ABIT has been one of the biggest names in overclocking motherboards for many years. When ABIT was put on hold due to some financial difficulties, the boards just stopped coming. That was truly a crying shame.
ABIT's rise to fame came when Pentium 3 was new; Intel's 440BX chipset was king and SDRAM hadn't been given its PC-133 ratings. This was ABIT's time as they were coming out with boards that were not only practical, they added features that were previously not available on commercial boards, but reserved for the server market. ABIT was the first to pioneer using the Highpoint HPT360 IDE chipset to run RAID on IDE drives, something we had not seen on any desktop board before. Not only this, but they were also the first motherboard maker to design a motherboard with a Jumper-free layout, requiring no jumper pins to be used to select bus speeds, CPU ratios and voltages; a huge improvement.
The most notable board that ABIT ever produced was the ABIT BP6-RAID motherboard. This was when Socket 370 had just started and the Celeron 370 was really hammering along. When it was discovered you could get Celeron CPUs to run in SMP by a simple trick with the pins, ABIT built the BP6 on the 440BX chipset with two Socket 370s on it and the ability to run a jumper to set SMP mode or standard mode for the Celeron CPU. This was the first board to come out which took full advantage of a Dual-CPU setup for the desktop market using nothing more than the Intel Celeron CPU. Its bottom of the line series had overtaken the Pentium 3.
It was some time before ABIT would rise back again. While they did have a few boards in between, their design, features and price were somewhat questionable. Now we have the new ABIT, under the "Universal ABIT" brand. We have seen new designs and ideas but the same old ABIT technologies brought into a new world. We have already seen some good boards come out, but unlike ASUS, MSI or GIGABYTE, ABIT doesn't have a huge portfolio of boards, rather choosing to go for a simple all in one approach.
Today we are looking at the ABIT IP35 Off Limits board based around the Intel P35 chipset and DDR2 memory. It's a scaled down version of the IP35 Pro Off Limits board we tested a while ago. How does it fair? Let's take a good look.