Abit IP35-E Socket 775 Motherboardccokeman -
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Aaaahh the motherboard. Now we can see if the packaging has hidden a monster (truck that is) from us. The board is an appealing blue color that really looks different. The back side appears to feature "cooling strips" around the heat sensitive areas to help dissapate heat from those areas. I first saw this feature on the company's flagship 975 chipset board, the AW9D-Max. Looking at the options available for connectivity, you still have the PS/2 ports available, as well as a digital audio out, gigabit LAN, onboard Realtek 7.1 surround sound, and 4 high speed USB ports.
For add-in card options, you have one PCI-e X16 slot for your graphics card, 2 PCI-e X1 slots, and 3 standard PCI slots. Sadly, this means no dual graphics cards for those of us who use them. After looking at the I/O panel, you may be wondering where the additional 8 USB ports are? Well, they are in the form of 4 front panel connectors, so you can hook them up to where you need them the most.
Each of the heat sensitive areas on the board are cooled via passive heatsinks. These areas include the power management circuit, MCH (Northbridge), and the ICH9 chipset (Southbridge).
This board supports up to 8GB of memory by populating all four DIMM slots. Looking over the CPU socket area, it is densely packed on one side by capacitors. This proved to be a non-issue once the heatsink was installed.