RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [12.06.04]
Manufactured by: GigaByte 
Test CPU (A64 3000+) supplied by

Discuss this article in the forum!


Since this is our first review of an NFORCE4 Ultra motherboard, we have to cover that first.

Overall, I can't be more pleased with the features and performance of our first NF4 Ultra board. Everything works flawlessly, which is even more of an accomplishment on a pre-release sample. PCI-E works without a hitch, and the Firewall with ActiveArmor hardware acceleration works and performs great.

The one hitch is that most NF4 Ultra boards will probably not have much in the way of integrated audio. Then again, we haven't seen much from the Intel side of things, even though they support high bit rates and frequencies.

As far as the Gigabyte K8NXP-9 itself, the board is absolutely stellar; at least is SHOULD be, once a final BIOS is released.

If things remain the way they are, and a PCI lock is not offered, I'd have to lower my respect for this board. However the way things are, it looks to be one of the most full featured AMD boards money can buy. You have EIGHT SATA ports, and up to TEN USB 2.0 ports from the get-go, with no hubs required! The board is laid out flawlessly, and was rock solid during all our testing. You even get a WiFi-G card!

The only issue I can forsee with the K8NXP-9 is whether it will be readily available in stores. Most of Gigabyte's high end boards have been difficult to find. In addition to that, I would expect it to cost a bit more than competing NF4 Ultra boards. I can't say for sure until I test some of those, but based on my experience with the K8NXP-9, it's going to be tough to beat.

  • Eight USB ports!
  • Eight SATA ports!
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet - BOTH ON PCI-E
  • Flawless layout
  • Includes WiFi-G card
  • Insane CMOS memory tweak features
  • Nobody does Dual BIOS like Gigabyte

  • Flaky FireWire (although it's a prerelase board)
  • Lacking PCI bus lock (although it's a prerelease board)
  • Noisy fan on power module
  • Not enough cables included for SATA and IDE

Final Score: 95%