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Generation Change: Eight Motherboards For The Athlon 64

Asus K8V

Board revision: 1.12

BIOS Version: 1003 Beta 17

We received the Deluxe Edition of the K8V, which unlike your standard Asus board comes complete with an extra, 802.11b compliant wireless LAN adapter. Asus has set aside a proprietary slot on the bottom edge of the board for this, so that the card with the wireless LAN module is guaranteed only to work on Asus boards (e.g. on the P4P800S E Deluxe, too).

Asus decked out the K8V with some high quality components: a three phase switching controller, a Gigabit Ethernet controller from 3COM, an IDE/SATA RAID chip von Promise (2x SATA, 1x UltraATA/133), a FireWire controller from VIA and an audio codec from ADI are all on the board.

Beyond that, the Southbridge of the K8T800 chipset from VIA (VT8237) features a grand total of eight USB ports with 480 MBit/s; four of which, however, have to be attached using the slot adapter, included. The same goes for the second FireWire port only one is available on the back panel.

All connectors are well marked, leaving little room for optimization. It's easy to hook up the requisite plugs to the connector panel, since the corresponding pins have the same socket colors (see photo, below). Asus features a total of three DIMM sockets. But since the Athlon supports only two full banks, the two yellow slots can only handle single sided DIMMs.

The delivery package is abundant as usual. It includes both hardware (the aforementioned slot adapter, cables for all components, WLAN controller with antenna) as well as software (Asus Probe, PC Cillin Anti Virus, WinDVD).

The turbo mode that can be selected in BIOs is dubious: we weren't able to produce any measurable increases in speed. At least activating it has zero effect on the ever excellent system stability. Independent of Cool & Quiet, Asus also supports its own Q Fan that enables fan speeds to be set quickly.

A glance at the benchmark results reveals solid values, mostly in the average or above average range. The fact that Asus was right on the mark in terms of clock speed for 200.0 MHz with FSB and a CPU clock speed of exactly 2.0 GHz deserves a positive mention.