Abit KV8 PRO: Features and Layout


 Motherboard Specifications
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
No FireWire
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.

Index Abit KV8 PRO: Overclocking and Stress Testing
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  • intercollector - Saturday, May 29, 2004 - link

    I'm a little surprised to see why the MSI K8N didn't get the gold compared to the Epox. Both seem almost identical in every way, except that the K8N seems to include Firewire. Shouldn't this feature make it surpass the Epox board?

    The only downside of the MSI board seems to be the limit of a 300 max FSB, which is probably fine for 99.99% of overclockers.
    Reply
  • Klaasman - Saturday, May 29, 2004 - link

    #7-
    Thanks for link, but my KV8 Pro still wont boot when selecting "fixed" in bios setup.
    Why wouldn't my board have the pro chip? Manufacturing screw up maybe?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    #6 -
    Bank Interleaving is not an option in any of the BIOS' tested here. Many current BIOS enable Bank interleaving by default. Where it is an option, we definitely enable the best interleaving option available and list what we set in the memory chart. We are not ignoring this option.
    Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    If you are looking for the latest Abit KV8 pro bios have a look here. http://www.bleedinedge.com/download/bios/abit%20am...

    multi support and PCI lock inc. if your pro board won't lock the pci bus with this bios then your board may not have the pro chipset.
    Reply
  • Myrandex - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    Well after finishing the article, I was wondering why none of the boards are run with bank interleaving on? Doesn't it increase memory performance for the ones that support it? Reply
  • Myrandex - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    On the KV8 spec page, it states:
    Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 8 USB 2.0 ports supported by nF3-250
    No FireWire

    Should be K8T800 Pro instead of nF3-250.
    Reply
  • Myrandex - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • Klaasman - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    What revision of KV8 Pro were you using and what bios version?
    Nobody else with a recently purchased KV8 can get the locks to work. How come your board does?
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    Anandtech should have looked at the problem that the Chaintech VNF3-250 has with it's RAID and installing an OS, and the problem where the board refuses to boot from SATA if you enable RAID on any IDE HDDs. People've said they've been able to circumvent it, but I haven't got it to work yet, and Chaintech is worthless when it comes to customer service. I received an automated response about 6 or 7 days after my initial submission on their website (they have no US phone number.) And I still have not received an email from a representative yet. Reply
  • RyanVM - Friday, May 28, 2004 - link

    If there's so little variation in system performance between these, why not look at other aspects like USB throughput/CPU utilization, IDE/SATA throughput, ethernet throughput/CPU utilization, etc.

    Ace's Hardware just did a great article showing that the rather crummy components being used these days on cheaper motherboards have a pretty large impact in performance in those areas.
    http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=65000298
    Reply

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