Abit does seem to be on the right track as they are making waves again with the enuthiast crowd. This board, while not he best overclocker we have seen, was rather easy to work with when setting up and uising for normal use. Overclocking was a little more difficult as far as tweaking the voltages was concerned. There are a number of voltages to mess with, but it is nice to have that type of control. Having to run the HTT divider at 400 or lower is certainly not something that was expected, or even normal for the the included ATI chipset on this board. While it does not affect performance that much, it is still certainly something that the hard core enthusiast will want to know, and likely stay away from as they try to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of this board. It was also not the norm for this chipset to have an overclocking wall at such a low HTT setting. 294 will likely be more than enough for most of todays processors, especially if you are running a default cpu multiplier and trying to run your ram at a 1:1 setting. We also have had the Asus A8R32-MVP on the bench, and experienced none of these limitation with that board, so we know it is not an issue of equipment on our end OR of the chipset. Once again, hopefully abit will look at the bios again and fix these issues. if they do, then this board is certainly one to consider in your shopping. With the release of AMD AM2 boards, I am not sure how much attention will be given to the “old” s939 boards, but we can always hope! At this point though, with the Asus board within $10 of the cost of the abit, it seems to be the better choice for overclockers. The abit AT8 32X Motherboard will set you back ~$180 and when spending nearly $200 on a motherboard it better be problem free.
Just as a side note, we were able to download and install the Windows Vista Beta2 with absolutely no issue whatsoever on this board. All drivers were loaded, with the exception of the lan driver, which we just installed from the included CD. By the way, Vista was pretty cool!
The Legit Bottom Line
If you are looking for a board that is a moderate overclocker and has the features that have been talked about on this board, you will not be disappointed with this offering from abit. It has more than enough features to satisfy even future upgrades with the capability of running Crossfire available. A little re-working of the bios and this board could also be great for the overclocker. Unfortunately, it may be too late already as AM2 is on the scene and likely will steal any thunder this board could have had.