Abit IX38 Quad GT Reviewccokeman -
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The IX38 supports up to eight gigabytes of DDR2 1066/800 system memory. The real estate around the CPU is pretty wide open on the IX38 thanks in part to the new generation digital PWM, no doubt. I did not try the board air cooled with a large heatsink, but with the size of the plate on the water block used, one should not find space to be an issue.
The IX38 uses a series of copper based heatsinks to control the temperature of the onboard components. Starting at the southbridge and working up to the northbridge and Extendor are a series of heatpipes used to bring the heat to this tall heatsink to be dissipated by the air from the CPU cooler. The digital PWM cooler is a separate heatsink that can be actively cooled to promote cooler temperatures on the PWM. Notice the holes in the PWM heatsink for mounting clips.
The IX38 uses a Phoenix-Award BIOS. The BIOS chip is located on the bottom right hand side of the board with easy access. Several of the other chips that serve control and or monitoring functions will be shown, such as the Abit uGuru chip. The Winbond W83627DHG is an I/O controller used to control and monitor device for external voltages, fan speed controls, temperature monitoring, PS/2 and floppy control.
The TSB43AB22A controls both onboard IEEE 1394 ports. The Realtek RTL8110SC controls the onboard gigabit LAN port. The JMicron chip controls the the the E-SATA ports on the I/O panel. Last, but not least, is the clock generator.