Articles: Mainboards
 

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The functionality of the mainboard is of course complemented by the South Bridge (VT8237): support of two ATA-133 and two Serial ATA-150 channels (the latter can be united into a RAID array) as well as eight USB 2.0 ports. The rear connectors panel has only two USB ports; four more are on a bracket enclosed with the product. So, you can immediately use six USB 2.0 ports when you install the mainboard. The remaining two ports are implemented as onboard connectors; you can attach the USB ports from the front panel of the system case to them (if you happen to have a case like that). Note the curious fact: the rear panel of the Albatron K8X800 ProII has only one COM port. The spot implied for the other is covered with a blank flange. Nevertheless, there is an onboard connector for this port as well as a bracket for the system case to use it.

Talking about peculiarities of the Albatron K8X800 ProII, we should definitely go over to its PCB design. Yes, there are worse designs (like that of the AOpen AK86-L), but this mainboard doesn’t have it right, either. The DIMM slots are too close to the AGP 8x port. This is of course because of the implementation of six PCI slots, but this fact doesn’t make up for the problem. You may encounter troubles both when you try to install more memory into your system with the graphics card already installed and when you try to plug in the graphics card itself, while the DIMM latches are open.

The second drawback is the place of the FDD connector. You can try to find it in the snapshot. It’s no easy task, really, since it is nestled behind the last PCI slot, at the left edge of the PCB. I won’t be surprised if some FDD cables turn to be too short for such a connector. Moreover, the cable will go straight through the entire case, preventing proper airflow and blocking the access to the PCI and AGP add-on cards.

This is the end of my faultfinding. The rest of the components do sit in their proper places. The IDE connectors and the ATX power supply connector are neatly tucked in front of the DIMM slots. The additional ATX power connector somehow got lost behind the Socket754, but the numerous connectors for the extra ports are all aligned at the left margin where they have a small chance of becoming a problem.

The CPU voltage regulator circuit of the Albatron K8X800 ProII follows a two-phase design. This doesn’t tell on the performance – the processor receives voltage close to the nominal. The mainboard supports Cool’n’Quiet technology, although never mentions it anywhere. Albatron doesn’t offer any other fashionable technology for reducing the noise of the CPU cooler. The CPU temperature is monitored by the CPU-integrated thermal diode, which provides both: high measurement precision and fast reaction.

 
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