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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.13.04]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

Est. Street Price: $180

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Our First A64 Mobo Review

Finally we are back in gear with AMD, and can start producing some top notch reviews on Athlon64 platforms!

Our first A64 motherboard reviewed here, is the K8T800 based Gigabyte K8VNXP. This is Gigabyte's flagship Athlon64 motherboard, and is absolutely stacked with features.

The box proclaims this as a "Limited Edition" although I am not sure what is so limited about it. It is their top end A64 product (mirrored by their nForce 3 150 based K8NNXP, which has many of the same onboard features, but is based on a different chipster of course). The prices reflect this; the board we are looking at today goes for around $180, and the NF3 version goes for around $185. Gigabyte does make 'lighter' versions, with far fewer features, for under $100.

The Board

As you can see, the board is pretty much stacked. In addition to the southbridge-controlled PATA connectors, you have 2 more "GigaRAID" PATA connectors, and pair of SATA connectors, also capable of RAID.

IDE/ATX connectors are perfectly laid out, directing cables toward the end of the board. As usual, the 4 pin ATX connector is required to be right by the CPU, so there is not much any manufacturer can do to relocate that, unfortunately. Although I prefer to have it near the top or the side of the CPU; I've seen others do it, and it makes installation much cleaner.

Speaking of the CPU area, here it is. Nicely, Gigabyte includes the retention bracket. Believe it or not, not every manufacturer does this! And most heatsinks don't come with one, so I can imagine what a pain it would be looking for one when you are in the middle of putting together your new A64 based PC!

The AGP port is well apart from the dimm tabs, making installation of memory absolutely painless even with the longest of video cards installed. Nicely done!

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