Abit IP35-E – Features

The Abit IP35-E is a cut down version of the IP35 Pro offering a few less integrated features. However at just $120 the IP35-E is significantly more affordable offering users a $65 saving, so what has been removed to allow this 35% saving? Well actually quite a lot has been cut out of the board, largely due to the southbridge chip being downgraded from the ICH9R to the plain old ICH9. This directly affects how many PCI Express lanes this motherboard has and SATA ports while adding two more USB 2.0 ports.

The IP35-E features a single Gigabit LAN port using the Marvell 88E8056 controller. Personally I would much prefer a single PCI Express controller over the two included on the more expensive IP35 Pro, so this is a bonus for the IP35-E. The audio controller remains the same as the IP35-E uses the Realtek ALC888 chip.

The storage abilities of the IP35-E have been severely crippled as this board supports only four SATA ports without the option of RAID. This is due to the use of the ICH9 southbridge which is quite featureless when it comes to storage as Intel's Matrix storage technology is not included. Abit has not included a third party chip for eSATA support so the IP35-E also misses out on this feature. The board manages to retain its PATA support through a single IDE port which is connected to a JMB368 controller which again uses a single PCI Express x1 lane.

Other more typical features include a 24-pin power connector along with an 8-pin 12v power connector and four DDR2 memory DIMM slots supporting up to 8GB of either DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 memory in dual-channel mode. For expansion the IP35-E includes a single PCI Express x16 port along with two PCIe x1 ports and three traditional PCI ports. This means Crossfire multi-GPU technology is not supported on this motherboard which is not an issue really. Given how much it costs to purchase two Radeon graphics cards I am sure anyone considering this option will be prepared to spend more on the motherboard.

The IP35-E does not offer Abit's µGuru technology for advanced monitoring. There is also no reset CMOS switch, no on-board power/reset buttons and no LED status display. Finally the last feature to go missing in action is Firewire as the IP35-E does not offer support for this interface.