Abit AN78GS ReviewThe Smith - November 10, 2008
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Do you know what GeForce Boost and Hybrid Power Technology are? Well, I just gave you a hint: they refer to GeForce graphics cards. This technology allows for the use of SLI with the onboard graphics engine and a dedicated video card, from the GeForce series obviously. It allows power savings by disabling the dedicated graphics card when it's not needed. When graphics intensive applications are used, then both graphics engines work together in SLI, as I just said. Well, this technology gives a great advantage to having onboard graphics.
Abit, motherboard manufacturer for now nearly 15 years, just released a motherboard making use of this technology, the AN78GS. The board uses the GeForce 8200 integrated chipset and features an AM2+ socket for housing processors up to the AMD Phenoms. Also, to make use of the previously mentioned NVidia technology, it has a PCI-Express 2.0 slot. So let's see what this board looks like.
The Abit AN78GS comes packaged in a black cardboard box. On the front, there is a picture of a bullet stuck in a kind of metal or concrete surface. It probably refers to the Abit BulletProof technology. This focuses on superior products by ensuring "Quality, Stability, Reliability, and Engineering." For example, 100% Japanese capacitors are used on Abit motherboards. We can also read on Universal Abit's website that all products must pass the torture test before ending up on store shelves. However, there is no mention of the BulletProof technology on the box. On the sides of it, there is a quick summary of the AN78GS features, which mostly focus on the GeForce integrated 8200 chipset, the NVidia technologies coming with it, and the AM2+/DDR2-1066 support.
On the back of the box is where all of the technical information is found. The big title at the top emphasizes the Hybrid SLI technology. A bit more at the left, under the "NVidia GeForce 8200 chipset" subtitle, this technology is explained more in detail. Then, completely at the right, are the specifications table. The "4 phase OC PWM for CPU" subtitle also got my attention. We'll see later if this helps with stability when overclocking.
Inside the box, everything is well protected. Accessories are packed in a deeper area and are protected from smashing against the box with a black foam. These include, as usual, the driver CD, the user's manual, the motherboard back I/O panel, two SATA cables, and an IDE cable. Even a Molex to SATA power adapter is included in case the power supply does not have this type of connector. Also, there is a sticker indicating the motherboard jumper settings, for a quick reference. No need to search through the whole manual to find them. It says to stick it on the case, but I'm sure most people wouldn't want that. However, why not stick it inside of the case? That way it would not mess up the aesthetics.
Finally, under the cardboard panel lies the motherboard in a plastic bag. It is tightly packed there and won't move by accident.
So now, let's take it out, remove that plastic bag, and see what it looks like.