ABIT Fatal1ty AA8XE

ABIT Fatal1ty AA8XE

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Board Layout


Click here for a 3000x2500 high-res shot of the board (3 MB download).


When you look at the board, the first you will notice, is the massive OTES cooling system which helps to keep the power regulation MOSFETs cool. A problem I see here, is that the OTES takes a lot of space on the board and makes installing CPU coolers difficult. Also some of the huge new coolers might not fit. Mounting screws for waterblocks are a bit harder to get in there as well.


On the backside you can spot something ABIT calls "OC Strips". These copper strips are designed to draw heat away from the CPU socket area.


A lot of the backside connector space is taken away by the two OTES fans, but the all important connectors are there.

Connectors


Both the ATX 24-pin motherboard power connector and the ATX12V power connector are placed very conveniently. Actually I would say they are in the best imaginable location.


The only Parallel ATA connector is located right below the ATX power connector, also in a good location, because it is not far from there to the harddisks in a standard ATX case.
Personally I do not like the angled connector because it is rather hard to get the cable out, when there is little space next to the motherboard. But that is personal preference. Other people praise this style of connector, since it reduces cable cluttering a bit and makes cable origami even easier.


A bit uncommon is the placement of the FDD connector, but since not many people use floppy drives anyways, this is no issue at all.


The color scheme of the Reset/Power/LED connectors helps finding the right pins when installing the board the first time.


I find the numbering scheme of the SATA connectors a bit odd, but not really a problem.


A really nice feature for overclockers are those small buttons on the motherboard, which work as power and reset button. Finally, no more need to have a screwdriver lying around to power on the motherboard.

Slots


The PCI-Express x16 slot has a latch, which holds the video card securely on quick builds outside of a case. When using a two slot video card cooler, you will probably lose access to the PCI-E x1 slots.


The last slot on the bottom is for the add-in audio card. This was neccessary because the OTES cooling takes so much space on the rear panel, that there was no space left for the audio ports. ABIT also claims that this improves sound quality.


This is the uGuru controller chip. It monitors voltages, fan speeds, temperatures and manages the clock generator and fan outputs.


The POST display helps you track down problems with your system when it is not booting or hangs at early initialization stages.
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