Hardware & Software Bundles

Even though the KV8-Pro is aimed at a more budget crowd, the bundle that comes with the board has enough to get you started.

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ABIT nicely packages the contents into seperate boxes.

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Starting with the hardware bundle, Abit includes a rounded floppy cable and a rounded IDE cable which are nice perks you wouldn’t think to find in a sub $100 board. If you’re planning on using the second IDE channel, you will have to supply your own cable and hopefully yours is longer than 18′ so it can reach the IDE headers.

There is a molex-SATA ‘Y’ power cable, two SATA cables for the two onboard SATA headers, a backplate, and the driver CD. Because the KV8 Pro is a budget-minded package, there are no USB or Firewire brackets bundled.

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I was very impressed with the software included in the package. I’ve seen some pretty poor software bundles in the past, but ABIT really put some effort into theirs. It doesn’t include unnecessary fluff software like anti-virus programs, DVD players, or fancy harddisk backup utilities – let’s admit it, most of us already have this stuff anyway! What is included are ABIT exclusive utilities that help you maximize your performance and give you fine control over your system’s behaviour.

Before I get into the software, let me first say that ABIT’s software is very important to its core feature – the uGuru microprocessor. So I will go into some detail about the software since I feel it is so important.

ABIT EQ
Is a hardware monitoring tool designed to alert you of problems relating to heat, fan activity, and voltages. If problems are detected, it will alert you and/or shutdown the computer depending on your specifications. The software allows you to set up monitors and alerts for a dizzying amount of options including NorthBridge and SouthBridge voltages. The software itself is VERY easy to use and configure.

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The interface is very polished and easy to read and use.

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ABIT’s EQ has no shortage of health monitors.

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Set your warning and shutdown limits.

ABIT OC Guru
OC Guru allows you to overclock and test your system on the fly without having to reboot and enter the BIOS. The tool lets you to adjust the main bus frequency using a slider, as well as voltage adjustments for CPU, AGP, and chipsets. You can also tweak your fan voltages/RPMs. All these settings can be saved to presets, so all you have to do is click on the preset button and the system automatically adjusts.

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You can now set an aggressive overclock for when you play games or do strenuous computations, and then switch it to a quieter mode for general work or night-time use.

I used this tool for the overclocking tests in this review and I have to say it’s an incredible feature. I found myself wishing other manufacturers had similar because the convenience is priceless especially when you’re testing overclocks by 1 MHz intervals.

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Here you can adjust your frequency and voltages without having to reboot.

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Like the BIOS, the software reports your power cycle information. You can
also set a time to turn off your computer.

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You can predefine a sequence of programs to execute using AutoDrive.
This simplifies stress testing overclocking settings.

FlashMenu
More and more manufacturers are bundling Windows-based BIOS flashing utilities with their motherboards. The FlashMenu program bundled with the ABIT KV8 Pro is very easy to use and can automatically download and apply BIOS updates with a single click.

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I used this program to update the BIOS from the factory installed BIOS and for the most part went well. When I rebooted, for some reason the Master and Slave hard drives were swapped, though I did nothing to physically change that. I fixed this by booting with only the master drive attached, and then reconnecting the slave on a subsequent reboot.
 
With this experience, I can see how people don’t generally recommend Windows flashing. However, if you’re an expert user and judging by my experience, I don’t see why you shouldn’t give it a try. (If I managed to update my BIOS without frying anything, you should be able to do it ).

BlackBox
The ABIT BlackBox software is a unique piece that allows users to fill out problem reports and email them directly to ABIT ‘s technical support. The program can automatically fill in the proper fields based on what it detects, or you can do it manually.

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As good as this feature sounds, email technical support is generally slower than phone support. So if you have a few minutes to spare to be on hold, I recommend calling them, otherwise this BlackBox software will be handy at getting the proper information to a technician.

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