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Review: ABIT Media XP

by Tarinder Sandhu on 2 July 2002, 00:00

Tags: abit

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In recent times we've seen a proliferation of the number of integrated features on motherboards. So, what was considered a feature-laden motherboard just a year or two ago, is now considered run-of-the-mill. Features such as IDE RAID, decent on-board sound and USB2.0, to name but three, are considered to be essential in any motherboard that classes itself as a premium 'board.

With that being the status quo, how does a motherboard manufacturer differentiate their product from other competing solutions ?. One idea is to equip your flagship motherboard with hither-to unseen levels of features. This is largely what ABIT have sought to do with their MAX series of motherboards.

I reviewed the ABIT i845E MAX motherboard here and considered that as a package it was amongst the best that I had seen. It seems that the on-line reviewing community largely agreed with my evaluation, too.

One extra that I touched on breifly was the ABIT Media XP module that made full use of the extra, unused connectors present on the IT7 MAX. So what is Media XP, and how does it relate to the ABIT MAX series of motherboards ?, that's exactly what we're investigating today.

I received a package through the post a few days ago. The initial size of the package hinted that a graphics card box lurked underneath. To my surprise, it was the ABIT Media XP module.

The lower of the above pictures should give you a better idea of what the Media XP concept is all about. It's basically a front panel that mounts inside a standard 5┬╝" inch drive bay and gives you access to additional multimedia and connectivity features.

The Media XP module is compatible with the ABIT AT7, IT7 and forthcoming MAX series of motherboards. Because these motherboards have a high degree of integrated features, not all of them can be accessed without the need of external help. This is where the Media XP module comes into its own.

Let's have a closer look at exactly what benefits it gives you and just how well it works on the following pages.