Gigabyte GA-K8VM800M K8 Triton Series Motherboard 

PCQ Bureau
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This motherboard is meant for business and home desktop users. It supports AMD Athlon64 and Sempron with 754 pin socket, just like the ECS nForce 3 board reviewed in this issue. So this one is also intended for the same audience as that board. It's based on the VIA K8VM800M chipset. The motherboard has two DIMM slots that can take up to 2 GB of DDR 400 RAM. There are 4 USB slots on the rear and two for the front panel. The board has two IDE and one FDD connectors along with two serial ATA ports. It has onboard 2.1 channel standard audio connector and along with that a SPDIF coaxial cable connector for external audio device. There is a Realtek audio and 10/100 Mbps Ethernet onboard. Though it is not recommended but the CPU FSB can be adjusted for increased performance. One good thing about this board is that it has both onboard as well as external graphics support, unlike the ECS nForce2, which only has external graphics. For external graphics, it has one AGP 8x slot. We tested it withan AMD Sempron 3400+ processor, 512 MB

DDR 400 RAM and a 7,200 rpm drive. We used Sysmark 2004 as the benchmark. It scored 140, which is slightly lower than the the ECS board, but good nevertheless. Breaking it up further, it scored 160 in the Internet content creation part of the test and 123 for the office productivity part of the tests. The ECS board took the lead over this one in the Internet content creation set of tests, and was only marginally ahead in the office productivity tests. This makes it a great board as a regular office productivity desktop. 

Bottom Line: Overall, a good buy, just like the ECS board. though it's performance is slightly lower, it compensates with a lower price and higher warranty.

Anubhav Verma