Abit IP35 Pro Socket 775 Motherboard

ccokeman - 2007-07-12 21:33:25 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: July 18, 2007
Abit
Abit
Price: $168.00 USD

Introduction:

Are you ready to take a "Ride on the Wild Side"? Thats what Abit would like you to do with this board. Abit has created a trilogy of P35 chipset motherboards with this model, The IP35 Pro being the enthusiast level board. Since this motherboard is at the top of the food chain, performance is expected to eclipse the other two in the trilogy(IP35-E, IP35). This motherboard boasts many features, such as support for the latest 1333 FSB and quad core processors, HDMI ready sound, 100% Japanese solid state capacitors, Silent OTES cooling technology and 7.1 Realtek sound. With such an abundant set of features and the touted performance of Intel's P35 chipset, this should be one wild ride indeed.

Abit has had many success stories over the past 15+ years that they have been manufacturing computing components. Looking forward, the company is looking to what they call "Bulletproof Technology". How does this benefit the end user you might ask. It means that you can expect a product that is designed with quality, stability, reliability and superior engineering to last longer and be more reliable for the end user.

Closer Look:

The front of the box has a monster truck theme. Monster trucks are pretty cool in my neck of the woods, so this graphic works for me. The artwork on the company's series of P35 motherboards is a departure from the Asian theme on the past series of boards. The rear of the box details all of the feature this board has and lists them in detail.

After opening the package there are two boxes that contain the documentation and bundled accessories. Digging further we find the motherboard tucked into a cradle in the bottom of the box. The board was held tightly in place to prevent any shipping damage.

Closer Look:

The accessory bundle included with this board includes six SATA cables, one floppy cable, one IDE cable, and a rear expansion plate with 2 USB and fire wire connections. The documentation includes both the motherboard manual and Uguru manual, along with a decal showing the jumper settings and front panel connections. 

 

 

 

 

The rear expansion bracket includes two USB ports, as well as firewire connectivity to allow you to stream data from devices such as your iPod or digital camcorder. Abit has continued to include SATA cables that feature a locking mechanism to hold the cables in place.

The artwork that Abit has used on this board is even used on the driver CD, making it stand out in that drawer full of driver discs that many of we enthusiasts have built up.

Closer Look:

The appealing blue color of the IP35-E and IP35 caries through onto the top of the line IP35 Pro. One item that stands out from the others in the companies P35 lineup is the heatpipe cooling that captures both of the chipsets and the power regulation circuits. Additional cooling strips are evident on the bottom of the board and serve as extra cooling capacity for the power regulation circuits. With this board being the top dog in the series you would expect it to be a feature rich board. It is that and more. A quick view of the I/O area shows that this board has items that its lesser features brethren lack. These items include dual E-SATA ports, dual gigabit lan, and s/pdif in and out. 

 

 

 

 

 

This board features two 16x PCI-E, three PCI and one 1x PCI-E slot to take care of your expansion needs. The two 16x PCI-E slots are great if you will be using dual GPU's. This board not only has 4 USB ports on the I/O panel, but the ability to add eight more via headers on the bottom of the board. Additional options include the firewire header and HDMI sound header to use with HDMI ready video cards. Here we see it hidden behind the front panel audio header.

 

Each of the chipsets and the power regulation circuit for the CPU are covered with an all-in-one, heatpipe-style cooling assembly. The heatpipe assembly features silent-OTES technology to help dissipate the heat generated by these components

 

A couple of features that are really nice to have are incorporated right into this board. Easily the coolest feature on this board is the E-ZCmos reset button on the rear I/O panel just under the P/S2 ports. This allows for a quick cmos reset if you push your hardware that little bit to far. Now no more opening the case to dig for the jumper. If it becomes necessary, the jumper is in an easy to reach position at the bottom right hand side of the board, too. A couple of other features are equally nice. The on-board diagnostic LED and on-board reset and power switches are nice if you run your equipment on a test station instead of a case.

 

All of the SATA, IDE and floppy connections are conveniently located on the bottom right corner of the board for easy access. This board uses 100% Japanese built, solid state capacitors.

Installation:

Installation of this motherboard into the chassis of your choice is a fairly simple process. If you are using this board as a replacement for your existing board it falls along the same process tree with a few modifications. The biggest difference being the removal of your old hardware.

The first order of business is to start with the chassis, making sure your motherboard standoff are in the correct position for the motherboard. Then make sure you put in the I/O plate for the motherboard you are installing after removing the one that came with the chassis, or was from your previous hardware.

 

 

 

Because I tend to use large heatsinks, the first thing I do once the chassis is in order is to install the CPU into the socket. With larger heatsinks a back-plate is normally used to help support the added weight, and is no different in this case. Add the thermal paste of your choice and the heatsink and it is ready for mounting. I use Artic Silver 5 (AS5), and there is a new application process specific to Core 2 Duo processors. Attach the heatsink with the hardware specific to your heatsink and the board is ready for installation.

 

Now you are ready to fit the board into the chassis. Install your device cabling, power wiring, system memory and video cards and you are ready to move on to enjoying your hardware.

Closer Look:

The BIOS on the Pro version of the motherboard is slightly different from it's simpler-featured brethren. The main difference is that in this version the Uguru utility, instead of Abit Softmenu, is featured to adjust the system settings. Since the Uguru section is where we enthusiasts will spend the most time with this board that is the section I will focus on.

The main BIOS page shows all of the areas for proper system setup. The main area of concern for the enthusiast will be both the Uguru utility and "Advanced Chipset" sections. The CPU settings can be left at factory defaults or can be set by the end user. Abit has been thoughtful enough to give a 6 mhz overclock by default.

 

 

The adjustment range for the CPU FSB is 133 to 600. The CPU clock multiplier can be adjusted from 6x to the default max for the processor being used, which in this case 10x on my E6700.

 

The system memory can be run at predefined ratios from 1:1 to 1:2, allowing some flexibility to the overclocking possibilities. The PCI-E bus can be adjusted from 100 to 200mhz to help maximize the performance of devices such as video cards.

 

The IP35 Pro has enough voltage options to satisfy all but the most extreme enthusiasts. With CPU vcore voltages up to 1.895v and memory up to 3.00 volts, the the issue of not being able to feed your components the power they need will not become a problem.

 

The "Advanced Chipset" features page allows for the adjustment of your system memory's primary and secondary timings. They can be left at default or manually adjusted. The latest BIOS allow for the adjustment of the command rate to either 1T or 2T.

Specifications:


Abit Engineered

- Abit µGuru™ Technology
- Abit Silent OTES™ Technology
- 100% Japanese made Low ESR and high ripple conductive polymer aluminum solid state capacitor
- 100% Japanese Capacitor
- EZ for CCMOS

CPU

- Support Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme/Duo/Quad processors with 1333/1066/800MHz FSB
- Support Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme/Quad/Duo & Pentium® Dual Core Processors

Chipset
- Intel® P35 Express / ICH9R Chipset
Memory

- 4 X 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. memory capacity 8GB
- Supports Dual channel DDR2 800/667/533 Un-buffered Non-ECC memory

LAN

- On board Dual Gigabit LAN controller supports 10/100/1000M Ethernet (Realtek RTL8110SC)

Audio

- On board 7.1 CH HD Audio CODEC (Realtek ALC888)
- Supports auto jack sensing and optical S/PDIF In/Out
- HDMI ready header (SPDIF header)

Expansion Slots

- 1 x PCI-E X16
- 1 x PCI-E X16 (x4 bandwidth)
- 1 x PCI-E X1
- 3 x PCI

Back Panel I/O

- 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 Mouse
- Abit Silent OTES™
- 1 x S/P DIF In, 1 x S/P DIF Out
- 2 x eSATA
- 7.1 CH Audio connector (Front, Line-in, MIC-in, Center/Subwoofer, Surround, Rear Surround)
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN connector
- EZ CCMOS Switch

Serial ATA

- 6 x SATA 3Gb/s offer by Intel® ICH9R support Intel® Matrix Storage Tech(AHCI & RAID0/1/5/10)
- 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s through JMicron® JMB363 support 0,1JBOD RAID function

IEEE 1394

- Supports 2 Ports IEEE 1394 at 400Mb/s transfer rate (Texas Instruments Chip)

Form Factor

- ATX form factor 305 x 245mm
- PCB Color: Blue

RoHS
- 100% lead-free process and RoHS compliant


Features:


Testing:

I will be running the Abit IP35 pro through our benchmarking suite to show what kind of performance this motherboard delivers. The benchmarking suite we use includes both system tests, as well as gaming benchmarks. To make my performance comparisons, I will be comparing all three of Abit's p35 chipset offerings. All clock speeds and memory timings will be the same on each of the boards to eliminate any variables. All video card settings were left at setup defaults, again eliminating any variables.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison System:

 

The system tests we will be using are listed below:

Lets get started with Apophysis. This program is used primarily to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:

The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to complete.

 

Lower is Better

 

WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. We will use 10MB, 100MB and 500MB files and test the time needed to compress these files. Time will be measured in seconds.

 

 

 

 

Testing:

Specview is a benchmark designed to test OpenGL performance. The tests used for comparison are listed below. The default tests were chosen to be able to compare across platforms. In these tests, higher scores equate to better performance.

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

At stock speeds none of the boards really stand out from one another. Parity in the benchmark scores are the results I expected.

Testing:

PcMark05 is used to measure complete system performance. We will be running a series of tests to gauge performance of each individual board to see which board, if any, rises above the others.

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

Testing:

Sisoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key areas of the motherboards.

 

 

 

 

Processor Arithmetic

 

Multi-Core Efficiency

 

Memory Bandwidth

 

Memory Latency

 

Cache and Memory

 

File System

 

Physical Disks

 

Power Management Efficiency

 

Testing:

Sciencemark tests real world performance instead of using synthetic benchmarks. For this test, we ran the benchmark suite and will use the overall score for comparison.

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better!

 

Cinebench is useful for testing your system, CPU and OpenGL capabilities using the software program CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Testing:

Now that the system benchmarks are complete, we will move on to the video benchmarking portion of the review. I will be using an EVGA 8800GTS 640MB as the video card of choice for today's test. We will be using an assortment of games to test performance across manufacturer's boards to look for any performance advantages.

 

The game tests that we use are as follows:

 

First up we have Far Cry. This game makes extensive use of pixel shaders and features Polybump normal mapping technology to increase character details.

 

We will be using the Hardware OC Benchmarking Utility version 1.8 with the following settings.

 

 

 

Testing:

F.E.A.R. is a newer game that includes its own benchmarking utility. We will be using this test to benchmark the game. This game introduces a new AI model that emulates real squad behavior. It has the ability to counteract the moves you make rather than having a predictable routine.

 

The settings we will use are below:

 

 

 

Testing:

Microsoft Flight Simulator X is the newest edition of the popular flight simulator. For testing, I will fly the same route through each resolution. Testing will start at a resolution of 1024X768, since this is the lowest resolution available.

 

The settings we will use are listed below:

 

 

 

 

Flight Simulator X is the newest installment of the series and proves to be a severe test for even high-end systems when the graphics settings are cranked up.

Testing:

Call of Duty 2 is a WWII first-person shooter game that is dated, but still maintains a tremendous online following. This test will consist of a timed run on the Stalingrad multi-player map, measured by Average FPS (frames per second).

 

The settings used are listed below:

 

 

 

 

Testing:

Quake 4 is next up for testing. We will be using the Hardware OC Quake 4 Benchmark Utility version 1.5 to complete the testing with this game. You will need to update to the most current version for the latest time demo and bug fixes. Average FPS (frames per second) will be the measure used.

The settings we will use are listed below:

Testing:

Need For Speed: Most Wanted. For this test, we will time each race and record the average FPS (Frames Per Second) achieved.

 

The settings we will use are listed below.

 

 

 

 

 

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest is begun. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Lets see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

RyderMark is a new benchmark developed by Candella Software. The benchmark illustrates a speed boat race through the famed canals of Venice, Italy. There are many options that can be changed in the benchmark, the settings we have settled on to complete this benchmark are listed below. Please check back for a full review on this new benchmark.

 

 

 

 

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

After testing the first two boards in the companies trilogy, I was left wanting something more. Were they stable? Yes they were. Did they perform? Yes they did. As an enthusiast I was hoping for the most from all three of the boards. At stock settings all three perform similarly without anything but feature set to distinguish one from the other with no clear cut winner in performance. Now when it comes to overclocking I reached FSB limitations on each board, 355 on the IP35-E, 405 on the IP35 "Dark Raider" and 490 on the Pro version. While not the 500+ some have been able to reach my CPU reaches its limit at 490 FSB. While able to boot at 500 FSB it just would not load windows. At 490 FSB, though, it is 12+ hours Orthos stable, a feat in itself for the tested CPU. This, by the way, is higher than any of the boards I have had the pleasure of reviewing.

With that being said, it was easy to get this kind of overclock on the testbed CPU. Rumors of the P35's P965 type FSB scaling seem to be true when it comes to the Pro version in the series. At a price point far below some of the high end boards on the market (Including their own) Abit has a winner on their hands with the IP35 Pro. If you are ready to make the jump into the Core 2 Duo overclocking frenzy keep this board on top of your short list. Without any setup problems or little gremlins to chase down it has proven itself. It was indeed a "Wild Ride"!

Pros:

Cons: