975X Express Motherboard Round-Up: Foxconn, Abit, and MSI
Abit AW9D-MAX: Specifications and Bundle
Next up we have Abit's AW9D-MAX. If you're a regular HotHardware reader, or a have simply been a hardcore PC enthusiast for any appreciable amount of time, Abit should be a company that needs no introduction. They have been producing enthusiast-class motherboards for over a decade, and although the company fell on hard times a couple of years ago, they're back on track thanks to a long-term strategic partnership with USI that was announced in January of '06.
Designed for Intel LGA775 processors with1066/800MHz FSB
Supports Intel Core 2 Duo(Extreme Edition) & Pentium Extreme Edition & Pentium D & Pentium 4 Processors
Supports Intel Hyper-Threading / XD-bit / EM64T / EIST Technology / Virtualization Technology
Intel Quad Core ready
Internal I/O Connectors
Back Panel I/O
The AW9D-MAX ships with a smorgasbord of accessories in its box. Abit includes a quick installation guide with the AW9D-MAX, two user's manuals (one for the motherboard itself and another for specific features like OC Guru, Abit EQ, Flashmenu and BlackBox RAID), a reference sticker, a driver CD, and three floppy discs with RAID drivers for the Intel and Silicon Image RAID controllers. The AW9D-MAX also ships with an abundance of cables and connectors including seven locking SATA cables, rounded IDE and floppy cables, and an optical audio cable. A single case bracket that houses a pair of USB and a pair of Firewire ports, a custom I/O shield (vented for OTES), an AudioMAX HD 7.1 card, and interestingly enough an SLI bridge connector round-out the package.
The AudioMAX HD 7.1 is essentially a riser card equipped with Realtek's ALC882M audio codec, and all of the requisite ports. Moving the audio codec to a separate riser card serves two purposes. One, it frees up a ton of real-estate in the board's I/O backplane, and two, it isolates the audio circuitry from the motherboard to decrease the chance of electrical noise / interference.