Right before my trip to E3, ABIT sent out a press release talking about their Silent OTES cooling solution. Taking a look at the specs, I was excited at the potential of motherboards using this product, especially for HTPC owners. At the convention, I talked with one of the reps about this as well as their SLI lineup. Well ABIT just sent along a product that combines both and we’ll see if the AN8 SLI
continues with ABIT’s tradition of quality motherboards.
The ABIT AN8 SLI
contains the nForce4 SLI chip and is a Socket 939 motherboard supporting AMD Semprons, AMD Athlon64, AMD Athlon64 FX, and the new dual core Athlon64s. Four DIMM slots support up to a maximum of 4GB of DDR ram. The pairs are color coded so you can easily tell which ones you need to populate for dual channel mode.
Area around the chipset is pretty free of capacitors and the heat pipe is bent around so that you should be able to use large coolers with the system. Any capacitors situated near the CPU are shorter than the HSF housing so they won't get in the way. That's good news for people like me who like to experiment with coolers and change parts out a lot. There's a good amount of free room so that I don't have to worry I might bump into something when changing parts.
Speaking of capacitors, ABIT has decided to go with high grade Japanese capacitors in this board. We've all heard about the problems of cheap capacitors and how they would leak and fail. ABIT's aim at quality led them to this decision and this should help ease the minds of people who want a long lasting and stable motherboard.
As the name of the chipset suggests, the board is SLI capable so there are two PCI-E 16X slots spaced for two NVIDIA SLI capable cards. In between two of the slots sits one PCI-E 1X slot with another just above the first PCI-E slot. Finally, two PCI slots round out the expansion capabilities of this motherboard. One thing I do like about the PCI-E slot placements is that longer cards don’t interfere with areas I might change such as memory clips. The only thing that the top card hovers over is the nForce4 chipset cooler and there’s not too much room between that and the release clip for the card. If you need to change out longer cards, you’ll be better off to use some tool to pop the clip than to try and use your fingers.
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