ABIT has always done well
in the high end enthusiast market, and that trend shows no signs of
stopping with the FATAL1TY AN9 32X motherboard. The ABIT FATAL1TY AN9 32X
motherboard certainly acts like a flagship board, and not a bad looker either.
Equipped with the powerhouse nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI chipset, you know that
performance is rock solid, the features are plentiful, and that it's going to be
a little more expensive. At $200 CDN ($173 US, £88 GBP) the ABIT FATAL1TY AN9 32X
easily applies to all three categories.
The ABIT FATAL1TY AN9 32X motherboard itself is rather
easy to work with, the layout is great, and we really like the long list of
integrated options. The standalone audio daughter card is a nice touch, as is
the full compliment of colour-coordinated cables and such. In terms of
performance the ABIT FATAL1TY AN9 32X is right up there with the other nVIDIA
nForce 590 SLI boards. It doesn't separate itself from the pack, a common trait
of the nForce chipset really. As you've seen from the test results the
board handles great in SYSMark 2004, PCMark05, 3DMark06 and FarCry.
Just as great as the Asus M2-CROSSHAIR and DFI LANParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G
by way of comparison.
The ABIT FATAL1TY AN9 32X was also quick when it came to
overclocking. The particular board PCSTATS tested reached a blistering 353
MHz motherboard clock speed! Just imagine this with a fast processor, some
great DDR-2 memory and an awesome processor heatsink... sit back and watch
the CPU fly!
The twin cooling fans at the rear IO are both a feature
and an annoyance from our point of view. I'd rather see I/O jacks and
connectors here than fans. The other issue of note is the apparent
price premium the "FATAL1TY" brand demands. The FATAL1TY AN9 32X is
priced about $20-30 more than the regular ABIT AN9 32X motherboard, and it does not
support any additional features. In fact the only difference is that the
FATAL1TY AN9 32X has a prettier colour scheme and comes with a few additional
accessories; fans hardly make up for the price difference. On the
whole, we'd be apt to lean towards the plain ABIT AN9 32X version, instead of
the celebrity endorsed model all things considered.
The ABIT FATAL1TY AN9 32X is a great socket AM2
motherboard, but unless you're really into red, you'd probably be better served
getting the AN9 32X and using the money you saved in another area.
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