Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 Motherboard Review
When nVIDIA first announced its nForce3-150 chipset for the Athlon64 processor, many consumers had mixed feelings. Next came the nForce3-250, and while nVidia did state it
had updated the NF3-250 to address the issues of the NF3-150, it didn't really help
out those who wanted an Athlon64 system.
that AMD's Socket 939 CPU has been released, all the
pieces of the puzzle are falling into place nicely care of the nForce3 Ultra
chipset. For starters, consumers can use dual channel DDR RAM with the Athlon64
processor, and they also have the choice of upgrading to a higher end Athlon64 FX
CPU if they wish.
review, PCstats is testing a brand new Socket 939 motherboard from Gigabyte which is priced
at around $350 CDN ($240 US). The Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 is powered by
the nForce3 Ultra chipset, and includes an onboard Serial ATA RAID controller, IEEE 1394b
Firewire, Gigabit LAN, a 10/100 NIC, 7.1 channel audio, dual BIOS chips and Gigabyte's proprietory
Dual Power System (DPS).
Users Manual, Serial ATA RAID manual,
Driver CD, Gigabyte Sticker, Ultra/133 IDE cable, Floppy Drive
cable, three Serial ATA cables, Three Molex to Serial ATA
cables, Rear I/O Shield, External Serial ATA Bracket, Audio
Bracket, USB Bracket, USB/IEEE1394b Bracket
The layout of the
components and slots on the GA-K8NSNXP-939 motherboard is excellent, a common trend with Gigabyte's
boards - the main IDE/floppy drive and ATX power connector couldn't be placed
in a better location!
It's also nice with motherboard designers locate all the headers, ie. Serial ATA channels, USB2.0,
IEEE1394b, etc. at the very bottom of the motherboard. It certainly
helps when one's installing all the PCI brackets to have all the connectors out of the way of
expansion cards. Oddly, there are two Serial ATA channels just above the AGP
slot... which seems to be a trend of all nForce3-250 based boards we've
tested thus far.
The Gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 is nicely labeled, so that wherever there is a header or connector,
you'll find identification near by. For example, the two Serial ATA slots above the AGP are
labelled SATA0_SB, SATA1_SB while the Serial ATA channels on the bottom of
the board are labelled SATA0_SII,
STAT1_SII. If you haven't guessed yet, SB
stands for the Southbridge while SII indicates the Serial ATA channels run
through the onboard Silicon Image Sil3512CT128 controller! Talk about a company
that goes all the way!