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Albatron K8SLI Mainboard

Manufacturer: Albatron
Supplied by: Albatron
Street Price: $135

by Dean Barker (8/11/2005)

Introduction

Most mainboard purchases are made in conjunction with a more advanced or faster processor for the better part of a whole.  This general rule has been turned on its head with the introduction of NVidia's SLI technology last year.  Not to be confused with 3DFx's SLi of old; NVidia's SLI stands for Scaleable Link Interface.  To keep things simple, as well as keeping this mainboard review from becoming a technology overview of SLI, SLI is NVidia's technology for allowing two PCI-Express video cards to split up graphical workloads; one handling the upper part of the screen and the other the lower.  To take advantage of a dual VGA card technology you first need a SLI capable mainboard.  With SLI being more mainstream than a novelty item now, we are seeing a good number of products hitting the shelves offering dual VGA action for the non-FreeCell addicted gamer.

Enter Albatron.  In existence since 1984, they really didn't make an impression on the enthusiast market with mainboards and VGA cards until 2002.  Since then, a progressively increasing product offering has brought lots of press to Albatron and their attention to detail and quality.

Today, we have Albatron's nForce 4 based K8SLI board on the bench.  While the AMD K8 and nForce 4 are of interest to many of you, wrapping these up with SLI, is the attention getter.  Sporting a much smaller size than other SLI boards we’ve seen, the Albatron K8SLI looks to make an impression with a mix of compact size and full featured performance.  With that said, let's jump right into the specs and take a closer look at this little blue meanie.

Specifications

  • Application: AMD Athlon 64 / Athlon 64 FX (939 pin)

  • Chipset: NVidia nForce4 SLI

  • Memory: Four DDR400 DIMM slots supporting Dual Channel up to a total of 4 GB

  • Expansion slots: Two PCI-E x 16 slots; Two PCI-E x 1 slots; Two PCI slots

  • Audio: Realtek AC97 5.1

  • LAN: Vitesse CIS8201 chipset 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet

  • USB: Four external USB 2.0 ports; two onboard connections each supporting two more USB 2.0 connections

  • IDE: Two Channels supporting two IDE devices each

  • SATA: Four ports

  • RAID: Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0 + 1, RAID Span (JBOD)

  • Firewire: Not supported

  • Phoenix Award BIOS with backup BIOS module

  • Watch Dog Timer 

  • ATX Form Factor (293 x 198mm)


NEXT

Pg 1 - Introduction
Pg 2 - The Board
Pg 3 - More Board / BIOS
Pg 4 - BIOS / Test Setup
Pg 5 - Productivity Benchmarks
Pg 6 - Gaming Benchmarks
Pg 7 - SLI in action
Pg 8 - Overclocking / Conclusion

 


 



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