Abit IN9 32X-Max Wi-Fi Motherboardccokeman -
Finally, we get to see the heart of this beast. This board features three full size PCIe slots to allow for SLI as well as the installation of a physics processor, and a full 40 PCIe lanes that are dedicated to graphics solutions. One thing that surprised me was the amount of bow in the board before a heatsink was ever attached. I was more than a little afraid that this one would be DOA and need to be sent back.
As we can see here the southbridge , northbridge and power management circuits are all interconnected via heat pipes and what appear to be copper heatsinks. Notice the fan mounting holes on the northbridge sink.
Looking at the I/O panel we have quite a few different connections. Of course you have the normal PS/2 for your mouse and keyboard, USB and dual LAN. Some of the newer features are dual E-SATA and optical in/out sound connections. Easily one of the coolest things for me is the EZ CMOS clear switch. This allows you to clear CMOS without opening your case. This makes it so much easier if you are running dual graphics cards. No more trying to get at that pesky jumper under your two slot gpu cooling solution.
As you can see there is plenty of room around the cpu socket for a large cooling solution. You will notice there is a lack of capacitors near the socket; this is the result of the 5 phase digital power management circuit. This design was chosen to provide increased stability and efficiency in the cpu voltages to increase your overclock. Looking at the back of the board we have the use of additional cooling strips to help cool the board in the area of the cpu socket and power management circuits.
This board contains plenty of goodies for the enthusiast. Power and reset switches built in for those who go caseless and an on-board debug LED which is quite helpful in diagnosing boot issues. Abit's Uguru chip allows us to monitor the installed hardware and make the adjustments needed to get the most from whatever hardware you install. This tool is useful in both BIOS and in Windows. As with the AW9D-MAX this board uses 100% Japanese solid state capacitors with a life span of over 40,000 hours. This is much longer than many enthusiasts will keep their hardware.