abit IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi mainboard features three PCU-E x16 slots. Two of them, of black color, work at their full speed and are intended for two graphics cards working in SLI configuration. The third blue one runs at 8x speed and may be used for the physics accelerator. Since PCI-E x16 slots are placed at a certain distance from one another, the mainboard comes with two longer connector bridges:
The area around the chipset South Bridge is pretty tightly packed with different electronic components, as usual. You can see here an additional IEEE1394 controller, Power On and Reset buttons, POST-codes indicator and color coded front panel connectors.
For ergonomic and economical reasons the IDE and SATA connectors on the board are facing sideways:
The mainboard rear panel is designed in abit’s traditional manner: there are no COM or LPT ports there. It looks quite common: two PS/2 ports, four USB ports (another two are on the additional bracket that comes with the board), two RJ45 ports (Marvell 88E1116), two eSATA ports (Silicon Image SiI3132), audio jacks, including the optical ones (Realtek ALC888).
If you take a closer look at the rear panel you may notice a tiny lever between the optical In and PS/2 connectors. It is EZ CCMOS Switch that allows you to easily clear CMOS without opening the system case and looking for the jumper that is very inconveniently located in most cases.
I would also like to draw your attention to a few not quite standard connectors. A little above the Reset button there is a Guru Panel connector, while the Guru panel itself doesn’t come with the board. And in the lower left corner of the PCB there is a group of connectors marked as HDMI1, which is intended for connecting digital sound to graphics cards carrying HDMI port.
I couldn’t find any flaws in the mainboard layout. Considering how difficult it is to design a high-end mainboard with numerous electronic components and additional controllers I can conclude that the PCB layout of abit IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi deserves to be called ideal. Great job, abit!