The product: Starting with the motherboard design, we must say it’s a successful one. Designs are a matter of taste, but in my eyes the black and blue colors is good together with the cobber colored cooling profiles on the motherboard.
After looking at the design and colors, it’s time to dig deeper into details. The first thing you notice is the large passive cooling profiles around the Northbridge. Luckily this doesn’t mean you’ll have less space around the CPU, which the new digital PWM generation might have affected. This is only an assumption as the used stock cooler doesn’t exactly pack the biggest heatsink, but from experience it can be said that larger heatsinks shouldn’t be a problem.
Everywhere on the motherboard, Abit uses ”Solid state” capacitors, which works with very tight tolerances and the lifetime is on the right side of 40.000 hours. Besides the fact that the board is packed with quality components, the board has also been equipped with Abits Uguru chip. Abit states that this little chip makes it easier to control and check fans, power and temperatures. A closer look into the BIOS will reveal if this is true.
Below the Uguru chip a two digit display can be found. The idea has been seen before, and is a supplement for the “beep codes” the BIOS returns at boot. It’s easier to locate the errors by using these codes, since there’s a code for almost every error. Abit has packed multiple pages in the manual with error code descriptions. As the picture reveals the code “FF” is shown when everything is working.
Next step is the Southbridge where the PCI sockets is placed. As mentioned previously there are two PCI-E x16 slots with PCIe 2.0 support and a slower x4 socket. The space between them is good, and you shouldn’t have any problems with fitting even the thickest crossfire setup.