ABIT IC7-MAX3 i875 CANTERWOOD
All hail the Canterwood king ?
Reviewing motherboards, especially ones based on a single chipset, can often be a mundane and tedious affair. Similar features and strikingly similar performance means that a prospective buyer's purchasing decision usually rests upon brand loyalty and previous experiences with any number of manufacturers. At stock speeds, we'd say that most Canterwood boards are a match for one another with respect to performance. Plenty of SATA ports, decent sound and Gigabit LAN are just some of the features we look for in a decent i875P motherboard. After all, if you're spending the wrong side of £100, you'd still want considerable value for money, wouldn't you?.
Now with 800FSB P4 CPUs starting at speed grades as low as 2.4GHz, and the very same CPUs hitting 250FSB+ with little or no voltage increase, one can appreciate why today's dual-channel Intel motherboards need to possess a high FSB ceiling, and now with DDR500 memory available from a number of high-speed memory manufacturers and distributors, the need for a motherboard to effortlessly work at 1000FSB (quad pumped) is just one of the features a well-informed enthusiast would look for.
Wouldn't it be great, then, if a motherboard manufacturer paid special attention to the overclockability of its boards by implementing novel features. ABIT thinks so. It's mission, evidently, is to manufacturer the very best Canterwood board that money can buy. Speaking of money, it won't be cheap. The ABIT IC7-MAX3 looks set to be a features and FSB champion, all with a hefty price tag that's approaching the £200 mark. Is it the best i875P board yet, or can it just talk the talk and not walk the walk ?. Let's find out.