ASUS K8V Deluxe (VIA K8T800)
Times are changing. I understood this the moment we received the new Socket754 mainboard from ASUS. The company now ships its products in big boxes, stuffed with a lot of accessories. The appearance of the mainboard differs from what we’ve become used to expect from ASUS. The ASUS K8V Deluxe has a black PCB with colorful (yellow and blue) slots. So, the much-respected Taiwanese company didn’t resist the temptation of following the fashion and produce a mainboard that looks like a Christmas tree.
The reason for the package to be so big is simple. The ASUS K8V Deluxe comes with an ASUS WiFi-b add-on card. As you remember, ASUS has been equipping its mainboards with a special-purpose WiFi slot for a while already. It is usually found in the left part of the PCB, behind the last PCI slot. The slot accommodates its namesake add-on cards. The ASUS WiFi-b card you receive with the mainboard means you can deploy a wireless network working in the IEEE 802.11b protocol. We already described and tested a WiFi-b card in our ASUS P4P800S Mainboard Review. I only wish to remind you that the add-on card comes supported with a good software suite that can transform your computer into a wireless access point.
ASUS also took thorough care about the rest of the mainboard features, too. The only thing you may find missing is a second network controller. Any other modern interface and protocol is supported. Of course, the ASUS K8V Deluxe uses the VIA K8T800 chipset features to the full extent. The mainboard supports eight USB ports. Four of them are found on the rear board panel, and the other four can be used once you install a special bracket for the system case supplied together with the mainboard.
Support of two ATA/133 and two Serial ATA-150 channels comes courtesy of the South Bridge. By the way, the software bundle includes a Serial ATA driver from VIA and programs that help you build a RAID 0 or 1 array from your SerialATA HDDs. ASUS found this insufficient, though. They equipped the ASUS K8V Deluxe with an extra SerialATA RAID controller - Promise PDC20378 that offers two more SerialATA channels and one ATA/133 (the drives attached to the SerialATA channels can be united into a RAID 0 or 1). Thus, the ASUS K8V Deluxe can juggle with six ATA/133 and four SerialATA-150 hard disk drives!