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Albatron KX18D Pro II Motherboard Review

Albatron KX18D Pro II Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The nForce2 has held top spot in the AMD chipset world for the last year without much effort.
 92% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Albatron Sep 03 2003   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Albatron KX18D Pro II

Around the board in 80ns

Albatron motherboards like the KX18D Pro II come in a nice shade of royal blue, and next to an all black PCB this is one of the nicest shades. The position of the floppy/IDE connectors on the KX18D Pro II to the right of the DIMM slots means they're not in the way of the any PCI peripherals. It is also handy if you use a larger full tower case, since the cables can reach higher if you're using the top 5.25" bays for drives.

For those of you who are new to the world of computers or are newbies when it comes to hardware the Albatron KX18D Pro II is very well labelled. If you don't know what a header or jumper does, look around the PCB and you'll no doubt get an answer. If that doesn't work, the manual will answer all the questions you have about what jumper does what.

Flashing BIOS's can be tricky business, so it is reassuring to know that the KX18D Pro II comes with twin BIOS's; one for use, and one for backup. If something nasty happens during a BIOS flash the recovery feature will help you to restore the damaged BIOS program from the backup. Quick, pretty simple, and a heck of lot better than going through an RMA process.

Because Serial ATA is obviously the future, and the MCP/MCP-T Southbridge doesn't natively support that, the board includes a Silicon Image (Sil3112ACT144) "SATALink" controller. It's a shame the KX18D ProII couldn't have also included an additional IDE RAID controller as well though. Conventional IDE drives are still fairly popular, and should be for at least another year, or more.

USB2.0 is currently winning the peripheral war against IEEE 1394 on the PC front, however there are still many cool devices which use IEEE 1394 exclusively. Most motherboards support both standards, and the KX18D Pro II is no different. Firewire support comes thanks to a Texas Instruments 35AT9HTC chipset.

To help keep things organized Albatron places all the headers (USB, IEEE 1394, WoL, ETC) at the bottom of the motherboard. This way the cables will not interfere with the other peripherals installed on the computer.

Because not everyone who buys a motherboard is a "computer expert", it's always nice to find a manual which is easy to read and precise. If you can't figure something out, spend a few seconds looking through the manual and you'll no doubt find the answer!

RAID is not new technology but for many first timers it can be a bit overwhelming and that's why we were pleased to see that Albatron also included a brief Serial ATA/RAID manual with the KX18D Pro II as well.

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Contents of Article: Albatron KX18D Pro II
 Pg 1.  Albatron KX18D Pro II Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Around the board in 80ns
 Pg 3.  Socket Clearances
 Pg 4.  Overclocking and BIOS
 Pg 5.  System Spec's and Benchmarks
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winbench 99, SiSoft Sandra 2003
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001SE
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena, UT2003
 Pg 9.  Wow, this board is fast!

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