iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Albatron K8X800 Pro II (VIA K8T800) Mainboard

This high-end board has a weighty set of accessories, good functionality (including a normal audio controller based on VIA's chip, that is why the board supports an 8-channel audio-out), and delivers a wide range of overclocking settings.

The layout is standard and pretty convenient, though it might be difficult to hook up cables to the connectors near the left edge. Also, it's not convenient to have the audio connectors in front of the PCI slots (the cables will stretch along the whole PC case); finally, a video card inserted may lock memory modules. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their description is provided on the PCB. The red LED indicates +5 V Standby. The 3-phase switching voltage regulator incorporates 7 capacitors of 3300 uF and 3 of 1800 uF. There are also voltage regulators of the AGP bus (2 capacitors of 1000 uF) and of the memory (2 of 1000 uF; reinforced with L elements).

At the moment this is the only model based on the VIA K8T800 chipset, but the company will probably release simpler and cheaper models soon. The board measures 305x245 mm (wide ATX, 9 fastening screws, all edges fixed). System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83687HF chip. It controls: 

    • processor, battery voltages, +3.3, +5, +/-12 V, and +5 V Standby 
    • rotation speed of 2 fans; 
    • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor) and the board (built-in sensor). 

Ports & connectors onboard

    • CPU socket (Socket 754); 
    • 3 slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM (up to 3 DDR200/266/333 modules, up to 2 DDR400); 
    • AGP slot (with a retention clip); 
    • 6 PCI slots (32bit, 33MHz); 
    • Standard power supply connectors (ATX, 4pin for 12V); 
    • FDD; 
    • 2 IDE (Parallel ATA) - on chipset; 
    • 2 SATA (Serial ATA) - on chipset; 
    • 3 Connectors for brackets of 2 USB 2.0 ports; 
    • Connector for a Game port;
    • Connector for a second COM port;
    • 2 Connectors for a bracket with 2 FireWire ports
    • Connector for audio-out from CD/DVD drive
    • Case Open sensor connector
    • Connector for standard IrDA devices;
    • Connectors for a bracket with additional audio-outs and S/PDIF;
    • 3 connectors for fans (2 with rotation control).

Rear panel (left to right, units)

  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard;
  • 1 LPT and 2 COM ports;
  • 2 USB (2.0) and 1 RJ-45 (Gigabit Ethernet);
  • 3 audio ports (Rear, Surround, Center/Sub);
  • 3 more audio ports (Mic-In, Line-In, Front).

Multichannel output is getting vital for home users, and today most board makers provide 6 audio ports and/or S/PDIF-Out on back (at least in top products). Besides, Albatron completes this board with an external panel with audio ports (see below). 


  • Package of the standard design;
  • Documentation: a user manual in 4 languages, a poster with brief installation steps in English;
  • 2 ATA66/100/133, FDD, and 1 SerialATA cables (with a power adapter);
  • Bracket with 4 USB ports;
  • Bracket with 2 FireWire ports;
  • Bracket with COM and Game ports;
  • Bracket with Mic-In, Earphone-Out, S/PDIF-In/Out (TosLink and Coaxial);
  • I/O Shield;
  • 2 CDs with:
    • drivers;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • DirectX 9.0;
    • PC-cillin 2002;
    • InterVideo WinCinema;
    • InterVideo WinDVD 4;
    • InterVideo WinRip 2.

Integrated controllers

  • audio controller based on the VIA Envy 24PT (VT1720) chip and VIA VT1616 AC'97 codec; 7.1 audio system supported, front audio I/Os and S/PDIF connector provided; 
  • network controller based on the 3Com Marvell 940-MV00 chip, 10/100/1000 Mbit/s supported (Gigabit Ethernet);
  • IDE/SATA RAID based on Promise PDC20378 chip, RAID 0, 1 and 0+1, 2 SATA and 1 PATA connectors;
  • FireWire based on VIA VT6307 chip, 2 ports supported.

The integrated audio quality was estimated at 16 bits, 44 kHz with the RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.1 and Terratec DMX 6fire audio card:

Frequency response (40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.02, -0.22 Very good
Noise level, dB (A): -87.5 Good
Dynamic range, dB (A): 87.2 Good
THD, %: 0.0084 Very good
Intermodulation distortions, %: 0.064 Good
Channel crosstalk, dB: -81.7 Very good

General performance: Good (in detail). 

Quality of the audio section of the Albatron K8X800 Pro II yields (comparing only to the boards based on the same chipset though the chipset itself has no effect on it) only to the Soltek K8AV2-RL which is also with the VIA VT1616 codec. But remember that the Albatron board integrates both the audio codec and a normal audio controller. 


  • BIOS Mirror (there's a second Flash EEPROM chip with BIOS backup);
  • Voice Genie (reports about boot problems).


jumpers and switches CMOS clear jumper  
CPU overheat protection jumper  
Voice Genie language switches English/ Chinese/ Japanese/ German
BIOS Mirror mode switch Normal/Rescue
BIOS based on Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG  Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Active Time, Row Precharge Time
Setup of memory frequency + 100, 133, 166, 200 MHz
HT bus adjustment + Upstream LDT Bus Width, Downstream LDT Bus Width
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
AGP/PCI frequency setup -  
PCI IRQ manual assignment +  
FSB frequency setup + 200-300 MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU clock ratio + x4-x10
CPU voltage control + 0.8-1.9 V in 0.025V steps up to 1.55 V and in 0.05V above
DIMM voltage control + 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9 V
NB voltage control + Separately for South and North Bridges: 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 V
HT bus voltage control + 1.2, 1.3 V
AGP voltage control + 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8 V

We used the BIOS R1.03 as the latest available version. 


This model performs best of all, but its scores inconsiderably differ from those of other VIA K8T800 based boards (less than 2%).

Benchmark ASUS K8V Deluxe MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R Albatron K8X800 Pro II
Memory read speed (CacheBurst32), MB/s 2874 2909 2927
7-Zip archiving, min:sec 6:59 6:54 6:53
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Normal@1024x768x32), fps 215 219 217

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)

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