As I predicted in both my Asus K8V Deluxe and MSI K8T Neo motherboards, and as we should expect by now, the K8T800 motherboards are showing up and performance is going to be neck to neck through them all. I wouldn?t expect to find a motherboard that has a sudden jump in performance over another board, simply because so much of the subsystem has been moved to the processor when the switch to the on-chip memory controller was made with the Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX processors. This makes reviewing motherboards a more difficult task, as we now have to have a detailed look at what else the manufacturer is doing to distinguish themselves from the competition ? features, extras and support are what we should be on the lookout for.

Abit KV8-MAX3 K8T800 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 42

The Abit KV8-MAX3 motherboard has a good feature set, matching that of the other motherboards we have reviewed and adding a bit. Abit has included Gigabit LAN, a 6-channel audio system (though not of a stellar quality), Firewire (up to 4 channels), USB 2.0 (up to 8 channels) and enough Serial ATA channels to keep you satisfied for a while: 6 in all.

The addition of the OTES cooling system for the MOSFETs and capacitors is an interesting addition, and those that plan to overclock their system will probably like the extra cooling that it offers. There is a downside to it as well, as it takes up a lot of the PCB space and causes a couple of minor irritations as far as the layout goes ? not enough room for some heatsinks and ATX power connectors that require smaller fingers or patience. Abit should be commended for a new idea that is already being mimicked at other manufacturers.

The uGuru hardware/software add-on turned out to be more useful than I originally expected. It?s not a gimmick as I thought at first glance; the software actually worked and offered some useful features. The ability to overclock and update your BIOS through Windows is a welcome change for me for testing, and should be for enthusiasts as well. The Black Box is a good step for an industry that is looking to find new ways to support a continuingly broadening range of consumers.

And, as always, the bios of the Abit motherboard offers a good deal of options for overclockers and memory tweakers. I would like to see if we can get the multiplier setting to be enabled, but that depends as much on AMD as it does Abit, so I wouldn?t hold your breath on that one quite yet.

The price of the KV8-MAX3 is actually a bit higher than some of the other motherboards, coming in at around $175 at this publication. The Asus board is found for around $140 and the MSI board for around $140 as well.

I have no problems recommending the Abit KV8-MAX3 motherboard to potential Athlon 64 buyers ? it has the feature set, stability and support to rival any other motherboard on the market today. Abit has once again given enthusiasts a motherboard that is fast and reliable and offers as much overclocking at the platform allows. Our congratulations go to Abit.

We now have three solid Athlon 64 motherboards reviewed that use the same chipset and have similar feature lists: let the battle for consumer wallets begin!

Find Prices on the Abit KV8-MAX3!!

Related Articles:
MSI K8T Neo K8T800 Review
Asus K8V Deluxe K8T800 Review
Athlon 64 3200+ Processor Review
Athlon 64 FX-51 Processor Review
VIA KT600 Motherboard Roundup
Tyan vs MSI: Dual Opteron Motherboards
Computex 2003

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