Returning to the crux of the matter, which chipset is the better option today? After testing nearly identical platforms based on the new Intel P35 Express and the nicely aged Intel P965 chipset, we would definitely opt for the P35 Express. While the differences between the two boards and chipsets is not incredibly large, the P35 Express clearly is a better product for the money today, in terms of performance, overclockability, and even for environmental reasons.
Currently, Abit’s Intel P35 Express based platform (IP35 Pro) is selling for about $30 more in comparison to their new P965 board (AB9 QuadGT), which makes deciding a product a bit more difficult. For an extra $30, IP35 Pro buyers receive a board with full 1333 MHz FSB support, an additional Gigabit Ethernet port, better cooling, an additional two USB 2.0 ports, and greater overclocking abilities. In addition, we found that the P35 Express platform consumed less power and ran cooler in comparison to the P965, which is definitely a worthwhile aspect to mention.
Considering the chipset’s age, the Intel P965 based AB9 QuadGT still holds up quite well in today’s environment. For the most part, all of the core features which are required for a modern high-end system are there, and now that Abit has added 1333 MHz FSB support through a BIOS update, the platform should be able to carry on for quite a long time. We were somewhat disappointed in the board’s overclocking abilities, but we still would have no problem recommending it for a new system configuration. Given the choice between the two boards, however, if you've got the funds, opting for the newer IP35 Pro is the way to go.
Both boards boast exceptional designs, both from functional and aesthetic points of view, and we really like Abit’s SilentOTES noiseless cooling systems. Abit’s latest boards are showing far more refinement and class in comparison to some of their boards in the past, which we’re very glad to see. With Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte launching exceptionally complicated designs, it’s refreshing to see new board launches which are streamlined and relatively clean. Both boards are definitely recommended.
Abit IP35 Pro
Abit AB9 QuadGT