Impressions & Conclusions

The Abit KV8 Pro is a very capable motherboard. It performed very well in our tests though equally matched the competing nForce 3. So if performance is essentially the same across the two popular chipsets, why should you consider buying the Abit KV8 Pro?

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The uGuru (includes Abit EQ, and Guru OC) feature is simply amazing and may very well be the reason you buy this motherboard. This Abit-exclusive feature will benefit mainly the enthusiast, though home and professional users will appreciate the Abit EQ function to monitor their system health (even the ability to control the speed/noise of 3 different fans!). The Guru OC tool is a boon for overclockers and system tweakers since you can now apply overclocking settings within Windows and automatically run a list of benchmarks to determine stability (thanks to the Auto-Drive software feature).

It really shows that Abit has spent a lot of time refining uGuru. The interfaces are very polished, and the functionality very useful. I find myself wishing other manufacturers have done the same, but at the same time pleased it’s only offered by Abit since they have the reputation of doing things right.

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When this article was originally published, I stated that the KV8 Pro did not overclock very well because all I managed was a 12MHz improvement. But with the revised overclocking results I have to say that this board did very well and I was able to achieve 252MHz without any crashes or instability. I can probably get 256MHz if I tweak a little more, and some extra cooling probably wouldn’t hurt either. Dropping the HTT ratio and DDR frequency was defnitely the key to getting the improved performance. Also there’s the issue of the missing 1/2 multipliers in the current BIOS, but we’re seeing more and more evidence that 1/2 multipliers actually don’t improve system performance significantly.

Though the Abit KV8 Pro does not have the large number features like drive connectivity on other ‘Pro’ boards have, it makes up for it with the robustness of control through the uGuru feature and a killer price. With a price of just over $90 USD, you get a first class product with some great enthusiast features. To make this whole deal even more enticing, the package comes with rounded cables, and expends with the ‘fluff’ software you so often see in other products. It’s clear that Abit has refined their offerings and targeting those who want performance and control without the inflated price.

Initially I reserved a ringing endorsement of the Abit KV8 Pro because I did not have much success with overclocking. But with the revised results of 252MHz, there isn’t anything holding me back anymore. From what I can see here the KV8 Pro overclocks very well without any instability at our tested frequency. Combine this ability with Abit’s uGuru tools and you have yourself a killer combination for overclocking. (Adjusting voltages and frequencies without having to reboot into the BIOS is just a huge boon for tweakers).

Performance. Stability. Price. None of the fluff…. the Abit KV8 Pro hits the mark.

What’s Good:

Things you should be aware of:

  • Price
  • Great overclocking results
  • Large amount of enthusiast settings (incl. chipset and HT voltage)
  • Guru OC allows instantaneous overclocking without having to reboot
  • Abit EQ features more monitors and controls for fans and voltages
  • SATA with RAID
  • 6-channel audio (with optical in and out)
  • “No nonsense” accessory package
  • Rounded IDE and floppy cables
  • 3 year Warranty (3 yrs parts/ 1 yrs labor)
  • Supports only two DIMMs
  • No firewire (but reduces price)
  • Barebones accessories (but reduces price)
  • Two SATA connections (some users may want more)
  • No RAID 1+0 or RAID 5 options
  • IDE headers are in an awkward location (you may require longer cables)
  • New BIOS from Abit should fix the 1/2 multiplier issue

Feel free to use our PriceGrabber service to find great deals on this motherboard!

 

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