Earlier this month I wrote about Silent OTES, a clever motherboard cooling solution from Abit. Well, now it is making its debut along with a rather nifty sounding audio solution.
Ok, first a little recap for those of you too lazy to click the link above. Silent OTES (Outside Thermal Exhaust System - above) is designed to eliminate the noisy North Bridge by sitting a copper heatpipe directly onto it and conducting the heat back along a copper pipe to the fans of a collection module. This heat is then dissipated by the air flowing from the CPU fan. As I said before, what I like about this solution is it uses one fan to remove the need for another.
Silent OTES is not the only innovation to make its debut today, however, there is also AudioMAX 7.1 HD (above). This is Abit’s first Dolby certified audio product and offers high definition sound support in up to 7.1 channels. The usual array of ports make an appearance on the device (which screws into a PCI slot), including S/PDIF in/out meaning digital devices such as music players and DAT recorders can be connected. Support for multi-channel (AC-3) decoding is also supported.
Both AMD and Intel CPUs get outings with these new technologies. On the AMD side we have three motherboards: the AN8 series starting with the V2.0, the midrange Ultra (above) and an SLI version for the gaming enthusiast. All take 939 based Athlon processors, up to 4GB DDR400 RAM, and are based on the nForce 4 chipset. V2.0 has AudioMAX, but in a 5.1 scaled down version, and 4x SATA (1.5Gbps) connectors. The Ultra and SLI have the full AudioMAX 7.1 along with 4x SATAII (3Gbps).
For Intel there are the AW8 and AW8-MAX (above). Both support LGA775 CPUs, but the AW8 is built around the 955X Express chipset and has DDR2 400/533 support, AudioMAX 5.1 and 4x SATAII connectors; whereas the MAX is a derivative of the flagship 955X chipset. This takes up to 8GB of DDR2 533/667 RAM, has AudioMAX 7.1 and 6x SATAII connectors.
All four models will be available by the end of the month, though the RRPs have yet to be announced. Looks like I might have just found myself my next mobo.