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ABIT KV8-MAX3 Athlon64 Motherboard Review

ABIT KV8-MAX3 Athlon64 Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: The KV8-MAX3 is an Socket 754 Athlon64 motherboard based on the venerable, and highly recommendable VIA K8T800 chipset.
 83% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ABIT Mar 30 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ABIT KV8-MAX3

The ABIT BIOS

ABIT has been good to the enthusiast, giving users a ton of memory tweaks! There are the usual CAS Latency, RAS to CAS and RAS precharge, and a lot of others that I do not know how to adjust... You can probably spend quite a bit of time just playing with all the different settings.

Here you can adjust the Hypertransport data width and frequency that it runs at.

I'm sure these are the settings enthusiasts are most interested in; we can adjust the motherboard clock speed from 200-300 MHz in 1 MHz increments. Surprisingly, ABIT do not allow you to change the Athlon64's multiplier! Most of the KV8-MAX3's competition do allow you to change the multiplier. Maximum CPU voltage is 1.85V, AGP 1.65V, DDR 3.2V and HyperTransport 1.4V.

ABIT's "OC on the fly" feature did not seem to function properly... when we pressed F8 we were greeted by the board asking us if we want to continue, and when we say yes, it dropped right back to the SoftMenu Setup screen.

Talkin' about overclockin'

ABIT is synonymous with overclocking, so I had high expectations for the KV8-MAX3. With the Athlon64 3200+ in the socket, and HSF firmly secured, we began to raise the clock speed of the motherboard.

Starting at 200 MHz we went up in small intervals of 2-3 MHz at a time. At around 213 MHz our memory started to cause some problems, but raising the voltage to 2.7V solved everything. We continued higher and hit another snag at 220 MHz FSB. This time it was the HyperTransport voltage, going to 1.4V made everything as smooth as silk.

We finally hit a wall at 223 MHz, we're not sure what the problem could be because both the memory and CPU have gone higher before. It's also possible that the videocard or HDD might be holding us back as VIA does not lock the AGP/PCI speeds on the K8T800 chipset.

In any event, 223 MHz is not bad considering we're using the stock Athlon 64 heatsink and nothing has been 'modded.' Hopefully ABIT will allow end users to adjust the multiplier in the future which should allow for higher motherboard clocks.

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Contents of Article: ABIT KV8-MAX3
 Pg 1.  ABIT KV8-MAX3 Athlon64 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Serial ATA and IDE
 Pg 3.  OTES, Secure IDE and µGuru
 Pg 4.  ABIT's µGuru
 Pg 5.  — The ABIT BIOS
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SysMark2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001, AquaMark3
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2 The Threat, UT2003

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