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Abit AA8-DuraMAX Review

Date: 2005-1-9

   In the BeginningHow do you start with a company that started it all? ABIT revolutionized the motherboard industry in 1996 with the world's first jumperless technology. Their SoftMenu BIOS not o...

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In the Beginning

How do you start with a company that started it all? ABIT revolutionized the motherboard industry in 1996 with the world's first jumperless technology. Their SoftMenu BIOS not only removed the need for nail busting motherboard jumpers, it also opened up a whole can of worms for the enthusiast community. The ability for a 1MHz incremental FSB overclocking and various voltage settings jumpstarted the whole overclocking scene. In addition, ABIT was also responsible for a string of technological firsts making them no stranger to innovation and adoption of industry leading technologies. Being on top of their game, ABIT had quite a habit of generating hype as well. However, not everything they introduced was as well received by the industry. Who can forget the AT7-MAX and IT7-MAX motherboards where ABIT tried to totally do away with legacy ports?

While considered old school, ABIT remains as one of the top motherboard manufacturers and is still a household name for enthusiast oriented motherboards. Their recent endorsement of Fatal1ty, the world's top gamer is a testament that ABIT intends to stay in the race.

Abit AA8-DuraMAX Review

We recently got our hands on one of their Intel 925X Express motherboards, the AA8 DuraMAX. It features latest technologies for the Pentium 4 like the Land Grid Array (LGA775), DDR2 memory and PCI Express support.

Abit AA8-DuraMAX Review
LGA775 socket with safety cap on to protect the grid array.

Abit AA8-DuraMAX Review
LGA775 with safety cap removed.

To spice things up, ABIT has also thrown in their own µGuru technology into the mix. Let's have a look at the packaging contents and technical specifications before we continue with the rest of the review.

What you get with the packaging:-

  • 4 x SATA data cable
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x Floppy drive data cable
  • USB 2.0 (2 ports) and IEEE 1394 (2 ports) bracket
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CD
  • SATA Driver diskette
  • Quick installation guide
  • µGuru user's manual
  • Motherboard user's manual

    ABIT AA8 DuraMAX Technical Specifications
    Cpu Support
    • Designed for Intel® 90nm Prescott LGA775 processors with 800 MHz FSB
    • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology ready
    • North bridge: Intel 925X Express
      • 533 / 800MHz front side bus
      • PCI Express x16 graphics
      • Digital Media Interface (DMI) with 2GB/s bandwidth
    • South bridge: Intel ICH6-R
      • Intel High Definition Audio
      • Supports up to eight USB 2.0 ports
      • Supports four PCI Express x1 lanes
      • Supports four SATA ports (with RAID 0 and 1 capabilities)
      • Single-channel Ultra ATA-100 IDE port
      • Digital Media Interface (DMI) with 2GB/s bandwidth
    • Dual channel memory architecture
    • 4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets support max. 4GB DDR2 533/400 non-ECC memory
    • Intel ICH6R South Bridge
      • 1 x Ultra ATA 33/66/100 (data transfer rate up to 100MB/sec.)
      • 4 x SATA (Serial ATA 1.5Gbps interface)
      • Intel Matrix Storage Technology
      • Supports RAID 0, RAID 1
    • Intel High Definition Audio (Azalia)
    • Realtek ALC880 8-channel audio CODEC
    • Optical S/PDIF In/Out
    • Realtek RTL8110S-32 Gigabit LAN
    IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
    • Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 OHCI PHY/Link Layer Controller
    • 3 x 1394a ports @ 400 Mbps speed
    Rear Panel I/O Ports
    • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
    • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
    • 1 x DB-25 parallel port
    • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
    • 1 x RJ45 LAN port
    • 1 x IEEE 1394a port
    • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Output
    • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Input
    • 8-Channel Audio I/O
    I/O Connectors
    • 1 x Floppy connecter
    • 1 x Ultra ATA IDE connectors
    • 4 x SATA connectors
    • 2 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
    • 2 x IEEE1394a connectors
    • CPU / 2 x Auxilliary/ System / NorthBridge Fan connectors
    • Front panel High Definition Audio connector
    • CD audio-in connector
    • 24-pin ATX Power connector
    • 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
    Expansion Slots
    • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics card
    • 3 x PCI Express x1
    • 2 x PCI
    Special Features
    • ABIT µGuru
      • OC Guru
      • ABIT EQ
      • FlashMenu
      • BlackBox
    • ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.5cm)

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