BIOSTAR K8VHA Pro (VIA K8T800)
When we received a BIOSTAR K8VHA Pro mainboard for our tests, I first thought it would be just another low-end Socket754 product. At least, the small size of the package promised nothing interesting inside. First impression is often misleading, though. After the BIOSTAR K8VHA Pro was extracted to the light of day, it became clear that this product had much richer features than an ordinary budget solution.
Yes, this was absolutely true. BIOSTAR K8VHA Pro uses the potential of the VIA K8T800 chipset. Among these features are: the support of four IDE channels, two of which are ATA/133 and two are SerialATA (also supporting RAID 0 and 1 arrays) and the support of eight USB 2.0 ports – four are at the mainboard rear panel and four more are implemented as PCB connectors.
Besides the features provided by the VT8237 South Bridge, there are a few more interesting things implemented via the onboard controllers. Here I definitely have to mention six-channel AC’97 audio provided by a pretty ordinary CMI9739A codec. The SPDIF output is available as an onboard connector on BIOSTAR K8VHA.
Besides that there are a few other features, implemented with the help of additional fully autonomous PCI controllers. Here we would like to mention Gigabit Ethernet, which is provided by a Realtek RTL8110S chip, while the VIA VT6307 controller supports IEEE 1394. As a result, the connectors panel of the mainboard carries three audio jacks, four USB and two PS/2 ports, two serial and one parallel port, a network RJ45 connector and a FireWire port. Since the VT6307 supports two FireWire ports, there is an onboard connector on the PCB where you could attach the other one. By the way, there are many different connectors on the BIOSTAR K8VHA Pro, but there is not a single bracket for the system case rear panel, unfortunately. So, without buying these brackets, you have to be satisfied with the connectors available on the mainboard rear panel.