Taking it to the MAX Continued
- Board Layout
As far as the overall board layout goes, there is nothing too unusual involved. One of the best features as far as the board layout goes is the placement of the IDE connectors which we have seen on the past few ABIT boards. Instead of facing up they face outwards and this helps make it easier when it comes to plugging in your IDE cables. Instead of having to bend the cable the normal 180 degrees, they simply stay at the default angle.
The new cooler over the Northbridge is very noticeable and improves from the previous design seen on the ABIT IC7 series of motherboards. Up the top we see the OTES cooling solution which helps when it comes to overclocking and looking below we can see exactly the area that it cools.
Like most current motherboards, ABIT follow a 5/1 PCI/AGP configuration and thanks to the onboard sound (which isn't too bad) as well as the 4 X USB ports, gigabit LAN, Firewire port and optical connections, there is really no reason to be using an extra PCI card so they shouldn't be filled up any time soon.
As you can see you have the nicely colored memory slots so people can easily determine which slots are to be used when it comes to using the ever important Dual Channel configuration.
One thing that we found when it came to testing this motherboard in our Dual Channel Roundup was the poor placement of the reset BIOS jumper. While not too bad if you don't use any Serial ATA hard drives, as soon as you add to SATA port 1, it instantly becomes annoying to reset your BIOS, and with this board being aimed at the enthusiast user, chances are you're going to be resetting your BIOS more often then others.
- SATA, SATA and more SATA
If you're an Intel user and serious about your Serial ATA drives, there is no other option then the MAX3. Not only do we see our normal two ports that the ICH5R carries but an extra four thanks to inclusion of the Silicon Image SATA controller. With a total of six SATA ports, there is no reason you will run out of ports. Attaching a few new 200GB Maxtor hard drives to it wouldn't go a stray for a lot of people.
Editor's Note - Especially such as Shawn who enjoys breaking monthly download records with local ISPs
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- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 1 [Introduction]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 2 [Specifications]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 3 [Taking it to the MAX]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 4 [Taking it to the MAX Continued]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 5 [Test System Setup and SiSoft Sandra MAX3]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 6 [Benchmarks - PCMark 2002]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 7 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 2001]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 8 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 2003]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 9 [Benchmarks - Comanche 4]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 10 [Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 2003]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 11 [Benchmarks - Quake 3]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 12 [Benchmarks - Jedi Knight 2]
- ABIT IC7 MAX3 - Page 13 [Conclusion]