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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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Board Layout

One thing Gigabyte does extremely well on their high end products is board layout. In fact, I would say that they feature the best layouts of any motherboard manufacturer.

Let's see if this good habbit carries over to their entry-level products:

First up, the expansion card area. The first thing to look for here are the USB headers, and FireWire if any. In this case, they are perfectly placed, at the very bottom edge of the board. These headers will not interfere with PCI card installation; even when using the bottom one you can easily tuck the cables underneath.

I do like the fact that three PCI ports are included; at this time, 1X PCI-E peripherals are few and far between. And I know you're most likly going to be using at least two of these PCI ports (for WiFi, and you'll definitely want to upgrade the sound, as you'll see later).

Another crucial area of a motherboard is the bottom right corner. This is usually where the front panel headers are placed. On this board, they are well labeled, and colour-coded. You will also notice the sparcity of features on this board; even though there is a stenciled area for a FireWire chip, it is not installed on this model. Had it been, I am happy to report that header placement would have been good ;)

It's also unusual to see only two SATA ports on a modern motherboard; Gigabyte opted not to add a RAID controller on this low end product. This will hurt their score in the end,

When we reviewed Gigabyte's first PCI-E board for the Athlon64 CPU, they placed the X16 graphics port below a few X1 slots. This kept the video card well away from any other components. Although they don't do this here, there is plenty of room for DIMM installation, even with a video card installed.

Next Page: (Board Layout Continued)