As we explain in our review of Nvidia's new nForce 680i SLI chipset, a number of companies including Biostar, BFG Tech, ECS, EVGA, and XFX will offer nForce 680i SLI motherboards designed and manufactured by Nvidia itself. Other motherboard manufacturers, meanwhile, may choose to tackle the new chipset in their own way. One of those manufacturers is Abit, which has announced its new 680i-powered IN9 32X-MAX motherboard.
The IN9 32X-MAX strays from the Nvidia design slightly, putting more Serial ATA ports near the memory slots, altering the placement of the 24-pin ATX power and floppy connectors, and relocating other miscellaneous components. The I/O panel loses FireWire connectivity in favor of two 300MB/s external eSATA ports and a CMOS reset button. Most noticeably, though, the IN9 32X-MAX includes a custom copper heatpipe-based cooling system that takes care of the board's north bridge, south bridge, and processor power regulation circuitry. Abit has also packed the board with its μGuru fan monitoring and overclocking features.
Abit doesn't quote a price for its board, but considering EVGA's nForce 680i SLI board is sitting at $269.99 on Newegg, Abit's offering likely won't be cheap.
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