Our preview of the Abit AW9D-MAX now shows a motherboard capable of living up to its heritage. In fact, this is probably the best performing Abit board we have tested since the IC7-MAX3 board that was one of our all time favorite Intel 875 boards. While we noticed a few minor issues with the BIOS during a rigorous test schedule, we have to state once again that the overall performance of the board is extremely impressive at this time. However, our enthusiasm is curtailed by the layout and expansion options on the board. While the minimalist and almost legacy free nature of the board may appeal to some, we found the lack of useable PCI slots to be a major drawback during operation with this board. We did come to accept this limitation as we found the on-board audio solution to be very good for most purposes and accepted the fact that this board would probably not be used in a home theater setup. That still does not excuse Abit for not including more PCI slots or at least changing the location of the single slot provided.
Source:Abit AW9D-MAX: When "Beta" MAX is a good thing