It was very apparent that Abit engineers spent a fair amount of time on the design and layout for the AW8. For the most part, it was clear of any possible obstructions and around crucial areas, such as the CPU socket, it was virtually free of any components that could cause concern. Starting off in the upper right hand corner of the motherboard, there's two fan connectors - one 3-pin auxiliary connector while the other is a 4-pin PWM connector designed for the CPU heatsink fan. Beneath these two fan connectors, which run along the edge of the PCB, are the four DDR2 DIMM slots. These 240-pin DDR2 slots support dual channel DDR2-667/533, as well as DDR2-800, memory with a maximum capacity of 8GB, which is double the 4GB memory capacity with the Intel i945 and previous Chipsets. These DDR2 slots are located far enough away from the single PCI Express x16 slot where long graphics cards won't need to be removed in order to upgrade the system memory. To the left side of the memory slots is Abit AW8 silk screened onto the PCB, on the right hand side of the memory slots, nearest the edge, is another auxiliary 3-pin fan connector in addition to the 24-pin ATX power connector, which is also backward compatible with 20-pin power supply units.
Nearing the lower right hand corner of the motherboard is a wealth of valuable connectors. Rotated 90 degrees running along the edge of the PCB is the single ATA-100/66/33 IDE connector, which is provided by the Intel Southbridge. Next to the IDE connector are the four SATA2 RAID ports, which are also provided by the Southbridge. With these four SATA ports on the AW8, Intel's Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0/1/5/10 with NCQ (Native Command Queuing) and native hot plug. Also in this general vicinity is the CMOS battery accompanied by the Intel ICH-7R Southbridge. Atop the ICH-7R Southbridge is a small aluminum passive heatsink, and creative Abit engineers have actually designed the fins to read "Abit" when viewed from the side. Keeping the small heatsink in place are two pushpins in opposing corners of the heatsink. Some of the other prominent items located in this corner of the motherboard include the CMOS clearing jumpers, another 3-pin auxiliary fan connector, LED status display, front panel system header, and Abit's uGuru controller. Engineered into the AW8 and AW8-MAX is uGuru 2005 Technology, which consists of Abit's OC Guru, EQ, Flash Menu, and Black Box. The uGuru controller on the motherboard is made by Winbond and is labeled 951FG-A517LCAB. Excluding the options that can be found in the BIOS, there is currently no official Linux support for Abit's proprietary uGuru Technology.
Towards the back of the motherboard are two USB 2.0 headers and the floppy disk connector. For reference, on the Abit AW8-MAX in the same location are the IEEE-1394 Firewire controller and two respective headers. Running toward the backside of the motherboard's PCB is the BIOS chip, along with the connector for Abit's AudioMAX HD 7.1 Technology. Due to limitations on the I/O panel due to the heatsink for the Northbridge heatpipe, the audio ports have been relocated to the specially designed AudioMAX connector on the Abit AW8.