abit Fatal1ty F-I90HD Motherboard

A Closer look: abit F-I90HD

abit Fatal1ty F-I90HD - close up

abit f-i20hd close in

Lets start off by taking a look at the boards layout overall.

abit fatal1ty f-i90 hd board layout

The board is very small when you are used to dealing with full size ATX boards, but everything is there that you need, all packed in neatly. As you can see there's only one PCI-e x16 slot and one PCI slot but the motherboard makes up for this with a couple of PCI-e x1 slots. Looking at the layout in general there's nothing that immediately strikes as being very bad layout wise.

Perhaps one of the SATA ports will be blocked off if you include a large GPU, although that defeats the object of the board in my opinion.

The NorthBridge sink looks quite large, so we will have to see how obstructive it is when fitting the cooler.

abit fatal1ty f-i90h

abit have chosen to go with mixed solid state and normal capacitors on the board. This isn't too much of a surprise as the board is not a top-end overclockers board. Having said that the caps are still high-quality Japanese capacitors, so you are not losing out much.

abit fatal1ty f-i90hd memory

Surprisingly enough for such a small board there's quite a gap between the CPU area and the memory slots. That makes it ideal to fit a fairly big cooler on the board with the potential for passive cooling - excellent if this is going under your TV as an HTPC. Also notice the main ATX power plug right on the edge of the board, good work.

abit fatal1ty f-i90hd cpu area

abit fatal1ty f-i90hd cpu area 2

The caps and power phases seem quite close to the socket, but after installing a rather large cooler it seems that abit have put half-height caps which don't interfere with installation at all. This is a very good use of space . As said before the only concern with really big coolers is that the NorthBridge looks a little close to the socket.

abit fatal1ty f-i90hd pci slots

Here we can see the two PCI-e x1 slots along with the full x16 slot and the PCI slot too. It's all squeezed on pretty well for such a small board and with more and more PCI-e x1 cards coming out there's lots of potential for expandibility. Also in the shot is the FDD connector along with the HD Audio chip. The audio is HDMI/HDCP compatible and hard-wired into the board so no DRM worries here at all.

abit fatal1ty f-i90hd

abit fatal1ty f-i90hd

Quite a clean and tidy area with the IDE connector sideways mounted as is the fashion now. The SATA area is slightly close to the PCI-e x16 slots as has been said but this shouldn't be too much of an issue. abit have included a nice easy CMOS reset jumper that is longer to allow you to reach it easier - a nice touch.

abit fatal1ty f-I90HD pwm area

Notice that the ATX 12v1 power connector is a 4 prong connector rather than 8. This is good news for those of us with a slightly older PSU. You can see 5 of the 6 power phases on the board which should help keeping a steady flow of voltage to all the important components.

abit fatal1ty f-I90hd HDMI connector

Finally the HDMI connector sitting at the back of the motherboard. This will be good news indeed for those wanting their digital TV hooked up and running.
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Most Recent Comments

16-04-2007, 12:48:20

FarFarAway
"Onboard Graphics" used to be dirty words in the world of the enthusiast, but with nVidia stepping up the heat with their onboard GPU's, it's not quite so bad.

AMD/ATI decided it's about time they hit back with something special...let's see what we've got

Click here

16-04-2007, 13:04:44

Doddsy
I think the most impressive part is the letter from Wendell!

Tbh I've quite liked the look of this one since I first saw it, imo it'd be fantastic for a HTPC.

16-04-2007, 13:04:55

nunzio
sweet looking.. and with the c2d price drops should soon be in my htpc budget

16-04-2007, 13:13:00

Doddsy
One thing I just thought of actually, why did they decide to brand it as a fatality product? Surely they should be for 'hardcore' gamers?

16-04-2007, 13:21:39

FarFarAway
Well ye I thought that a bit strange, but I suppose they are trying to market it as a gaming product

16-04-2007, 14:27:21

Doddsy
I'm sure they'd probably make more money marketing it as a HTPC product. Without the fatality branding it'd probably be cheaper and the 690G with HDMI just seems like the perfect HTPC board. Ah well, I'm sure there are some very well paid people in the workd making these kind of desisions.

16-04-2007, 16:31:20

shiftlocked
HI Guys

Can i request something in the review. What screen res does it go up to. Reason being is that I have an older abit board here that i cant remember and I cant get the full 1440 * 900 even with latest drivers, think its purely a spec issue

16-04-2007, 17:03:50

FarFarAway
Well I had it running at 1680 x 1050 no problems and it easily ran movies at 720p - 1368 x 768

16-04-2007, 19:37:24

ai_01
i love the bright red bios screen

16-04-2007, 20:33:39

duktayp
what are PCI-e x1 slots used for? thanks

edit: something else that was on my mind... is tekheads part of OC3D? i wasn't sure because i couldnt see an area to buy parts on OC3D and tekheads seems to have the same logo, also the tech support forums

16-04-2007, 20:36:33

Ham
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='duktayp'
what are PCI-e x1 slots used for? thanks
Not much atm, theres some network cards iirc and theres some sound cards on the horrizon

16-04-2007, 20:36:36

limqareb
nothing actually atm

in future NICs and sound cards will be pci e x1 in fact there is an XF-i that is x1 pci e

16-04-2007, 21:24:57

BUFF
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Doddsy'
One thing I just thought of actually, why did they decide to brand it as a fatality product? Surely they should be for 'hardcore' gamers?
& yet the latest Fatal1ty gfx card from XFX is a 7600GT & the other latest Fatal1ty mobo from abit is an 80 650i SLI .

I wonder if Wendel has realised that the volume (& hence the higher licence income) isn't at the the top end ...

17-04-2007, 00:48:05

PV5150
Great review Kemp and not too bad a performer either considering the onboard graphics...very respectable. But why oh why do abit insist on always putting their floppy connector at the bottom of the board? It drives me nuts! Admittedly, it is a smaller board but it just seems far too easy to place it there.

17-04-2007, 03:13:07

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PV5150'
Great review Kemp and not too bad a performer either considering the onboard graphics...very respectable. But why oh why do abit insist on always putting their floppy connector at the bottom of the board? It drives me nuts! Admittedly, it is a smaller board but it just seems far too easy to place it there.
Well at least it's at the edge of the board

Get with the times Peevs, no-one uses floppy's any more I never thought I'd say this but I haven't plugged in a floppy for about a year

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='"duktayp"'
something else that was on my mind... is tekheads part of OC3D? i wasn't sure because i couldnt see an area to buy parts on OC3D and tekheads seems to have the same logo, also the tech support forums
No we are not Tekheads at all, but we do host their support forums here.

@BUFF quite agreed - I think he puts his name to anything that looks like it will be profitable

17-04-2007, 03:24:31

PV5150

Well at least it's at the edge of the board

Get with the times Peevs, no-one uses floppy's any more

Granted it is at the edge of the board, and I haven't used a floppy either for probably longer. Virtual floppy and Nlite ftw for RAID drivers! Imo it's time to retire the floppy connector period, but great review anyway mate.

17-04-2007, 03:50:12

FarFarAway
Aye well good that Vista recognises a flash drive as a boot device properley

ty mate

17-04-2007, 04:44:29

nunzio
I still use floppies... well, have a floppy drive in my new computer. But it also have the cardread built onto it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Ham'
Not much atm, theres some network cards iirc and theres some sound cards on the horrizon
There is also a few TV/DVB/PVR cards out.

17-04-2007, 04:45:38

nunzio
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Ham'
Not much atm, theres some network cards iirc and theres some sound cards on the horrizon
There is also a few TV/DVB/PVR cards out.

18-04-2007, 08:39:08

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='limqareb'
nothing actually atm

in future NICs and sound cards will be pci e x1 in fact there is an XF-i that is x1 pci e
I feel there maybe a new slot out b4 these slots get that popular.

Excellent review again Kemp, would liked to have seen the I/O section with it`s backplate on, wondering also if they`d stuck with a regular plain silver effect or they`d added some HTPC lettering/symbols above the ports and perhaps `fancied` it up a bit.

Have u tried the HDMI->DVI lead in anything else ? I`m thinking u can get a HDMI lead for an XBox 360 possibly ?

18-04-2007, 09:05:23

FarFarAway
Nope tis just a boring backplate IO same as usual.

Not tried the lead in anything else due to the fact I don't have an HDMI device, but as it is a standard converter I would imagine it would work fine.

18-04-2007, 09:59:23

BUFF
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='limqareb'
nothing actually atm

in future NICs and sound cards will be pci e x1 in fact there is an XF-i that is x1 pci e
abit do a PCI-E x1 WiFi card as do Linksys(?) iirc.

18-04-2007, 12:39:31

Nagaru
Good review, it seems like an interesting little board. I think on the Command and Conquer part it should be RTS not RPG.

18-04-2007, 12:41:08

FarFarAway
Ye I realised that today, god knows what I was thinking

ty for reminding me - changed

11-05-2007, 04:15:51

M. Skif
Thanks for review.

Only one point is missed. If HDMI is the main feature - it should be more tests aroud it.

Does it support 1080i?

Does it support 1080p?

720p is too little in our days...

11-05-2007, 05:09:43

Toxcity
Nice reveiw there dudes..

But I kinda think it is a little fugly.

11-05-2007, 16:07:14

FarFarAway
I tested it at 1920 x 1080 out to the DVI port of the Dell 2405 FPW and it worked fine. I don't have a high-def TV with 1080p at this time and indeed the board doesn't support 1080p. I don't see why 720p is "so little in our days" as most HDTV's are 720p. In fact if you're a high-def aficionado you will know that 1080i looks almost exactly the same picture quality as 720p

Remember first and formost it IS a motherboard and as such we have to do tests based around that.

However I appreciate the feedback and will look to see what tests we can carry out aside from the movie playback etc that we have done in this review.

14-05-2007, 05:16:29

M. Skif
No, it is not about "true HD addiction".

My concern is much more simple... Why I should buy HD TV and monitor (and pay twice for the same products) when I can have big, nice, stylish monitor aka TV with really good resolution - 1920*1080?

TV's with 1920*1080 are very common now. 1356*768 looks absolutely horrible on them. And it looks like HDMI is going to be only one way to connect HD TV to PC and have hi res.

14-05-2007, 05:19:09

M. Skif
Anyway - many thanks for additional comment.

14-05-2007, 05:29:38

FarFarAway
Aye your right and this board does support 1080i so you should be good to go.

720p doesn't look that bad on a 1080p TV, but if you have a 1080p TV then you want to make the most of it.

So anyway, the F-I90HD does 1080i (1920 x 1200 actually I had it on on my Dell) and plays movies at 1080i

Hope that helps?

26-05-2007, 21:05:58

ITW
Witch Core 2 Duo cpu would you think I need to play 1080p movies smooth with this one?

Im thinking of buying this motherboard fore my HPPC seence my TV only suports 1080i and the motherboard have pci-ex I my buy an other grafik card later so I can play 1080p if i change my TV.

But a lot of movies Hd DVD and Blu-ray are 1080p and I need an fast hardware to play that, so witch core 2 duo cpu would you guys think I need to play 1080p with this motherboard?

Anyone have somthing bad to say about it as an HTPC motherboard?

Sincerely ITW

27-05-2007, 09:14:49

FarFarAway
First of all this chipset WILL NOT play 1080p movies, only 1080i or 720p

Secondly I think you'd be safe with most C2D CPU's as they're all pretty powerful

If you want to play 1080p with no hassles I would suggest either an 8800 or a 2900XT graphics card

Or just get a PS3 - easier and cheaprr

27-05-2007, 11:08:17

ITW
Ok but that answers my question, I was wondering witch Core 2 Duo that was needed.

I know the motherboard doesnt suport 1080p, but I still need the hardware to play 1080p HD DVD and Blu-ray movies, but the motherboard will only send out 1080i.

And that's ok seence my TV only suport 1080i.

Thank you a lot fore the answer, now I can start put to gether an upgrade to my HTPC.

Do you have any Core 2 Duo to recomend?

That have an good price to performance?

Sincerely ITW

27-05-2007, 11:13:29

FarFarAway
Well for great price>performance the e4300 is a great little CPU, although it's not a fully fledged C2D. Other than that an e6600?

27-05-2007, 11:24:45

ITW
Ok thx fore an quick answer.

I was thinking of an E6320 than with in my price range.

The E6600 is a little more expensive than I wanted to use on my HTPC.

Id there any point in an E6320 than an E6300?

The only thing that points me to the E6320 is that it's in the shop Im planing to buy the Fatal1ty F-I90HD, so I save some on shipping.

But is it overkill to get an E6300 fore an HTPC that im only using fore Divx and HD movies?

One more thing, how much memory can you set the Graphic to use?

27-05-2007, 12:26:25

FarFarAway
I would say the 6320 would be fine to run your media centre

And the specs of the GPU are here

Looks like it's an 128 bit interface but it's not too clear on what you set the memory for

27-05-2007, 12:39:13

ITW
Superb!

Thank you so much fore the help!

Now I know what to pick out fore the upgrade

Sincerely Isak
Reply
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