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ABIT KV8-MAX3 Athlon64 Motherboard Review

ABIT KV8-MAX3 Athlon64 Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: The KV8-MAX3 is an Socket 754 Athlon64 motherboard based on the venerable, and highly recommendable VIA K8T800 chipset.
 83% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ABIT Mar 30 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ABIT KV8-MAX3

Serial ATA and IDE

Athlon64 motherboards look a little different from Intel motherboards don't they? The most obvious difference is that the northbridge is off by the rear IO ports. With an active cooler on the VIA Northbridge to keep it cool, the heatsink seems to do a good job.

With the three-pin power connector just off to one side by the main ATX power connector (and auxiliary 4-pin 12V power header), it's easily at hand for anyone looking to replace the stock cooler with something a little more beefy.

The layout of the ABIT KV8-MAX3 is nicely done, with the main ATX and ATX12V line placed together off to the left of the CPU socket. Another thing I really like is that the first PCI slot is spaced 30mm away from the AGP slot, so there is plenty of room for large third party coolers, or even one of those two-PCI slot nVidia Geforce FX heatsinks.

Serial ATA is the future of storage, and the ABIT KV8-MAX3 features an additional four channel Silicon Image Sil3114CT176 Serial ATA/RAID controller for a total of six SATA headers.

Six Serial ATA ports (two native to the VIA VT8237 Southbridge) should definitely keep even the biggest data-hog satisfied. I'm still holding onto plenty of IDE drives, so even though ABIT have made a name for themselves going legacy free, an IDE RAID controller would have been fantastic. Oh well, as they say; you can't have it all, all the time! :-)

A Port 80 diagnostics card on the lower right hand corner of the KV8-MAX3 can make the life of any enthusiast all that much easier. To tell the truth, I have come to rely on Port80 so much that when I move to a board that doesn't have one, I often feel lost!

GigABIT Ethernet is gaining a lot of momentum, and just about the default network standard for any gaming board these days. ABIT have included it here, care of the 3Com Marvell GigABIT NIC. Considering the computer industry's addiction to more bandwidth, GigABIT ethernet should become the wired standard in the very near future.

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Contents of Article: ABIT KV8-MAX3
 Pg 1.  ABIT KV8-MAX3 Athlon64 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Serial ATA and IDE
 Pg 3.  OTES, Secure IDE and µGuru
 Pg 4.  ABIT's µGuru
 Pg 5.  The ABIT BIOS
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SysMark2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001, AquaMark3
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2 The Threat, UT2003

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