Abit AV8: Features and Layout

 Abit AV8 Motherboard Specifications
CPU Interface Socket 939 Athlon 64
Chipset VIA K8T800 PRO/VT8237
Bus Speeds 200MHz to 336MHz (in 1MHz increments)
CPU Ratios 4x - 25x in 1x 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
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 Four 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Unbuffered Memory to 4GB
Expansion Slots 1 AGP 8X Slot
5 PCI Slots
Onboard SATA/IDE RAID 2 SATA 150 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
3 IEEE 1394 FireWire Ports
Onboard LAN Gigabit Ethernet by VIA VT6122 PCI
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC658
6-Channel with SPDIF
Tested BIOS 1.3

The AV8 is Abit's flagship board for the Athlon 64, and you can certainly see this reflected in the features lavished on the AV8. Compared to the 754 version that we recently tested, Abit includes 3 Firewire ports on the AV8. True to their tradition as an overclocker's board, Abit has not included additional RAID, IDE or SATA controllers on the AV8. However, you will find that the VIA SATA RAID in the VT8237 Southbridge is fully supported. Abit has also used VIA chips for Firewire and LAN, but the VIA LAN is PCI-based and not on-chip as we see featured on the nVidia nF3-250 boards.

The overclocking controls are typically 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. The only surprise here is memory voltage, which is somewhat limited to 2.8V in BIOS. The latest version of uGuru (2.11) does not offer any additional vDIMM adjustments, so you are left with a top voltage of 2.8, which is limited for a board geared toward overclockers. 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.

The first thing that we looked for was a working PCI/AGP lock, and we are pleased to report that the AV8 fully supports the AGP/PCI lock and a full range of ratios for overclocking the 939 processors. This is important because all Athlon 64 processors are unlocked downward, a side-effect of AMD Cool'n'Quiet technology. This means that any Athlon 64 can be set to lower CPU multipliers and higher frequencies to get the most out of high-speed memory. In addition, the Athlon 64 FX chips are completely unlocked, so both higher and lower ratios can be selected.

The Abit AV8 actually runs at 204 speed when the frequency is set to default, but we were able to force a 200 CPU frequency in BIOS for testing. All of the recent Abit boards that we have tested have been set to 204 at default, so be cautious in comparing review results unless the reviewer corrected the CPU frequency in testing an Abit motherboard.

Abit uses flat edge connectors for IDE connections, which does a very good job of removing any interference from the bulky IDE cables. We like the edge connectors, but some case designs make it very difficult to connect the edge-connectors. The bulky 20-pin ATX and 4-pin 12V connectors are both between the CPU and the back panel I/O ports, which makes routing the 20-pin ATX without blocking air flow a challenge in most case designs. Abit included the 2-digit diagnostic LEDs, which can be very useful for troubleshooting.

Index Abit AV8: Overclocking and Stress Testing


View All Comments

  • Richdog - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

  • bigtoe33 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    If you are looking for the K8NN939 beta M03 again its availabale at bleedinedge.com on bigtoe's bios bin.


  • grdh20 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link


    abit av8 1.3 bios link
  • grdh20 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    The msi K8N Neo2 will hit the states in 2 weeks according to MSI.

    How will the A8V rev. 2.0 be sold in terms of order by model #. Same or different? Rev. # is only printed on the PCB, not the box.
  • Brickster - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    I love my new Gigabyte 939 board! It kicks a*s and is perrrty in the dark! :) Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    #36 - The new Gigabyte BIOS DOES have multipliers in BIOS as I detailed in the review specifications. See the link in #35. Reply
  • RyanVM - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    With performance getting so similar between the various boards/chipsets, it seems to me that AT is overlooking some of the bigger differentiating factors: integrated features. It would be nice to see how the USB, Firewire, IDE/SATA, Ethernet, Sound, etc. implementations differ in CPU utilization and overall performance.

    For example, the Gigabyte (inexplicably) uses a 3rd party GigE controller instead of the NF3-250's controller. What impact on throughput/CPU utilization does this have? How is VIA's SATA implementation compared to nVidia's?

    It seems to me that those are become more relevant of questions than "Which board has a higher Winstone rating?"
  • Parc - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    I had heard the Gigabyte board would not let you adjust the multipler in the bios but I saw a picture where it could be adjusted from the software in windows? Is this true? Any disadvantages to this? Also just how bad is the voltage limit holding the Gigabyte board back? Is there anyway Gigabyte could allow you any more voltage adjusts through the bios in the future or is this board hopeless for volts? Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    For all who want the AV8 bios...first join the forums over at www.bleedinedge.com, then look in bigtoe's bios bin. you will find the bios under abit amd boards.

  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - link

    #31 - A friend will post a host for the BIOS soon, as I can't handle all the individual requests. Until then email me and I will be happy to send it to you.

    #32 & #33 - The Socket 939 boards WILL handle ECC and non-ECC memory, but I suspect the question is larger than this. Socket 940/Opteron requires REGISTERED memory and the ECC can be on or off. We have tested the 939 with Registered memory and it is definitely NOT compatable with Registered memory. If you want to keep using Registered memory (Which you may have bought for 940) you will have to stick with an Opteron.

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