ABIT AW9D-MAX Review 4


Layout continued »

Board Layout

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

Abit has left plenty of space around the CPU socket. Only the two big heatsinks are a bit in the way when installing large CPU coolers. I tried various heatsinks including the Scythe Infinity and Zalman CNPS8800 and could install them there, even though it's sometimes a bit tricky to push down the clips.

The IO shield is reduced to a minimum to accommodate space for the Silent OTES heatsink.
You have an eSATA-II connector, PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse, dual Ethernet and four USB ports.

The motherboard's memory slots have been color coded for easy dual-channel configuration. To run your memory in dual-channel mode, you have to put the modules into slots of the same color.

The clear CMOS jumper is located near the UGuru chip, when overclocking a lot you will come to use it.

The two small switches are very useful. One is the reset button, the other one for power. When you have the board on the test bench you don't have to connect the buttons or use a screwdriver to operate the board.


The power connectors are in a fine location, very easy to get to, even with big coolers installed.

This board comes with a lot of SATA ports which are spread all over the board.

For your CD-ROM/DVD drives you have a single IDE ports available. That's fine considering it's a high-end motherboard - almost nobody uses IDE harddisks anymore. The industry is going this way. On Intel's new P965 chipset there is no IDE support implemented at all. If you, as motherboard manufacturer, want to give the users an IDE port on such boards, you will have to add an extra IDE chip.

The headers are all color coded which makes it easier to find exactly the one you are looking for.

I really like the amount and placement of the fan headers. Seven of them will be enough for everybody.
Next Page »Layout continued