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Gigabyte K8VT890-9 Motherboard -

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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.14.05]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

MSRP: $83

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I actually feel a little bad about slamming the Soltek board we reviewed such a low score last week... As bad as the layout was on that board, it really has this offering from Gigabyte beat in most cases.

First, we can list what the K8VT890-9 lacks, compared to the Soltek SL-K890 Pro939, which uses the exact same chipset combination:

-Extra SATA RAID controller
-FireWire controller
-Digital Audio output/input
-Sufficient amount of cables for normal operation
-No overclocking features
-No memory tweaks

And then we can compare it to other Gigabyte boards we've reviewed in the past (many of which have received awards from us:

-No dual bios
-No dual ethernet
-No 6 phase power
-No WiFi
-No MIB or CIA (automatic memory tweak settings)

We're used to seeing a down-right silly amount of SATA and USB connectors on Gigabyte's boards - instead we get nothing more than a basic amount of each here. And as I mentioned earlier, Gigabyte boards often feature the very best layouts I have seen on motherboards. This wasn't the case with the K8VT890-9. Although not bad, they made the single major mistake with placement of the 2x2 header.

Of course, you have the inherent disadvantages of the chipset itself. The K8T890 paired up with the VT8237 southbridge marries today's technology with last year's feature set. Any motherboard using this combo will not stand a chance against an NFORCE4, right off the bat.

The one thing saving this from receiving our Goat award is the price - with an MSRP of just $83, it's doubtful you'll find another PCI-E Socket 939 board for this price. Unfortunately, you don't exactly get much more than a very basic motherboard, and in fact you'll find yourself having to buy extra cables just to get a full install working.

Conversely, you can pick up a Foxconn NFORCE4 based motherboard from for just $109. That board should beat the K8VT890-9 in just about every aspect. And it even includes a USB port panel!

  • Low price
  • Performs up to par
  • Layout is good for the most part
  • Good Ethernet performance

  • Only 2 SATA ports
  • No FireWire
  • No Digital Audio input or output
  • Didn't come with enough cables for use
  • Terrible overclocking and memory tweak features
  • No fan controls or temperature warnings
  • USB CPU usage is high

Final Score: 71%