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Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI (NVIDIA nForce4 SLI)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Friday, 4th February, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


The Mother Of All SLI Boards?

Gigabyte's high-end motherboards are best known to deck enthusiast-class features filling up every bit of the PCB real estate and it's not much different on Gigabyte's chief NVIDIA nForce4 SLI motherboard solution known as the GA-K8NXP-SLI. Although the MSI K8N Diamond that we reviewed recently had set very high expectations in the features department, Gigabyte's GA-K8NXP-SLI is just as equally spectacular, but its emphasis differs from the MSI board. Leave it to us as we unravel every aspect possible of the second NVIDIA nForce4 SLI motherboard to enter our test labs before we pass our verdict.

The Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard.

Within the huge split-box packaging of the Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI, you'll find the following contents:-

  • Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard
  • Gigabyte SLI high-speed digital link interface bridge
  • Gigabyte K8 DPS module + bracket
  • Gigabyte GN-WPKG 802.11b/g Wireless Network Adaptor (up to 54Mbps)
  • 8x SATA data cables
  • 4x SATA Y-power cables (dual plugs each)
  • 2x Dual-port USB 2.0 brackets
  • IEEE1394b (Firewire-800, 2 ports) + Dual USB 2.0 bracket
  • 1x Standard IDE cable
  • 1x Standard Floppy cable
  • Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI Motherboard manual
  • Gigabyte GN-WPKG PCI WLAN card manual
  • Silicon Image SiI3114 RAID controller manual
  • Gigabyte casing sticker
  • Gigabyte Driver/Utility CD
  • Gigabyte Wireless LAN card driver CD

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI Technical Specifications
    Processor Support
    • AMD Athlon 64 / Athlon 64 FX Socket 939 Processors
    Chipset
    • NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP (single chip)
      • HyperTransport Interface to CPU
        • Supports 1Ghz and 800MHz interface speeds
        • 16bit upstream and 16-bit downstream interface
        • Maximum throughput of 8GB/s
      • PCI Express Interface
        • One x16 PCI Express link for graphics card.
          • Supports Scalable Link Interface Technology (SLI) for dual PCIe x8 interfaces
        • Four additional x1 PCIe link Express links for other high performance devices
      • PCI Interface
        • PCI 2.3 compliant, 5V tolerant
        • Support six bus master PCI slots
      • USB 2.0
        • Supports 10 USB 2.0 ports
        • Backward compatible to USB 1.1
      • Audio - AC97 2.3 Compliant interface
        • Supports 2, 4, 6, or 8-channel audio
        • Dual AC-Link: supports up to two codecs
        • Dual S/PDIF: supports two simultaneous digital outputs; handles stereo PCM or AC-3 output
        • 16-bit or 20-bit stereo, 48kHz output and 16-bit input streams across AC-Link
        • 24-bit, 96kHz stereo output on the secondary S/PDIF output
      • Storage
        • NVIDIA RAID
          • RAID 0, 1, 0+1 Array creation across PATA and SATA drives
          • RAID Morphing support
        • SATA II
          • Support for SATA 3Gb/s, 1.5Gb/s disk controller standards
          • Dual controller architecture
          • Four integrated SATA 3Gb/s ports
        • Dual Ultra ATA-133 Disk Drive Controllers
          • Supports UltraDMA modes 6-0 (UltraDMA 33/66/100/133)
      • Networking & Security
        • Integrated Gigabit MAC supporting 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet
        • NVIDIA Firewall Technology
        • NVIDIA ActiveArmor Secure Networking Engine
    System memory
    • 4 x 184-pin DDR DIMM sockets
    • Supports dual channel memory interface
    • Supports DDR 266/333/400 DIMM Modules
    • Supports a maximum memory size of 4GB
    • Supports 2.5V DDR SDRAM
    Storage
    • 2 x Ultra ATA-133 IDE ports by NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP
      • Supports UltraDMA modes 6-0 (UltraDMA 33/66/100/133)
      • Supports up to 4 IDE devices
      • Supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1 Array thru NVIDIA RAID
    • 4 x SATA II ports supported by NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP
      • 3Gbp/s bandwdith to each drive
      • Supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1 Array thru NVIDIA RAID
    • 4 x SATA ports powered by SiI 3114 SATA controller
      • 1.5Gbp/s bandwdith to each drive
      • Supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 Array
    Audio
    • Realtek ALC850 Audio AC'97 Codec
      • 16-bit / 48KHz audio quality
      • Compatible with the following 3D sound formats: EAX 1.0 & 2.0, Direct Sound 3D, A3D, I3DL2, HRTF 3D positional audio
      • Up to 7.1 Channels of Surround Sound
      • Supports Jack Sensing function
      • Full analog surround ports and Mic-in, Line-in ports
      • S/PDIF Coaxial In/Out connections
    LAN
    • Dual Gigabit LAN ports
      • NVIDA Gigabit LAN co-supported by VITESSE 8201 SimpliPHY chip (Transceiver)
      • Marvell 88E8053 PCI Express Gigabit LAN
    • Gigabyte GN-WPKG 802.11b/g Wireless Network Adaptor (up to 54Mbps)
    IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
    • Texas Instrument TSB82AA2 OHCI 1394b Link Layer Controller + TSB81BA3 1394b Physical Layer Controller
    • Supports three 800MB/sec ports (backward compatible with 100/200/400MB/s transfers)
    I/O Interface
    • 1 x floppy connector (360KB - 2.88MB)
    • 1 x serial port
    • 1 x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
    • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
    • 1 x PS/2 Mouse
    • 10 x USB 2.0 ports (4x rear, 4x via Brackets, 2x via front header)
    • 2 x IEEE1394a/Firewire ports on Bracket
    • 1 x IrDA TX/RX header for SIR/ASKIR/IRDA
    • Audio ports for on-board sound (Line-Out, Surround-Out, Rear-Out, center/subwoofer-output, Line-In, Mic)
    • 2 x  RJ-45 10/100/1000 LAN ports
    Expansion slots
    • 2 x PCIe x16 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
    • 2 x PCIe x1 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
    • 2 x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.3 compliant
    Special Features
    • Dual BIOS
    • Q-Flash
    • Dual Power System (DPS)
    • Xpress Installation / Recovery
    Power Management
    • Supports ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
    • Supports Suspend to RAM / Disk (S3 / S4)
    • WOL by PME
    • Power-on by switch, keyboard
    • Power-off by Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/NT shut down and switch
    Form Factor
    • ATX Form Factor : 30.5cm x 24.4cm
    • Requires 9 mounting holes
    • Fits into regular ATX case
    BIOS
    • 2 x 4Mbit (512KB) Flash ROM
    • AWARD Flash BIOS with PnP, APM, DMI, and ACPI support
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