DFI has made quite a name for themselves from the success of their LANParty and LANPartyUT series of motherboards. Catering to the enthusiast and modding community, DFI's branding is more or less synonymous with ABIT and EPoX. However, the world doesn't revolve only around the high-end crowd. Budget centric solutions and requirements for the average consumer and OEM market still needs to be filled. This is where the DFI K8M800-MLV comes into the picture. The board is based upon the VIA K8M800 chipset for the Socket-754 Athlon 64 platform.
The VIA K8M800 chipset leverages on the features available in the earlier K8T800 and brings 64-bit computing into the mainstream with integrated graphics. At the heart of the North Bridge, the graphics core is powered by S3 Graphics' UniChrome Pro. The IGP is a 128-bit graphics engine with a dual pixel pipeline and is clocked at 200MHz. Being an integrated graphics solution, it supports a shared memory frame buffer of up to 64MB. The UniChrome Pro can deliver up to 4.5 million triangles per second and has a fill rate of up to 400 million texels/sec. Not really impressive considering even entry-level discrete graphics cards today are capable of reaching a billion texels/sec fill rate. This comes as no surprise though, and users should already be familiar with the extreme limitations of most IGP's 3D performance.
The UniChrome Pro includes a comprehensive video rendering engine called the Chromotion CE Video Display Engine. It supports Adaptive De-Interlacing Technique (ADT) and Hardware Video De-blocking Filter to generate high quality video output. Besides MPEG 2 iDCT and hardware motion compensation, the UniChrome Pro also has native HDTV support up to 1080p (1920x1080) format.
Like the K8T800, the K8M800 sports a full 16-bit (upstream and downstream) 800MHz HyperTransport interface. Sadly, the North Bridge is paired with the VIA VT8237 South Bridge. Hence, it is still based on an 8x V-Link (533MB/sec) connection. In our previous articles, we have thoroughly explored the technologies available for the VIA K8T800 chipset. You can view our Athlon 64 chipset shootout
Without further ado, let's have a look at the DFI K8M800-MLV. Read on for our in-depth analysis of the board's performance
The DFI K8M800-MLV Motherboard
The packaging contains the following items:-
1 x 80-Pin Ultra ATA-133 cable
1 x SATA-150 data cable
1 x Floppy drive cable
Rear I/O shield panel
SATA/RAID driver diskette