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Abit KN8 SLi nForce4

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by Larok, 22 Jan 2006.

  1. Larok

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2005

    Posts: 340

    Hi,

    I was thinking of using one of these in a system build, (specs below). There is very little on the net by way of reviews. I have chosen it because of the heat pipe solution. I will be attempting an overclock to 2.5-2.6. Does anyone have 1st hand experience or know of reviews? I'v stretched the budget to the max.


    HD-000-HI Hitachi Deskstar 7K80 NCQ 80GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (0A30356) (HD-000-HI)
    £32.95 £32.95
    KB-024-LG Logitech MX510 Performance Optical Mouse & Steelpad S&S Bundle - Retail (KB-024-LG)
    £19.95 £19.95
    OS-001-MS Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition inc. SP2 - OEM (OS-001-MS)
    £52.95 £52.95
    CD-024-NE NEC ND4550 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM (CD-024-NE)
    £25.50 £25.50
    GX-032-OK OcUK GeForce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) & Call of Duty 2 Bundle - Retail (GX-032-OK)
    £179.95 £179.95
    SP-000-RA SpeedLink Medusa SL-8790 5.1 Surround Headset (SP-000-RA)
    £26.95 £26.95
    CP-121-AM AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 90nm (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA3700BNBOX) (CP-121-AM)
    £133.95 £133.95
    MY-046-GL GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC3200 Value Dual Channel Kit CAS3 (GE2GB3200BDC) (MY-046-GL)
    £104.95 £104.95
    MB-088-AB Abit KN8 SLi nForce4 SLi (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-088-AB)
    £74.95 £74.95
    CA-027-AN Antec SLK3000B Midi Tower Case - No PSU (CA-027-AN)
    £27.50 £27.50
    CA-025-EN Enermax Liberty 500W ELT500AWT ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant PSU (CA-025-EN)
    £63.95 £63.95
    HS-010-ZA Zalman CNPS7700-CU Ultra-Quiet CPU Cooler - Retail (HS-010-ZA)
    £22.95 £22.95
    HS-013-ZA Zalman VF700-CU Quiet Copper VGA Cooler (HS-013-ZA)
    £19.95 £19.95
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2006
  2. split

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Nov 2002

    Posts: 3,534

    Location: Dorset

    The only review I can find ends like this.. (cant post it, as it contains links)

    ABIT AN8-SLI

    Rounding things up:
    Considering that this near to the top end of ABIT's product lineup, they have included quite a good selection of innovations on the motherboard including ABIT's CPU ThermalGuard; the uGuru clock utility (minus the 3rd Eye Guru clock); the AudioMAX daughterboard, which arguably delivers better sound quality; and the Q-OTES heatpipe cooling technology. However, there are some things that we feel are missing from the motherboard.

    We are a little disappointed not to see dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, a second SATA controller for the most insane enthusiasts out there requiring terabytes of storage, and also some improved RAID functionality. Having said that, we guess the latter comes with the additional RAID controller, as the nForce4 SLI MCP only features support for RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD. The SLI switching card is slightly awkwardly placed, and a general pain to remove. The same could be said about all SLI motherboards using the same switching method, though. It would have been nicer to see a digital switch, and we expect to see something like that in later models.

    The lack of USB 2.0 connectivity is a bit of a disappointment too - we'd like to see at least eight of the ten USB 2.0 ports usable out of the box. It's also a shame not to see the 3rd-eye Guru clock included, to give this board a bit more appeal over the budget KN8-SLI, but not so much that it steps on the toes of the Fatal1ty AN8-SLI, which comes with the uGuru front panel that fits into a 5.25" drive bay.

    The Q-OTES heatpipe cooling technology is a nice feature of this motherboard, but we feel that it could have had some additional functionality with the inclusion of a removable fan for those of us who watercool their CPU. The lack of airflow around the PWM regulators near the CPU, coupled with the heat emitted by the Q-OTES could cause some problems with inadequate airflow as a result of using a CPU waterblock.

    Stability is typical ABIT - we didn't suffer any instability at all. We did suffer some slight incompatibilities with WMP9 when playing High Definition content. A BIOS update that is available from ABIT's website fixed that problem, though. We also suffered problems with the uGuru clock utility conflicting with clockgen, so we had to go back to the more conventional way of BIOS overclocking, which seemed to be more successful. We managed to get the motherboard stable all the way up to 245MHz HTT, without lowering the LDT speed or using a memory divider.

    ABIT's uGuru software gives you a little more functionality than the BIOS in some respects, as you can set up profiles that are easily switched between. However, the options that are available are somewhat inferior to what can be found in the BIOS. On that same note, we applaud the fantastic range of BIOS options, especially for voltage options and memory timing tweakability that will literally knock you off your chair.

    Finally, we also love the colour scheme on the AN8-SLI. The natural copper, vibrant reds and blacks, along with the orange brown PCB colour really works well together. The heatpipe is the centre piece, providing a strong industrial feel as it stretches almost the length of the board.


    Final Thoughts...

    Overall, the ABIT AN8-SLI comes with solid performance, stability and overclocking features at a decent middle ground price tag. The board offers a lot, but not quite enough to bowl us over. The price difference between the KN8-SLI and AN8-SLI in the UK seems to be justified, but it doesn't if you're buying in America.

    If you're looking for dual ethernet and more than four SATA ports, you would be better looking elsewhere. However, if you aren't looking for an nForce4 SLI motherboard with more than one ethernet port and four SATA II ports, the AN8-SLI makes for a good purchase if you are planning on air cooling. If you are looking to use watercooling, you might want to consider something with an active cooling solution on the PWMs next to the CPU socket. As an air cooled overclockers motherboard, this board does its job remarkably well.
     
  3. Larok

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2005

    Posts: 340

    Thanks buddy good review. Although it's of the AN-8 rather than the KN-8.
     
  4. split

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Nov 2002

    Posts: 3,534

    Location: Dorset

    :o duh

    Ok try here (KN8-SLI ), but stick it through here (the URL) german to english.