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Author: dadx2mj
Manufacturer: Various
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Page: 2 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ] Athlon 64 3000+ CPU/Motherboard Combo
April 18, 2006


First let's list the motherboard specifications as taken from the Biostar website.

» Chipset:
   » VIA K8M800 / VT8237R
» Memory:
   » 2 x 184-pin DDR400 memory modules
   » Maximum 2GB system memory
» Slots:
   » 1 x AGP (8x)
   » 3 x PCI
   » 1 x CNR
» IDE:
   » 4 x EIDE devices
   » Ultra DMA 33/66/100//133
» I/O:
   » 1 x Parallel
   » 1 x Serial
   » 1 x PS/2 Mouse, 1x PS/2 Keyboard
   » 1 x Speak-out, 1 x Line-in, 1 x Mic.-in
   » 1 x Floppy
   » 4 x Front USB 2.0, 2 x Rear USB 2.0
   » 1 x Front audio header
   » 1 x IrDA header
   » 1 x CD In header
   » 1 x S/PDIF Out header
   » 1 x Chassis intrusion header
   » 1 x CPU fan header
   » 1 x System fan header
   » VIA VT8237R SATA RAID (RAID 0, 1)
   » Up to 2 SATA devices
» Video:
   » S3 UniChrome Pro integrated graphics
» Audio:
   » Realtek ALC655 6-Channel AC'97 CODEC
» LAN:
   » Realtek RTL8201 10/100mbps LAN
» Size:
   » Micro ATX form factor
   » 19cm x 24.4cm ( W x L )
   » 7.5in x 9.5in ( W x L )

As you can see, for a "budget" motherboard the Biostar VIA K8M800 has a substantial number of attractive features.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

Onboard Video:

This is the low point of this motherboard. The S3 Unichrome Pro was fine for 2D desktop duty, but just does not have the power needed for today's demanding 3D applications or video games. I was unable to get 3DMark to run on the onboard video. Expecting onboard video to keep pace with today's demanding games is probably a little unreasonable, but at least the K8M800 offers a solution in the 8X AGP slot that I quickly filled with an ATI 9800 Pro.

Onboard Sound:

The Realtek ALC 655 six channel sound performed well and with no issues. Being a "budget" motherboard, the K8M800 does not offer as many input/output jacks for the onboard sound as I would like to see, but you can configure them through software to either have 3 output jacks for surround sound speakers, or the standard line out, line in, and microphone set up. Sound quality was about what I have come to expect from onboard sound; it was good but nothing spectacular. A true audiophile will undoubtedly upgrade to something better, but the common computer user should be satisfied with the sound quality.

Other Onboard Features:

There is not a lot to say about the rest of the onboard features. They all worked as they should with no issues of any kind. Windows XP detected the LAN and USB 2.0 features, and loaded drivers for them. Both worked as they should without requiring any attention from the user. Same can be said for the IDE channels; Windows loaded drivers for them and they worked as they should. Unfortunately no SATA drives were available for this test, but I have to assume the SATA controller and RAID would work as well as the rest of the Biostar VIA K8M800 components have. It should also be noted that no SATA cables were included in this combination package.

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