iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte K8VNXP (VIA K8T800) Mainboard

This is the top model in the line designed for the low-end processors, and the board definitely has an excellent accessory pack and a rich set of peripheral interfaces.

The layout is not very handy, but it's difficult to expect a better design from such a feather-rich board. It might be difficult to hook up cables to the connectors near the left edge, the IDE RAID connectors are behind the PCI slots, and the connectors and cables around the memory modules make it difficult to access them. It's not a problem to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its description is provided on the PCB. Memory voltage supply is indicated with the yellow LED. The 3-phase switching voltage regulator incorporates 4 capacitors of 3300 uF and 9 of 1500 uF. The K8-DPS VRM module forms a 6-channel voltage regulator which must insure better performance. There are also voltage regulators of the AGP bus (2 capacitors of 1000 uF and several less capacious ones) and of the memory (4 of 1000 uF). The board measures 305x245 mm (wide ATX, 10 fastening screws, all edges fixed). System monitoring is supported by ITE IT8705F chip. It controls: 

  • processor, memory voltages, +3.3, +12 V
  • rotation speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor).

This is a top model of the Gigabyte VIA K8T800 line, that is why there are no components which are provided space for but not installed. The company released a whole series of boards on this chipset compared to others who offer only one or two boards (expensive, as a rule). The Gigabyte K8VT800 Pro has similar characteristics but a bit different layout: there's no K8-DPS module and panel for an external SATA device; the GigaWire interface is replaced with the previous version - FireWire. The Gigabyte K8VT800 is a light version of the Pro model: it lacks IDE RAID and FireWire controllers and connectors, as well as a second Flash EEPROM chip (no DualBIOS), and the Gigabit Ethernet controller is replaced with the Realtek Fast Ethernet chip. Finally, the mATX model named Gigabyte K8VT800M has functions similar to the K8VT800 and it uses the ALC655 audio codec instead of the ALC658 (besides, it has only 2 memory slots and 3 PCI slots). 

Ports & connectors onboard

    • CPU socket (Socket 754); 
    • 3 slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM (2 DDR400 modules, 3 GB at most);
    • AGP slot (with a retention clip);
    • 5 PCI slots; 
    • Standard power supply connectors (ATX, 4pin for 12V); 
    • VRM (K8-DPS) module connector;
    • FDD; 
    • 4 IDE (Parallel ATA) - 2 on chipset,2 at the expense of the additional controller; 
    • 2 SATA (Serial ATA) - on chipset; 
    • 2 Connectors for brackets with USB 2.0 ports; 
    • 2 Connectors for brackets with GigaWire(FireWire-800) ports;
    • Connector for Game port;
    • Connector for audio-out from CD/DVD drive; 
    • Connector for AUX-In;
    • IrDA connector;
    • SMBus connector;
    • Connectors for a bracket with additional audio-outs and S/PDIF;
    • 4 connectors for fans (3 with rotation control, the last one is connected to the chipset fan).

Rear panel (left to right, units)

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


  • Package of the standard design;
  • Documentation: user manual, installation guide for IDE RAID and poster with brief installation steps (in English);
  • Cables: 2 Serial ATA (with power supply adapters), 3 ATA66/100/133 and FDD;
  • Bracket for external SATA devices (with a power supply adapter);
  • Bracket with 2 USB and 2 GigaWire ports;
  • Bracket with Center/Sub, Rear, S/PDIF-Out (TosLink and Coaxial);
  • K8-DPS module;
  • I/O Shield;
  • CD with:
    • drivers;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • eBook Reader;
    • DirectX 9.0;
    • Norton Internet Security;
    • Gigabyte @BIOS;
    • Gigabyte DMIView;
    • Gigabyte EasyTune4;
    • Gigabyte FaceWizard;
    • Gigabyte Windows Utility Manager;
    • Gigabyte IA Panel;
    • Gigabyte Management Tools;
    • Gigabyte System Information Viewer.

Integrated controllers

  • audio controller based on the Avance Logic ALC658 AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio I/Os and S/PDIF connector provided; 
  • 2 network controllers, one based on the chipset and Realtek RTL8201BL PHY controller and supporting 10/100 MBit/s (Fast Ethernet), the other based on the Realtek RTL8110S-32 chip and supporting 10/100/1000 Mbit/s (Gigabit Ethernet);
  • GigaWire (FireWire-800, IEEE 1394b) on Texas Instruments TSB82AA2 and TSB81BA3 chips, 3 ports supported;
  • IDE RAID on ITE IT8212F chip, up to 4 devices, and RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD 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: +0.12, -0.26 Very good
Noise level, dB (A): -79.4 Average
Dynamic range, dB (A): 79.3 Average
THD, %: 0.0035 Very good
Intermodulation distortions, %: 0.052 Good
Channel crosstalk, dB: -80.4 Very good

General performance: Good (in detail). 


  • DualBIOS (Flash EEPROM chip with BIOS backup copy);
  • DPS (onboard connector for additional VRM module);
  • Q-Flash & @BIOS (BIOS flashing without booting from diskette);
  • Xpress Recovery (creates a backup copy of data in the hard disc hidden area and recovers the data when necessary);
  • Xpress Install (automatically selects and installs drivers and applications from CD supplied).


jumpers and switches Password clear jumper CMOS clear unneeded as the BIOS settings change for the default ones if the PC fails to start
BIOS based on Award 6.00PG Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, tRC, tRFC, tRCD, tRRD, tRAS, tRP, tWR, tWTR, tRWT, tREF
Setup of memory frequency + 100, 133, 150, 166, 200 MHz
HT bus adjustment + LDT Bus Frequency, Downstream LDT Bus Width, Upstream LDT Bus Width
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
AGP/PCI frequency setup -  
PCI IRQ manual assignment +  
FSB frequency setup + 200-255 MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU clock ratio -  
CPU voltage control + Normal, 0.8-1.7V in 0.025V steps up to 1.55 V and then in 0.05 V steps
DIMM voltage control + Normal, +0.1 V, +0.2 V
NB voltage control -  
AGP voltage control + Normal, +0.1 V, +0.2 V

We used the BIOS F2 as the latest available version. 


According to the preliminary tests this model hardly differs from the other VIA K8T800 based ones (it yields to the leader only 2%), though it has worse memory settings: the minimal timings were 2.5-2-2-5 against 2-2-2-5 of the competitors (it's noticeable in the read latency test but not in reading/writing from memory.

Benchmark Albatron K8X800 Pro II MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R Gigabyte K8VNXP
Memory read latency (CacheBurst32), clocks 92 92 99
7-Zip archiving, min:sec 6:53 6:54 6:59
Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Normal@1024x768x32), fps 217 219 215

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)

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