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FIC K8-800T AMD Motherboard

The K8-800T is the latest FIC motherboard supporting AMD 64 processors up to 2.4 GHz (Clawhammer processor Family) using the VIA K8T800 chipset and VIA 8237 Southbridge. These boards deliver a convenient package of features and accessories, aimed towards the performance PC market, while keeping prices minimal and performance high.

Features
Info
  • AMD K8 Clawhammer processor Family
  • Realtek ALC655
  • VIA8237, 2 ports
  • Realtek 8100C
  • IEEE 1394 VIA 6307L 2 port
  • DDR 266/333/400 memory support

FIC
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8/10
Feature Set

The FIC K8-800T covers most of the bases feature wise. The built-in Realtek ALC655/658 5.1 channel surround audio (using ACí97 codec), for example is split into two parts, the first being a regular sound card with line out/in and mic in, and the second component in the form of a bracket supporting SPDIF and coaxial in/out, which proves to be very useful if you want to connect your computer to consumer audio electronics, such as an AC3 amplifier, or even an MD player. In addition, the ALC658 is embedded with an impedance sensing capability to detect when a device has been connected to input or output jacks. In all, the ALC655/658 provides for a great audio experience.

Also built in with the FIC K8-800T is a Realtek 8100C chip for onboard LAN fully supporting 10/100/GB speed standards, nothing out of the ordinary here.

The two serial ATA (SATA) on the Southbridge are greatly appreciated. SATA technology for hard drives will be a great step forward from the current PATA breed (parallel ATA) of IDE hard drives. We all know how much of a pain it is to work with inflexible, airflow blocking IDE cables. With the advent of SATA technology, those should be worries of the past. Also, serial ATA signals are transferred at a more efficient voltage of 250mV compared to the 5V of Ultra/ATA. This translates into faster transfer rates. SATA hard drives will be released for the masses starting 2004, and are to be fully supported by the FIC K8-800T.

To top it off, the 8 internal/external USB 2.0 ports provide speeds 40 times faster than previous USB 1.1 solutions. The included firewire technology is a must-have for those involved in multimedia editing.††

Chipset

The new K8T800 series chipset includes several features such as Hyper8 technology, allowing for faster communication between processor and chipset, using a 16 bit/1.6 GHz link between the two. Sporting 800 MHz FSB, the K8T800 uses DDR 266/333/400 SDRAM.

 

VIA is gone for the classic Northbridge/Southbridge configuration, which allows for scalability and for the integration of future advances into the chipset. In its current version, the Southbridge component enables a high range of cutting edge I/O and multimedia features, including AGP 8X, Native Serial ATA/RAID and 1394 firewire support.

Expansion and layout

Expansion options are kept to a reasonable maximum on this motherboard. The K8-800T holds 3 184-pin DDR RAM memory sockets, providing for a memory capacity of up to 2GB and data transfer rates up to 3GB/s. One AGP 8x slot and 5 PCI slots are also included. As for I/O, this board includes 4 external and 4 internal USB 2.0 ports, as well as a mounting bracket for two 1394 firewire ports. Not often seen is the horizontal placement of IDE connectors, separated by a large distance. Although it makes for a clean placement of the IDE cables, the IDE 1 (adjacent to the AGP slot) connector may hinder wit the installation of larger video cards, but we did not encounter any problems with our Radeon 9700 Pro.

While not as flashy as the FIC P4 motherboards, the K8-800T is well colour-coded and labelled, with the AGP slot purple, PCI slots blue, memory banks green as well as internal USB, firewire and digital sound slots clearly highlighted.

Set-up & contents

Set-up was quite straightforward for this motherboard, and we experienced no significant issues during installation. Out of the box, the motherboard came with the following bells and whistles:

 -1 set of SATA power and data cables

-2 flat IDE cables

-1 floppy cable

-1 firewire 1394 bracket for two ports

-1 USB bracket for expansion (two ports)

-I/O shielding,

-5.1 audio bracket (to take advantage of the built in 5.1 channel audio codecs)

-Manual

The contents of the box were ample in getting us started with the set-up of the motherboard. The software package includes the basic drivers, manual and extra utilities such as a boot up logo changer, Windows bios flasher, and a hardware monitor.

Testing

 AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (Actual running frequency of 2GHz)

512MB of Corsair DDR400 RAM

Seagate 2 X 120GB / SATA RAID

Radeon 9700 Pro

Win XP Pro

Sisoft Float
3064
Sisoft Int
3066
3D mark 2003
5148

Performance is the area where the FIC K8-800T truly shines compared to its competitors.

Overclocking

Unfortunately this is not the best board for advanced overclockers; however several essential overclocking options are still available. It includes FSB and voltages for the AGP and memory. On the other hand, it still lacks options such as CPU voltage and a clock multiplier.

Summary

I must say that the FIC K8-800T was definitely worth our time. After more 24 hours of testing, the system is still running smooth. Although it cannot compete with some other brands on a feature-by-feature basis, the FIC K8-800T undoubtedly packs the most performance for the buck for this class of motherboards. If you are in the market for a well performing motherboard with a decent feature set, without the need for extreme overclocking, this is the way to go.

 Pros:

-Top performance and stability

-Great value

-Loaded with useful accessories

 Cons:

-Lacks overclocking options

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 Amit
03/12/01





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