Albatron K8X800 Pro II Review - K8X800 Pro II Specifications
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CPU: AMD K8
Chipset: VIA K8T800/8237
Form Factor: ATX ( 305*244 mm )
FSB: 800 MHz
USB: 8 USB 2.0/1.1 Ports (6 ports by optional cable)
LAN: 3Com 1Gbits LAN
Sound: 8 channel Audio
South Bridge Speed : ATA100
RAID: Serial ATA RAID 0,1
Serial ATA: 2 Serial ATA150 Channels
IEEE 1394: 2 *IEEE1394 Ports
BIOS Mirror: Y
Voice Genies: Y
As you can see, this board is not lacking in features. The 8237 south bridge is loaded similarly to the Intel ICH5R, with 8 USB 2.0 ports, 2 SATA ports - capable of RAID 0 or 1 - and the standard features, such as PCI bus mastering, two ATA 100 channels to support 4 devices, sound and LAN. These last two have however been replaced by IC's on the board. Albatron has used a 3com Gigabit controller instead of the 10/100 one in the SB. Unfortunately, this chip seems let down by its drivers; it was visibly slower compared to the Intel Pro 100+ card that I normally use, even while surfing the web. I'm fairly certain that a software update is all that's required, since there's no reason for it to act this way.
The other chip which replaces an equivalent one in the south bridge is still from the VIA catalog. It's the same Envy 24 bit audio processor found in sound cards like the M-Audio Revolution and Terratec Digifire. However, it's defined as the PT version, where those on a discreet card are labeled as HT. I'm not sure from the documentation what the physical differences are, if any. Again however, this quality hardware (the sound in various media is exceptional) seems let down by it's drivers. It's supposedly capable of 24 bit 192 KHz processing, but I was never able to select such options when encoding audio from DVD's. With some better configured software, this would be - from a technical standpoint - a dynamite onboard solution to rival that of the "Soundstorm" found on some nForce2 motherboards.
Also from the VIA stable is an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) controller. This type of connectivity is favored by those with Digital Video cameras, external hard drives, and Apple iPods. It's pretty much a standard feature on all high end motherboards now.
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