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Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review
Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
The GA-K8NXP-9 is bound to be a favourite solution, for not only does it incorporate PCI Express x16 slot, but it also features a remarkable array of goodies.
 99% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Nov 12 2004   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9

Feature comparisons

As we haven’t had a chance to look at any PCI-Express capable AMD boards from VIA or ATI yet, we can’t do a full comparison, but let’s quickly run down the feature list of our three competitors.

nForce 4 Ultra Radeon Xpress 200 VIA K8T890
Socket support

Socket 754/939

Socket 754/939

Socket 754/939/940

Hypertransport 800/1000MHZ 800/1000MHz 1000MHz
PCI Express x16 graphics, 4 x1 slots

x16 graphics, 4 x1 slots

x16 graphics, 4 x1 slots
SLI/dual graphics available in nForce 4 SLI available in future available in future
Serial ATA


4 drives, 2 controllers

SATA 150

4 drives, one controller

SATA 150

4 drives, one controller

IDE drives 4 drives 4 drives 4 drives
RAID modes 0, 1, 0+1 0, 1 0, 1, 0+1
Network adaptor Gigabit Ethernet none 10/100 Ethernet
USB 2.0 10 ports 8 ports 8 ports
Audio AC ’97

AC ’97

VIA Vinyl

Looks like the nForce 4 stacks up pretty well in comparison to its competitors now, but only time will sort out which of these three promising entries comes out on top of the heap. Now let's get back to our review of the Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 nForce 4 motherboard!

Motherboard layout and installation

The GA-K8NXP-9 is a full sized motherboard, so you'd best install this thing into a case with lots of room.

As you might notice, the PCI Express slots are arranged in a slightly different order than on comparable Intel boards. Whether this is due to the nForce 4 chipset, or Gigabyte's board implementation is not clear. The PCI Express x16 graphics slot sits under the two PCI Express x1 slots.

BIOS Protection - A Backup BIOS Chip

A bad BIOS flash can cause havoc. It can take three weeks to ship the board out under RMA, have it looked at by the manufacturer, and get it replaced. If this is your main computer, and power went out during a BIOS flash... shudder. A dual BIOS can save your butt, by allowing you to boot your motherboard, and repair the damaged BIOS with the backup data.

The Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 comes with this feature, and it is a lifesaver. As you can probably guess, a board with a dual BIOS keeps a second copy of the default BIOS in reserve. If a disaster happens, a quick jumper switch can get you right back on the road to recovery.

The Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 is compatible with both 24 and 20 pin ATX power supplies, so you won't have to throw out your current PSU just to upgrade your system. Of course if you're going to be buying a new power supply, go for one with a 24 pin main ATX power connector.

On the Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9, installing a videocard can become a little tricky since it is possible that the rear of the videocard will touch the top of the NF4 Ultra chipset heatsink. It depends on the videocard, but I would advise you to make sure you double-check everything is snug, before turning on the system power.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 nForce4 Ultra Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Exploring the nForce 4 chipset
 Pg 3.  nForce 4 features and variants
 Pg 4.  Improved disk controller and RAID support
 Pg 5.  Advancing Storage Features
 Pg 6.  Gigabit Ethernet built in
 Pg 7.  nForce 4 chipset variations
 Pg 8.  — Feature comparisons
 Pg 9.  Overclocking and more
 Pg 10.  The BIOS
 Pg 11.  PCStats Test System and Sysmark 2004
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 15.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, AquaMark3
 Pg 16.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 17.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 18.  Maximum Motherboard Overclocks and Conclusion

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