Abit Fatality AN9 32X nForce 590 SLI Motherboard
Inside the well designed box full of motherboard extras and goodies lies the board itself, protected under a layer of clear plastic, which lets potential buyers see the board's main features before grabbing it off the store shelf. Just like everything under the Fatality brand, the board is based off a deep red and black color schema, which gives the board a terrific look. Typically, motherboard makers use bright colors and flashy text for "gamers" products, but this board has a great understated appeal to it.
From the left side ...
.. and from the right.
The board is based off a standard ATX form factor design and requires a 24-pin ATX connector and a 4-pin secondary +12V ATX connector. Both of these connectors are placed on the edge of the PCB for easy routing and to avoid any airflow reduction. There is a 4-pin Molex power connector located between the Northbridge and primary PCI Express x16 slot, which allows for additional power to the motherboard when SLI configurations are used. If you only have a single graphics card, you don't need to use this connector.
The Nvidia nForce 590 SLI chipset is comprised of two physical chips, the Northbridge which is cooled by a simple tall aluminum alloy heatsink, along with the Southbridge which has a smaller aluminum heatsink and is connected to a heatpipe. The heatpipe wraps around the motherboard and connects to another heatsink near the top of the motherboard, which sits on the motherboard's VRM (voltage regulator) components, which can get exceptionally hot. This heatsink sits right next to two 40mm fans which make up Abit's OTES GT (Outside Thermal Exhaust System) cooling system. While heatpipe coolers aren't anything new, Abit's dual-fan system should help provide additional cooling for those who want to overclock. Typically, 40mm fans can be quite loud, although Abit allows for these fan speeds to be controlled in the BIOS, giving you the option to run them at nearly inaudible levels (or full-speed, if you want lower temperatures).
The heatsinks around the CPU socket also receive residual airflow from the CPU cooler. The CPU socket is a standard Socket-AM2 layout with AMD's heatsink retention mechanism surrounding it. The board supports Athlon64/X2/FX Socket-AM2 processors. Abit leaves plenty of room around the CPU socket, which is good for those who want to use larger/oversized heatsinks. Directly to the right of the CPU socket are four DDR2 memory banks, capable of handling up to 8GB of DDR2-667/800 memory. The board supports dual-channel DDR2 operation (as all Socket-AM2 motherboards do, as the memory controller is integrated into the processor), which allows for up to 12.8 GB/s of memory bandwidth when two or more memory modules are installed.