There's little doubt that if you're thinking about buying
a new system or upgrading, an AMD Athlon64 is currently the way to go. Pentium 4
systems can be had with the same features, but with the Athlon64 processor you
generally get more for your money in our opinion.
Much of AMD's success would not be possible if it were
not for nVIDIA and its excellent chipsets. Aside from the original nForce,
nVIDIA has not experienced much in terms of compatibility or delivery issues and
every chipset has performed well. There are many
nForce4 SLI motherboards on the market and most share one similar trait... they
are huge. This is what makes the Albatron K8SLI so refreshing, since you get all
the NF4-SLI goodness in a smaller package. The Albatron K8SLI is a rather lean
motherboard and only comes with a Gigabit NIC and 5.1 audio other than what is
included with the nForce 4 chipset. If you need to upgrade there are a decent
number of expansion slots, so all we need are more PCI Express x1 devices on the
Albatron did a good job with the layout of this
motherboard and it's quite user friendly. The board retails for about $160USD ($200CDN) and the manual is also well written and
will no doubt help users should they have problems with RAID or SLI. We would
have liked to see the K8SLI come with a few more extras since it only ships with
a single SATA cable.
The Albatron K8SLI did very well in all the benchmarks we
threw at it. It would be impossible to tell the difference between this board
and a higher end model like the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI or the DFI LANParty
NF4 SLI-DR. The K8SLI seemed to be up to the overclocking game as well and hit a
very respectable 283 MHz. If you want a small but powerful machine, the Albatron
K8SLI is exactly what the doctor ordered!
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