The Albatron engineers have got a nice BIOS to offer us. It differs somewhat from the regular Phoenix/Award BIOS and contains wide and flexible settings for the memory subsystem and the CPU overclocking. As for the memory, the BIOS Setup of the Albatron K8X800 ProII allows you to change the parameters of the memory controller, integrated into the Athlon 64. They are CL, tRC, tRFC, tRCD, tWR, tWRT, tRAS, tRP, DDR Clock Delay. You also choose the memory frequency from the standard set: DDR200/266/333/400. In fact, the only thing missing in the memory setup is an option to turn on the ECC check.
It’s all even better with the CPU setup options. This is one of the few Socket754 mainboards to be able to change the multiplier for the Athlon 64, in the first hand. It’s not a big deal today, as the only model of this processor, Athlon 64 3200+, can only have a multiplier from 4x to 10x (that is, the nominal multiplier is the highest). In future, however, when there are junior Athlon 64 models, this feature of the Albatron K8X800 ProII may make this mainboard a wanted product among overclockers.
Besides changing the multiplier, the Albatron K8X800 ProII allows adjusting the FSB frequency, with the cap being 300MHz (with 1MHz stepping). Well, to tell the truth this Everest-high cap doesn’t make much practical sense. The mainboard cannot change the ratio of the FSB and AGP/PCI frequencies, just like any other K8T800-based product. So, your FSB overclocking is going to stop quickly because you reach the maximum your PCI and AGP devices can do.
The BIOS Setup is very informative. When you change the FSB clock-rate, the new frequencies of the AGP/PCI busses and the memory are also shown immediately. This helps inexperienced overclockers to find their way around.
The Albatron K8X800 ProII receives our respects for its voltages settings, too. The VCore can be changed from 0.8V to 1.9V (with 0.025V increment up to 1.55V and 0.05V increment thereafter). Such a wide range is a rare thing for Socket754 mainboards. The Vmem can be set to 2.6V, 2.7V, 2.8V or 2.9V, and the Vagp – to 1.5V, 1.6V, 1.7V or 1.8V. This is not all, though. The mainboard can independently adjust the voltages sent to the chipset Bridges (from 2.5V to 2.8V with 0.1V stepping) as well as to the HyperTransport bus (it can be 1.2V or 1.3V). With all those settings available, it is certainly great to have a technology for automatic reset of the CPU parameters in the BIOS Setup in case of over-overclocking, when the mainboard refuses to start up.
If it were not for the VIA K8T800 chipset, which doesn’t allow setting up the AGP/PCI frequencies asynchronously with the FSB, the Albatron K8X800 ProII might have been called a great overclocking platform. As it is, all those fine-tuning options available in it may simply not work in reality. However, the arrival of junior models from the Athlon 64 family may change the situation. The ability to change the CPU multiplier may become a powerful trump of the Albatron K8X800 ProII. Overall, this mainboard is a well-made product with an up-to-date set of functions. I also think audiophiles might like it a lot.