Result and general impression
+++ The GA-K8NF-9 Socket 939 PCIe board has at present a price of approx. 80 Euro (11/2005) and is appropriate thereby in the lower to middle price segment of the Socket 939 PCIe boards.
Gigabyte brought the K8NF-9 a Socket 939 board with only one PCIe 16x Slot on the market, which might be surely nevertheless interesting for several PCs. Because due to the standardized Motherboard size one has unfortunately the choice between 3 pci Slots with 1x PCIe 16x Slot or 2 pci Slots with 2x (SLI) PCIe 16x video card Slots.
On this quite inexpensive nForce4 Motherboard was selected the variant with 3 pci Slots, which can naturally quite have their meaning if you’re using various pci interface cards. Furthermore the four S-ATA 150 RAID connectors, 2 connectors for up to 4 UDMA-133 HDDs and the 4 DDR memory modules with DUAL channel support (up to 4GB) are controlled by the nVidia nForce4-4X chipset. The sound chip is the well-known 8-channel ALC850 with six 3,5mm jacks for the 8 channel sound. Besides Gigabyte used even the Vitesse 8201 LAN chip, which provides up to 1 Gigabit network speed and thus can be used optimally for a fast home network.
All connectors are exemplary colored marked and the LED connector pin row are marked with small “+” symbols, well done!
Regarding the overlocking and the tuning options of the components Gigabyte gave the BIOS several options, which are made accessible partially only with a hidden CTRL+F1 key combination. Because it’s possible to get further features in the BIOS, if one presses CTRL + F1 key, since this releases the Advanced chipset menu with many memory timing and the HT clock options. Whereby other important voltage adjustments e.g. Vcore (CPU), VDDR (memory), PCIe core voltage are alterable without this key combination. Furthermore all frequencies are extensively alterable like the host frequency, memory frequency and PCIe frequency, so it’s very easy to overclock with this mainboard. BTW Gigabyte eliminated the frequency input bug in the meanwhile, by permitting the frequency choice only with the selection field. However one shouldn’t overdraw the overclocking without further cooling measures straight with the HT multi, since the nForce 4 chipset is unfortunately only passive cooled and becomes quite warm already with the usual frequency and moderate voltages. Thus as always absolutely respects good cooling, whereby the overall height of an active chipset cooler may not be too high, so that the video card can be completely inserted.
Result: The Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 Socket 939 PCI express Motherboard offers beside the good basic equipment a great performance, extensive overclocking options and a well board layout for little money. Thus who attaches no importance to the second PCI express 16x Slot for SLI and would like to acquire an inexpensive and stable PCIe board, is with this motherboard served in the best way for current Socket 939 processors.
Special thanks to Gigabyte
for their support.
**** All Socket 939 motherboard reviews since 01.11.2005 are based on an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice processor, 1x (or SLI systems with 2x) Gigabyte GV-NX66T128VP Nvidia 6600 GT PCI Express video cards and the following software configuration: Microsoft Windows XP SP2, DirectX 9.0c, Forceware 81.85 video driver and 3DMark 2003. All benchmark results should only offer a comparison among themselves for a comparison.