Albatron motherboards like the KX18D Pro II
come in a nice shade of royal blue, and next to an all black PCB this is one
of the nicest shades. The position of the floppy/IDE connectors on the KX18D Pro II
to the right of the DIMM slots means they're not in the way
of the any PCI peripherals. It is also handy if you use a larger full tower case,
since the cables can reach higher if you're using the top 5.25" bays for
For those of you who are new to the world of computers
or are newbies when it comes to hardware the Albatron KX18D Pro II is
very well labelled. If you don't know what a header or jumper does, look
around the PCB and you'll no doubt get an answer. If that doesn't
work, the manual will answer all the questions you have about what jumper does
Flashing BIOS's can be tricky business, so it is
reassuring to know that the KX18D Pro II comes with twin BIOS's;
one for use, and one for backup. If something nasty happens during a
BIOS flash the recovery feature will help you to restore the
damaged BIOS program from the backup. Quick, pretty simple, and a heck of
lot better than going through an RMA process.
ATA is obviously the future, and the MCP/MCP-T Southbridge doesn't natively support that, the board includes a
Silicon Image (Sil3112ACT144) "SATALink" controller. It's a shame the KX18D ProII couldn't have
also included an additional IDE RAID controller as well though. Conventional IDE
drives are still fairly popular, and should be for at least another
year, or more.
USB2.0 is currently winning the peripheral war against IEEE
1394 on the PC front, however there are still many cool devices which use IEEE
1394 exclusively. Most motherboards support both standards, and the KX18D Pro II is no different. Firewire support comes thanks to a
Texas Instruments 35AT9HTC chipset.
To help keep things organized Albatron places all
the headers (USB, IEEE 1394, WoL, ETC) at the bottom of the motherboard. This
way the cables will not interfere with the other peripherals installed on the
not everyone who buys a motherboard is a "computer expert", it's always nice to
find a manual which is easy to read and precise. If you can't figure something
out, spend a few seconds looking through the manual and you'll no
doubt find the answer!