The first point of call is the two PCI-E 16 slotís, I really donít know why though motherboard manufactures leave the PCI-E x1 slot in-between the x16 slots as most people that will purchase a dual slot board will be looking to run a dual setup at some time, and even if they wouldnít most card coolers cover the PCI-E x1 slot.
At the bottom right of the board we have 4 SATA ports one ide connector the uGuru chip and post display. Also here is a very small Southbridge and judging by the positioning of the second Pci-Ex16 slot it needed to be this small. These SATA ports are controlled by the Silicon Image Sil3132 PCIE SATA 3G RAID controller.
Nearer the lower section of the board we have other 2 SATA ports that gives this board a total of 6 SATA2 Ports, these are run on the Intelģ Matrix Storage Technology supporting RAID 0/1/10/5 and both also support SATA AHCI, providing native command queuing and native hot plug.† More than enough to satisfy those that want full features.
As well as the two USB headers we see in the previous photos there is one firewire header placed near the rear of the board. A bit of a strange place to put it really.
Well with all the case connectors for the case all pretty well laid out in front of your eyes it is not hard to connect this board, I would have to agree with Mac in his review of the AT8x32 that even a novice could connect this up without the manual.. This is also the area of the board with the post screen and the uGuru connector.
The bottom edge of the board is where we find the extra Molex connector (about time someone put this here rather than on top of the 1st GFX slot) as well as the AudioMAX input slot. You may also notice the system fan1 header, there are a total of 8x3 pin fan headers on the motherboard to allow total control of the fan speeds to system temps. This is an excellent prospect for those that donít use this scheme as once setup correctly you can have the system running very quiet while D/l, surfing, then load up a game and if the system needs to it will start increasing the fan speed to match the heat. With 8 fan headers this means you can have total control over the case fans as well as any radiator fans for you watercooler addicts out there.
The silent OTES system ion the AW8D max s different to the AW8 max version and uses the updated style found on most of abitís new boards. It looks shorter but better designed than previous incarnations and I presume it works better (hope). Also you can spot at the top edge of the board the mosfet coolers, these have been color matched to the Silent OTES system.
The main sink of the Silent OTES system takes up most of the area usually reserved for the rear io panel, it is quite large really and should be sufficient for the job it is intended for.
As you can clearly see from the photo the rear panel output is quite bare, so much so that it is almost naked, 4xUSB ports, 2 gigabyte lan connectors, a firewire and the normal PS2 connectors. That itÖ but donít worry remember on most other boards you would get your audio connectors here, but as they are on the daughter card (AudioMAX add in card) they are not needed here.
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