Introduction and Specifications

The Fatal1ty line from Abit is aimed squarely at the hardcore gamer, but can their NF4 Ultra version keep up with the current swell of Athlon 64 boards?

Introduction

The initial Fatal1ty branded motherboard, the Fatal1ty AA8XE, came under a lot of fire from both users and the media for inaccurately portraying itself as the “fastest gaming motherboard.”  After all, how could an Intel platform lay claim to a title that is so obviously in the hand of AMD’s Athlon 64 processors?  While the Fatal1ty AA8XE motherboard was a very good quality board with a good feature set and BIOS, the real market for gaming systems lies in the hands of the enthusiast market with AMD processors.  Thus, it was little surprise that even before I received the AA8XE board, I began to hear the rumblings of the Fatal1ty AN8. 

Let’s take a quick look at the feature list before moving on to our full review.

Specifications (from Abit website)

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  1
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Processor
– AMD Athlon 64/64FX 939-pin K8 CPU
– 2GHz system bus using Hyper Transport Technology
– AMD CPU Cool ‘n’ Quiet Technology

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Memory
– Four 184-pin DIMM sockets
– Support 4 DIMM Dual DDR 400/333/266 non-ECC memory
– Support 4 DIMM up to 4GB Max.

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Chipset
– NVIDIA NF4 Ultra single chip
– Integrated NV Gigabit Ethernet and NV Firewall

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 NV SATA RAID
– Supports SATA 3Gbps data transfer rate
– SATA RAID 0/1/0+1 JBOD

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 NV GbE LAN
– NVIDIA Gigabit Ethernet via NF4 Ultra

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 NV Firewall
– Native NVIDIA Firewall via NF4 Ultra

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 IEEE1394
– Support IEEE 1394 at 400/200/100 Mb/s transfer rate

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Audio
– 5.1-channel Audio Card
– Optical S/P DIF In/Out

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Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Internal I/O Connectors
– 1 PCI-E X16 slot, 2 PCI-Express X1 slots
– 3 PCI slots, 1 x ABIT Audio slot
– 1x Floppy Port supports up to 2.88MB
– 2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connectors
– 4 x SATA 3G Connectors
– 3 x USB headers, 1 x IEEE1394 header

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Back Panel I/O
– 1 x IEEE1394 Connector
– 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 mouse
– 4 x USB+ 1 x RJ-45 LAN Connector

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Dimension
– ATX form factor 305 * 245mm

Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  2
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - Motherboards  3 Package
– 1 x Audio Card
– 1 x Back panel I/O shield
– 4 x SATA cables
– 1 x ATA 133 IDE Cable, 1 x FDD cable
– 1 x USB2.0 + IEEE1394 cable
– 1 x A5 standard User’s Manual
– 1 x A5 uGuru User’s Manual
– 1 x B5 multilingual Quick Installation Guide
– 1 x CD title, 1 x SATA Driver Disk
– 1 x ABIT Case Badge, 1 x Jumper Setting Label

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