posted 2/17/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
If there’s one thing about ABIT boards, they cater to enthusiasts and offer great stability and performance. With the recent release of AMD64 processors, ABIT has jumped into the ring with a very good board. The KV8-MAX3 board, featuring the uGuru technology, offers a plethora of features, includes, and additional cooling that’s sure to please many AMD64 owners looking for a great motherboard.

When I was sent the motherboard from ABIT, I was surprised at how well the packaging. Most motherboards manufactures just throw the extra parts and bits in the box but ABIT keeps their extras in nice white boxes that are neatly placed. And what ABIT has included with the board are plenty of cables and extras to satisfy even the most finicky motherboard purchasers.

The KV8-MAX3 utilizes the VIA K8T800/VT8237 north-south bridge configuration. The board supports the 754 pin configuration of the Athlon64 with an 800MHZ front side bus. Single channel mode support for PC3200 RAM with three DIMM slots lets you load up this board for up to 2GB of memory.

For the layout, ABIT did a pretty good job at placing items at logical and trouble-free spots. The feature that probably stands out most on this board is the cooling solution on the capacitors near one edge of the board. A plastic OTES housing helps funnel air out of the case via a fan on the back of the motherboard. The OTES anachronism was first used with a line of ABIT’s video cards and they have also included the name to the cooling solution for the MAX series of motherboards. With the fan on the OTES solution taking up a part of the backplate, the serial and parallel ports had to go. That’s ok as most products are using USB connectivity so the omission of the two types of ports isn’t going to be missed much.

The northbridge is cooled by an active solution with a familiar round ABIT fan. The edge of the fan housing barely clears the area needed to install the CPU heatsink fan but more care should be taken in watching the few capacitors in the corner near the OTES housing.
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