring and controls turn out to be an inconvenience for your existing Windows installation - you cannot port your Windows system to or from this board and will have to re-install it each time.

A nice touch in the BIOS is the "Power Cycle Statistics" item, where Abit stores the uptime and the number of power and reset cycles, making it a kind of odometer for the motherboard.