Last week, Abit sent us an e-mail to announce its new AN68SD motherboard, which combines an nForce 520D chipset from Nvidia with BIOS support for Socket AM2+ Phenom processors. Today, the company excitedly e-mailed us again, this time with news that it has released its first Phenom-ready motherboard, the AX78.
As far as we know, we haven't slipped into some alternate reality—the AN68SD is still listed on Abit's website. However, it's clear that the new AX78 is a different animal entirely. While also a budget board, the AX78 is based on AMD's shiny new 770 chipset, which includes a slightly less shiny and new SB600 south bridge. Abit touts support for the latest HyperTransport 3 interconnect, up to 8GB of DDR2-1066 memory, and "CrossFire X" multi-GPU setups. CrossFire X will allow up to four graphics cards to be used together, but that'll be a little difficult to achieve on the AX78, since it only has two PCI Express x16 slots, one of which has just four lanes of connectivity.
Moving on, the AX78 has a decent but unremarkable set of connectivity options: four 300MB/s Serial ATA ports with RAID 0/1/0+1 support, one ATA port, PCI Express-based Gigabit Ethernet, and onboard 7.1 audio with S/PDIF as well as HDMI headers. The chipset and processor power regulation circuitry are cooled via heat pipes and passive heatsinks, and Abit says the mobo's BIOS includes its proprietary SoftMenu software to make overclocking and system tuning easier.
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