Universal Abit is delivering the AW9D series a bit late to the game. The i975X Chipset has been floating around since late last year and early this year, while the AW9D was only introduced in August of this year. However, we had been discussing the AW9 series privately with Abit for nearly a year before its launch with much anticipation. The Abit AW9D and AW9D-MAX ship with support for Intel's Core 2 Duo as well as the recently introduced quad-core Core 2, along with all of the other enthusiast and overclocker-friendly features. The key differences between the AW9D and AW9D-MAX are an additional three Serial ATA 2.0 ports, one eSATA, two Gigabit NIC, and a dual heatpipe setup for Silent OTES on the MAX variant. The motherboard also supports ATI/AMD's CrossFire, and upon delivering supported drivers will support NVIDIA's Scalable Link Interface. When it came to the performance of the i975X-based AW9D compared to the i955X-based AW8-MAX, the results were very close though a majority of the time the AW9D had taken a minor lead. While this motherboard didn't deliver anything earth shattering or major innovations like the IC7-MAX3 had, the Abit AW9D is yet another highly competitive product. At the time of writing the AW9D is selling for approximately $200, which is fairly expensive for being the non-MAX variant. If price is not a major factor, the AW9D series is definitely worth considering for your next Intel upgrade.
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Phoronix Product Rating: 8 / 10