Abit AA8-3rd Eye Motherboard Review


This AA8-3rd Eye is using a Phoenix AwardBIOS which is pretty standard. The main screen of the BIOS is pretty similar to the rest of the motherboards on the market with the exception of having the µGuru menu. In the advanced chipset features section is where you can adjust your DDR2 timings. The following are the timings available; CAS latency time: 3-5, Act. to precharge delay 4-15, RAS# to CAS# delay: 2-5, RAS# precharge time: 2-5.

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The µGuru utility menu has two sections to it, OC Guru which is for overclocking and Abit EQ which is a health monitor. The external clock is the front side bus and can be set to 100MHz – 300MHz. If you have an unlocked Pentium 4 you will be able to change the multiplier which will be an advantage while overclocking, since I have a retail 2.8GHz Pentium 4 I am unable to change it.

The N/B Strap CPU can be set to By CPU(PS800), PSB533, or PSB800. The DRAM frequency (CPU:DRAM divider) can be set to Auto, DDR400 (1:1), DDR533 (3:4), or DDR600(2:3). These dividers will be extremely helpful when overclocking since the multiplier is locked.

You can set your PCI-Express clock to 99MHz – 255MHz and the PCI clock to either 33.33MHz, 36.36MHz, or 40.00MHz. The voltage control section allows you to set the CPU to: 1.3375v – 1.6875v, DDR2: 1.80v – 2.25v, and northbridge: 1.50v – 2.05v. The last great feature to this OC Guru section is the power cycle statistics. This displays your PC uptime, PC up time total, PC power cycles, PC reset button cycles, AC power on total time, and AC power cycles.

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The temperature monitoring section allows you to view all of your current temperatures. You can also set it up so that your system will beep or shutdown if something gets too hot. The voltage monitoring section displays all of your voltages and also has the ability to beep or shutdown if they get too low. This is the most advanced monitoring section I have seen with any motherboard and am quite impressed.

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The FanEQ control section is where you can take full advantage of the new PWM fans. With this enabled you give control of your fan speeds to the BIOS. Depending on the temperature of your processor or northbridge the voltage to the fan will be increased or decreased. When they are running hot the fans will speed up and get louder and when they are running cool they will slow down and be quieter. This is a great new feature for these LGA775 motherboards and Abit has given you enough settings for you to fine tune your system. The fan speed section displays your fans RPM and can beep or shutdown your computer if the speeds drop too low.

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The advanced BIOS features is where you can enable/disable Hyper-threading, set your boot order, and enable/disable the full screen logo among a few other things. There is one option in the power management section you should be aware of which is CPU THRM-throttling. When you keep this enabled, if your CPU gets too hot the BIOS will throttle down the speed of the processor to reduce the heat. This will obviously decrease performance if you need the processing power at that moment. If you have adequate cooling I would suggest turning this off.

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