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ABIT KV8 Pro (VIA K8T800 Pro - Socket 754)
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Thursday, 17th March, 2005
Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

Ever since AMD introduced Socket 939 for the Athlon 64 platform, manufacturers have lost no time in adopting the new design. While much of the attention is now focused on the new platform, this does not mean that the older Socket 754 has been abandoned. As pricing continue to decline, the Socket 754 platform becomes very attractive for those on a budget. With the new Athlon 64 CPUs moving on to the dual channel Socket 939 platform, AMD has perfectly positioned the Socket 754 as the mainstream platform for the updated Sempron processors. The Sempron (Socket 754) processors have most of the goodness of the Athlon 64 CPU, minus 64-bit support and a smaller L2 cache, but all the good performance traits of this CPU architecture are intact.

This brings us to the product in question. We have on our hands an updated variation of the ABIT KV8-MAX3 motherboard, the KV8 Pro. If you remember, the KV8-MAX3 was featured in our last Athlon 64 motherboard shootout. The board was based on VIA's then flagship chipset, the K8T800. VIA subsequently released an enhanced version of the K8T800, the K8T800 Pro. The K8T800 Pro supports a full duplex 16-bit HyperTransport bus much like it's predecessor, but VIA updated the bus speed to 1GHz from 800MHz. Other than the obvious, the K8T800 Pro finally has an asynchronous bus architecture. This means that the PCI and AGP buses can be independently locked from the FSB. This feature has been long coming and should allow for better system stability and aid overclocking. VIA has also increased the V-Link bandwidth for the K8T800 Pro between Northbridge and Southbridge to have a maximum throughput of 1066MB/s.


The ABIT KV8 Pro is based on the K8T800 Pro chipset and thus becomes one of the few motherboards to provide enhanced support for Socket 754, prolonging its life. When ABIT embraced VIA's chipsets for their Socket 754 line-up, they labeled them as 'The Ultimate AMD Platform'. With the enhanced bandwidth and features plus ABIT's considerable experience tweaking VIA chipsets, we expected the board to perform well in our tests. Indeed we received some rather surprising results. Before we go further, lets check out the board specifications and details first.

ABIT KV8 Pro motherboard based on VIA's K8T800 Pro with 1GHz HT. Socket 754 saviour?

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