The Abit AT8 32X and DFI LANParty UT CFX3200-DR are great enthusiast boards, and despite the fact that they both use the same CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset, there are enough differences to set them apart. The CFX3200, for example, is one of only a handful of motherboards on the market that allows HyperTransport overclocking to peacefully coexist with Cool'n'Quiet overclocking. It also offers slightly more voltage and bus speed options than the AT8 32X, although our sample didn't overclock quite as well. DFI has a couple of extra Serial ATA ports and a secondary Gigabit Ethernet option on its side, however.
Abit's AT8 32X may not have quite as many onboard peripherals as the CFX3200, but it should have enough GigE and SATA ports for most folks. The board's fan speed control and hardware monitoring is also the best you'll find on any enthusiast-oriented motherboard, and the fact that Abit's uGuru software makes many of those features available in Windows gives the AT8 32X a distinct advantage over the LANParty board.
Were the AT8 32X and LANParty UT CFX3200-DR selling for the same price, we'd be hard-pressed to choose between the two. But they're not. While the AT8 32X is available for a comparatively affordable $150 online the CFX3200 runs $200 and up. As much as we love the LANParty's Cool'n'Quiet MAX FID feature, it's not worth a $50 premium. Neither is the board's extra Gigabit Ethernet chip or Serial ATA ports.
The AT8 32X, however, is worth every penny. You get a board loaded with BIOS options, enough onboard peripherals, passive chipset cooling, frugal power consumption, and apparent overclocking headroom to spare. Looks to me like Abit's back.
25 comments — Last by Amiteriver at 6:26 AM on 07/07/06
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