nForce 650i SLI Shoot-Out: MSI P6N SLI vs Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI
Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI - The Board
The Fatal1ty brand is dominated by two colors: black and red. It's no surprise, then, that the Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI's PCB is red, and the connectors/slots are all red or black. Even the three heatsinks (one for the northbridge, southbridge and PWM) are black, and two of them sport Fatal1ty logos.
The Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI features two PCI Express x16 slots and two PCI Express x1 slots. Like other nForce 650i SLI motherboards, the second PCI Express x16 slot operates at x8 mode when SLI technology is used. In addition to the PCI Express slots, Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI includes two regular PCI slots. In the opposite corner of the board, you will see four DDR2 DIMM slots. To take advantage of dual-channel memory, you will need to populate two slots of the same color.
In the storage department, the Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI offers the same set of connectors as the MSI P6N SLI Platinum: four SATA 3Gb/s ports, two IDE connectors, and a single floppy connector. While the Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI does not feature a CMOS reset button, it does sport onboard power and reset buttons, which you can see next to the SATA ports in the first picture below (they are the small yellow and brown buttons). This is another nice touch that we'd like to see more manufacturers implement.
We don't have any major gripes about the layout of the board, and we were happy to see that the CPU socket has plenty of clearance for robust cooling solutions.
We found the rear panel I/O to be rather simple, but it's no surprise considering the gaming-oriented target audience for this board. Gamers most likely won't need a parallel or serial port. Plus, we can appreciate a simple, clean layout. In the picture below, you can see the following connectors: PS/2 mouse, PS/2 keyboard, digital optial audio out, six analog audio jacks, four USB 2.0 ports, and an RJ45 LAN port.