During our visit to the ABIT HQ today, we managed to snap photos of their upcoming Intel X38 chipset based motherboards. These shots are of boards which are almost ready for mass production.
First up is the IX38-MAX Tiger Force which is the high-end motherboard fully loaded with some impressive features - this one is DDR3 only. Besides the options offered by the X38 chipset, ABIT have included 100% Japanese solid capacitors, Dolby Digital Live and DTS sound via optical connection, improved digital PWM, external clear CMOS button, two eSATA ports along with very impressive copper cooling.
They are even bundling additional RAM and dual graphics card coolers called RAM Flow and SLIP Stream.
Let's allow the pictures to do the talking, shall we? Take note that the fan included on the PWM heatsink is not included - you will need to buy that separately.
Now we move onto the cheaper of the two, the IX38 QuadGT and this one is DDR2 only. It is a cut down version of the MAX Tiger Force but still packs some pretty good features.
For starters, it features a completely silent cooling design which is rather impressive considering we are talking about X38 here. This motherboard is not fully finished yet and will have some refinements to do with the onboard reset and power off switches as well as the clear CMOS button on the I/O panel.
Like the Tiger Force, it included five power phases which may not sound like a lot but each phase is rated at 1MHz whereas most of the competition is only at 250KHz. So while some companies may have 12 phases total (3000KHz), ABIT is able to produce 5000KHz with fewer components.
ABIT expect to start shipping these motherboards at the end of this month - exact pricing was unknown at press time.