The Abit AB9 Pro was our Intel Core 2 Duo motherboard recommendation in our August system guide because of its solid feature set and apparently plentiful overclocking options. However, as is unfortunately hard to avoid with motherboards fresh off the drawing board, the AB9 Pro seems to be behaving badly for some users. One of those users is gerbil newcomer bpott, who posted a thread in our forums about his woes. While bpott was able to overclock his Core 2 Duo E6300 from 1.86GHz to a fairly respectable 2.27GHz, his front-side bus speed is limited to 325MHz (1,300MHz "effective")—quite low by P965 chipset standards. He says he starts getting memory errors as soon as he climbs to 327-328MHz, even with a voltage boost to the chipset.
Abit told us it is still working on the BIOS for the AB9 Pro, and a brand new version 13 BIOS has popped up today on Abit's FTP site. However, neither bpott nor members of the Abit forums seem to be having much luck hitting greater front-side bus speeds with this BIOS. Several flash attempts to the new BIOS appear to have incapacitated bpott's motherboard, too, so AB9 Pro users beware.
Until Abit gets its act together, and since the outlook on other Intel P965-based motherboards isn't so great right now, prospective buyers who'd rather not go through the trials and tribulations of early adoption may want to have a look at the AMD-based alternatives in our system guide.
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