Socket 754 Roundup: Comparing Generation 2by Wesley Fink on May 28, 2004 5:57 PM EST
- Posted in
Abit KV8 PRO: Features and Layout
|CPU Interface||Socket 754 Athlon 64|
|Chipset||VIA K8T800 PRO/VT8237|
|Bus Speeds||200MHz to 300MHz (in 1MHz increments)|
|PCI/AGP Speeds||CPU:AGP:PCI - Fixed, 6:2:1, 7:2:1, 8:2:1|
|HyperTransport||Auto, 200MHz to 1GHz (1x-5x)|
|Core Voltage||1.50V to 1.85V in 0.025V increments|
|DRAM Voltage|| 2.50V to 2.8V in 0.05V increments
(to 3.2V in uGuru)
|AGP Voltage||1.50V-1.65V in 0.05V increments|
|NB (Northbridge) Voltage||1.50V-1.65V in 0.05V increments|
|SB (Southbridge) Voltage||2.50V-2.65V in 0.05V increments|
|HT (HyperTransport) Voltage||1.20V-1.40V in 0.05V increments|
|Memory Slots||Two 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Unbuffered Memory to 2GB Total
|Expansion Slots||1 AGP 8X Slot
5 PCI Slots
|Onboard SATA/IDE RAID||2 SATA drives by VIA VT8237
Can be combined in RAID 0, 1, JBOD
|Onboard IDE||Two Standard VIA ATA133/100/66 (4 drives)|
|Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394||8 USB 2.0 ports supported by VIA VT8237
|Onboard LAN||Gigabit Ethernet by VIA VT6122 PCI|
|Onboard Audio||Realtek ALC658
6-Channel with SPDIF
The KV8 PRO is a bit smaller than standard ATX and appears to have been designed with the future in mind, where Socket 754 will become the value board for Athlon 64. However, all of the best top-end features are here except Firewire, which can be added with a PCI card if it is an important feature to you. You also will not find any additional RAID controllers on-board, though the VIA SATA RAID in the VT8237 Southbridge is fully supported.
The overclocking controls are typical of Abit in that they are a wonderful selection of voltages and frequencies to get the most from the K8T800 PRO and the Athlon 64. Particularly notable are the voltage adjustments for the Northbridge, Southbridge, and chipset - in addition to the expected voltage adjustments. While memory voltage is a somewhat limited 2.8V in BIOS, adjustments can be made to a very healthy 3.2V in the uGuru utility. We first tested uGuru in our review of the Abit KV8 Max3, and it continues to evolve as a very useful tool for the overclocker.
Our first Abit KV8 PRO did not have a working PCI/AGP lock. However, Abit quickly supplied a revised KV8 PRO that definitely does have a working PCI/AGP lock. We tested the revised KV8 Pro with PCI Geiger and the lock is definitely working on the revised KV8 PRO. However, there were no ratio adjustments at all in the Abit BIOS, an amazing oversight from a company that caters to the overclocker. The KV8 PRO also had the strange behavior of booting at a 9X ratio, when our 3200+ is a 10X ratio processor. Abit Engineers are aware of these issues and assure us that they will definitely be fixed on shipping boards.
The Abit KV8 PRO actually runs at 204FSB when the frequency is set to 200. Fortunately, Abit shows this modest overclock in uGuru and we were able to adjust the FSB to 200 for testing.
The Abit KV8 PRO has tremendous potential, but it is plagued with annoying BIOS problems. When these are ironed out, it will likely be one of the top Socket 754 boards, but these issues prevented a real test of the capabilities of the KV8 PRO.