Install is pretty straight forward for those of you that have installed motherboards before, for those of you that have not consult some one that has! Once installed and turned on the first thing you spot (if your case is windowed) is the blue light emitting from the board, here take a look.
As you can see the lights are pretty bright, for those of you that do not like the 7 different lit modes, don’t worry there is always the off mode let us move on and test the board.
Test System specs
Non removable disks
2x 250-GB Maxtor
Pioneer 16x speed D/L
abit AW9D Max motherboard
First up the Benchmarks, this involves running a few tests, now personally I am not a big fan of motherboard benches due to the fact there are so many different ram/CPU and GFX combinations not forgetting HDD speed to take into account that results are bound to be slightly different to previous motherboards and setups. So we take that this is the first Core duo board we have reviewed and the first benchmarks on such chip so these are only single results and should not be compared to previous ones.
Bellow are a few results from benches that I ran
As you can see from the AW9-D Performed just as well as on previous boards in the memory test, so no problems on that side, there was a slight reduction on the latency (good thing) when compared to the previous setup this ram was in.
As you can see from the above results, the board performs as well as I had hoped, slightly increasing in score on most of the tests. All that is left to do is overclock, for this we needed to get the chip up to its maximum limit to see what the possibilities are, the good thing about this board that sets it apart is the voltage choices like being able to set the MCH voltage right up to 2.0 should you have the cooling for it..
The overclocking of this board would have been made easier had I been able to unlock the multiplier, I even tried the old P4 3.0 530 and the P4 2.66 820 as well as the E6400 and no joy, maybe we will have better luck when our budget 6300 comes in. but with that said we were still able to hit a very respectable 360 FSB (not on air) this was a impressive result on the E6400 and if the multiplier was not locked I am sure we would of got a lot more, especially with some better memory in tow. One thing that did surprise me a lot was when we put the old P4 3.0 530 in I thought I would try to clock that and I was shocked when I managed to push it past its previous best of 260 fsb. It would run stable at 295 fsb something I never thought I would see on that old thing.
Why did I tell you that, well if you are looking to upgrade your CPU and mobo soon to dual core, but find the path a bit costly at the moment the AW9D Max would be a good board to get first as you will see performance gains on your older chips why you are saving those all important pennies and cents for the CPU. Those of you that have the funds to get the CPU and Motherboard at once do not over look the AW9D-Max. Smashing job from abit and my current choice for a core duo board and should be yours too!
Next Page - Conclusion