Abit AN8 32X - nForce 4 SLI X16

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The A8N 32X motherboard ships in a flashy green box, packed with tons of extras. Two elements immediately stand out when you first see the motherboard itself. First off, the board is based on a bright orange / light red PCB color, a color scheme which Abit appears to be using for many of their enthusiast-class motherboards. Second, the board features three bright blue heatsinks which are connected via a silver heatpipe over the center of the motherboard.

    

Let's start at the core though. The Asus AN8 32X is a standard ATX sized motherboard which supports Socket-939 Athlon64 / X2 / FX / Sempron / Opteron 100-series processors at both 800 MHz and 1000 MHz HyperTransport link speeds. Knowing that a good majority of their users are overclockers (who will more often than not use large third party CPU cooling systems), Abit has left breathing room on all sizes of the CPU socket for oversized heatsinks.

     

The processor is connected to 4 x DDR DIMM sockets, which can support a supposed 8 GB of DDR-400 memory in a dual-channel configuration. 8 GB is an interesting figure, as every other Socket-939 motherboard on the market today only supports 4 GB for its maximum capacity. While 2 GB (ECC or non-ECC) DDR-400 modules are still somewhat rare on the market (most 2 GB modules are ECC/Registered, which this motherboard won't support), Abit's 8GB figure would mean that you would have to use 4 x 2 GB modules. Unfortunately, we don't have the modules here to test this claim, but we're skeptical of this maximum figure, simply because the Athlon64's memory controller typically doesn't handle more than 8 banks of memory well (8 GB of memory would typically require 16 banks). Nevertheless, interesting! The AN8 32X also supports the necessary multipliers to support DDR-433, DDR-466, and DDR-500 memory modules without overclocking, as long as you have one of the newer stepping Socket-939 processors which will support it.

Tags:  nforce, sli, x1, N8, force, Abit, x16

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