..:: AG8 Packaging ::..
As we noted in our recent AA8-DuraMAX review, we’ve never really been all that fond of the product packages that ABIT typically supplies. Even on their high-end models, ABIT will only add on a USB 2.0 / IEEE1394 expansion bracket, and possibly some custom ribbon cables to go with the theme of the motherboard. We’ve seen other motherboard manufacturers throw in a plethora of extra items that will really give the end user a great deal for their money. In the end, ABIT makes up for this lack of goodies by implementing some other items into their systems such as uGuru. One aspect that has always been a real strength of ABIT’s product packaging is the quality of documentation.
As far as the listing of included components goes, the AG8 package is identical to that of the AA8-DuraMAX. ABIT includes a single rear expansion bracket that provides for additional USB 2.0 and IEEE1394 support. The rear I/O panel is already outfitted with a wide array of USB 2.0 and IEEE1394 connections, so it is nice to see ABIT still include this item even though most users will get by with merely the provided connections. ABIT also includes custom IDE and Floppy cables to add a little flare to your system. We also find that ABIT has included four grey Serial ATA data cables with the AG8. This will allow for support of all four connections to each of the various Serial ATA capable ports on the motherboard. Other than these few items, the remainder of the package is quite quiet on the component end, as we have come to expect from ABIT.
The real strength of ABIT packaging is the quality of the documentation. The AG8, much like the AA8-DuraMAX, does not fail to disappoint in this category. ABIT has included a short, but detailed Quick Installation guide to help get the system up and running if you’re new to the world of building PC’s. They’ve also thrown in detailed manuals covering both the motherboard and the uGuru software. With the capabilities that are offered up by ABIT’s uGuru, I was expecting nothing but the best on the documentation end, and that’s what I got. ABIT has also chosen to hop on the bandwagon of manufacturers who include large stickers that cover the various headers and connections on the motherboard. These stickers can be affixed in the case, and make life much easier when it comes time to hook up the system, or add additional components on down the line.
In the end, the product package for the AG8 is exactly what I was expecting. ABIT recently announced their “3rd Eye” and “Guru Clock” support for the AG8. This new technology adds some flavor to ABIT’s packaging that others have not yet venture into. It also allows for ever present monitoring of critical system measurements on an exterior clock / digital readout display. ABIT has also announced a version of the AA8-DuraMAX that also features this technology. I personally can’t wait to get a hold of one of these units for some testing, only then will we see if this is a real useful item, or more for looks and flash than anything. Overall, solid product package just as we found with the AA8-DuraMAX.