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Albatron KX400-8X (KT400) Motherboard
Author : Wayne Date : 26th November 2002


...Product KX400-8X
...Manufacturer Albatron
...Supplier The Overclocking Store
...Price £64.99 +VAT




Introduction :

With a steady release of extremely high quality hardware Albatron have managed to do what few other tenderfoot hardware manufacturers have done and get themselves noticed amid a sea of similarly priced and similarly specified swag. Certainly one of Albatron's attention grabbers was the Ti4200P Turbo with its Ti4600 level performance ability and high quality build, not to mention its extremely tempting price.

Today I'm taking a swing at one of Albatron's cheaper motherboards, the K400-8X. This is very much their entry level KT400 board and although it isn't bristling in high end features such as SerialATA and RAID it does have a few worthwhile tricks up its sleeve to make it stand out from similar bargain basement boards.

I know you're all chomping at the bit to get to the specs so let's see how it shapes up :


:Model: KX400-8X (VIA KT400/8235)
  1. AMD Athlon/AthlonXP/Duron Processor
  2. Socket 462 with FSB 200/266/333MHz
  3. 3 DDR333/266/200 Memory Sockets
  4. AGP 8X , 6 channel AC 97 Audio
  5. 2 ATA133 Channels, up to 4 ATA 133 IDE Devices
  6. 6 USB 2.0/1.1 Ports (4 ports by cable)
    BIOS Mirror
  7. Voice Genie
Socket 462 AMD Athlon/AthlonXP/Duron Processor 500 MHz to 2700+
  1. VIA KT400/8235
  2. Winbond W83697HF
  1. 3 DDR sockets
  2. DDR333/266/DDR200 unbuffered ECC/none-ECC DDR SDRAM up to 3GB
Expansion Slots
  1. 1 x AGP 8X slot (Supports AGP 2X/4X/8X, but no support 1X )
  2. 6 x PCI slots (PCI 2.2 compliant)
  3. 1 x CNR slot (AMR Type)
IDE Ports
2 ATA133 channels, up to 4 ATA 133 IDE devices
Onboard I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x Floppy Connector
  2. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 header (4 ports USB cable optional)
  3. 1 x CD_IN header
  4. 1 x S/PDIF in/out header (S/PDIF in/out cable optional)
  5. 1 x CPU fan header with fan rotation detection function
  6. 1 x System fan headers with fan rotation detection function
  7. 1 x10 pin system panel header (Intel spec)
  8. 1 x Front audio header (Intel spec)
  9. 1 x IrDA header
  10. 1 x Chassis intrusion detection header
  11. 1 x Wake on LAN
I/O via Back Panel
PS/2 keyboard/mouse, 2 x USB(2.0/1.1),2 x Com(serial), 1 x Parallel, 1x Game/Line-in/Lin-out/Mic-in
20-pin ATX power connector
BIOS Features
  1. 2Mb Flash EEPROM
  2. Award BIOS with ACPI, DMI2.0, PnP, WfM2.0, Green
  3. Suspend to RAM (S3), Suspend to Disk (S4)
  4. Wake on keyboard, Wake on LAN/RTC Timer
Hardware Monitoring
2 FAN sensors, CPU/System voltages and temperature monitoring
Special Features
  1. BIOS Mirror™ Protect BIOS by creating a mirror image of itself
  2. Voice Genie™ Voice Troubleshooting system ( four-Language )
  3. Zero Jumper Design
  4. Adjustable CPU frequency by 1 MHz increment, Adjustable VCore, VAge, VMemory
  5. Watch Dog Timer (Automatic reset the system when system lock up)
Chipset / Audio / USB 2.0 Driver
Form Factor
ATX (220mm x 305mm)

Just a reminder that despite the name, VIA released the KT400 chipset with no official support for DDR400 memory. In other words if it won't run your shiny new DDR400 at 400MHz or it runs it but badly then tough luck, it was never sold as a DDR400 part. To complicate matters some boards seem to run just about all the DDR400 memory available but do it by ignoring the settings you've lovingly set in the BIOS and just going off and doing their own thing, their own thing being to throttle back the timings and drag the performance back down to near DDR266 levels. You may have guessed by my tone so far that I'm not a big fan of the KT400 chipset and you'd be right. To all intents and purposes you're better off forgetting about the DDR400 setting and just treating the chipset as a KT333 with USB2.0, 8X V-Link and AGP8X. The fact that a whole host of KT333 motherboards have now adopted the KT400's VT8235 South Bridge along with its leaves AGP8X and 8X V-Link as the only worthwhile features to have been added, or they will be when AGP 8X starts getting some software support.


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