ABIT’s AA8-DuraMAX — The Next Winner or Loser?

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Introduction

ABIT’s AA8-DuraMAX — The Next Winner or Loser?

Introduction:

We haven’t reviewed many Intel 925/915 boards since our initial Socket 775 processor reviews due to the fact that all the first revision boards that were sent to us had a flaw in the ICH6R South Bridge. The results that we got out of our original ABIT-AA8 DuraMAX were amazing, so we wanted to confirm them with another board that was a retail version! ABIT never publicly shipped any boards with the bad Intel chipset, so why review on one of those? Today we bring you the full look on a retail version with one of the new south bridges that works correctly.

Consumers expect more than an average board when buying a product from ABIT, and to be honest, we also expect to see the bar raised well above the reference Intel boards. ABIT does after all claim to manufacture boards with bulletproof technology and advanced durability in mind! The ABIT AA8-DuraMAX is currently one of ABIT’s leading Intel 925X chipset based motherboards for Intel’s latest LGA 775 processors (Socket T). The board comes jam packed with the newest technology a PC Enthusiast could dream of owning — Intel’s Socket T, 4 banks for DDR2 memory, and PCI Express.


Intel 925X next to Socket T


PCI-Express Slots

For some of you who haven’t updated your systems in some time you’ll notice many of the new features on the board are not going to be compatible with your old hardware. So by upgrading to the Socket T platform and using that ABIT AA8-DuraMAX motherboard you will have several other hardware purchases to make. There is no AGP slot, so potential ABIT AA8 buyers will need one of the new PCI Express graphics cards, some 240-pin DDR2 memory and an Intel LGA775 processor.


Realtek 8110S-32 Gigabit LAN


The µGuru microprocessor

Since this is going to be a “major” upgrade you will want to make sure you have a solid motherboard to build around. Let’s go ahead and talk about the general features of the ABIT-AA8 DuraMAX.

General Features:

CPU Support All LGA775 processors
Northbridge Intel i925X ‘Alderwood’
Memory Support 4 slots, DDR-II 533, 4GB max, dual-channel
AGP None
PEG16X One slot
Southbridge Intel ICH6/R
Audio Realtek ALC880 from ICH6/R feed
Audio Connectivity 6 port backplane speaker, 2 S/PDIF optical input and output
PCI 2 x 32-bit 33MHz PCI 2.1 slots
PCI Express 3 x 1X slots
IDE 1 ATA133 compliant port from ICH6/R
IDE RAID None
SATA 4 ports from ICH6/R
SATA RAID All 4 ports using Intel Matrix Storage
Networking Realtek 8110S-32 Gigabit Ethernet Controller, 10/100/1000Mbit
USB ICH6/R, 2 x backplane USB2.0, 4 x I/O USB2.0
FireWire FireWire400, 1 backplane port, 2 x I/O (one powered, one unpowered) from Ti TSB43AB23 OCHI controller
Other I/O PS/2, Parallel, 1 x Serial
Voltages CPU: 1.3625-1.7125V in 0.015V increments
DRAM: 1.9-2.2V in 0.05V increments
North bridge: 1.50-2.05V in 0.05V increments

Now that we know what the general features on the board are, we can go ahead and get specific with what ABIT has brought to the table with the Intel 925X platform.

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