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The board tops the Intel-oriented line for the moment and has corresponding package and functionality. Curiously, not being able to announce this model before the official announcement of the i925X chipset, ABIT still managed to release a solution for Socket 775, using an old but quite productive i865 chipset.
The layout is very good: a great number of field transistors is used for the power regulator, the IDE connector is laid to its side, and there is no row of connectors along the lower edge. The only disadvantage is the FDD connector allocated in such a way that its cable may be too short to reach for the floppy drive in a tall case. But then again, there aren't many people who're using this drive now, are there? The space that is freed due to the use of small-size PCIEx1 slots is definitely good for the layout. Access to some of the jumpers can be hampered when the board is installed into the case. The PCB contains no brief description of the jumpers' funtionality. The board features a POST pass indicator made as two semi-segment LEDs. The four-channel CPU voltage regulator has 12 capacitors (7 x 2200 µF, 5 x 1200 µF). The PCIEx16 bus and the memory have their voltage regulators too. The former includes 4x1000µF capacitors and is enhanced with inductive elements. The latter incorporates 6x1000µF capacitators and has inductive elements as well. With the fan installed vertically on the north bridge heatsink, ABIT seems to start implementing some BTX form factor ideas concerning the regulation of air flows inside the case.
It's not completely clear what made ABIT not solder a laid out connector via which additional +12 V could be supplied from the PSU. Maybe the company's experts are sure that each user has a new PSU with a 24-contact base cable for their board. But we think it would be much better for customers if 4-pin connectors would have been soldered. As for the rest, AA8 DuraMAX makes an impression of an excellent complete product. The board measures 305õ245 mm (full-size ATX, nine-screw mount, firm fixation). A Winbond W83L950D chip is used to control:
It seems that the era of audio connectors is beginning, as the latter comprise almost half of all connectors placed on the back panel.
The integrated audio quality was tested in 16 bits, 44 kHz, using the RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.2 test program and the Terratec DMX 6fire sound card:
|Frequency response (40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB:||+0.14, -0.17||Very good|
|Noise level, dB (A):||-88.6||Good|
|Dynamic range, dB (A):||88.7||Good|
|THD, %:||0.0031||Very good|
|IMD, %:||0.010||Very good|
|Steero crosstalk, dB:||-91.5||Excellent|
Total: Very good (details).
|Jumpers and switches||Clear CMOS jumper|
|Set of jumpers to enable/disable system boot from USB keyboard|
|BIOS, AwardBIOS version 6.00PG by Phoenix||Memory timings||+||CAS Latency, Act. To Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge Time|
|Memory frequency selection||+||Auto, DDR2-400, DDR2-533 (at FSB = 800 MHz)|
|PCI Express bus setup||+|
|PCI bus setup||-|
|PCI frequency divider setup||+||PCI = 33.33, 36.36, 40 MHz|
|PCI IRQ manual assignment||+|
|FSB frequency setup||+||100300 MHz at 1MHz increments|
|CPU core voltage control||+||Auto, 1.5751.925 V at 0.025V increments|
|Memory voltage control||+||Auto, 1.82.25 V at 0.05V increments|
|Chipset voltage control||+||1.52.05 V at 0.05V increments|
We used BIOS AA8_13.b00, the latest available version for the moment of testing. The mentioned BIOS parameters are available in the version, but the viability of non-standard settings hasn't been tested.
We have only tested one i925X-based board, so we have no information on whether its performance it typical of this chipset-based representatives.
Dmitry Mayorov (email@example.com)|
29.06.2004[an error occurred while processing this directive]