k8 Gigabyte K8NXP SLI Review

Gigabyte has always been known for their full featured mainboards with the latest technology. Today, VR-Zone reviews the K8NXP-SLI, the top-of-the-line motherboard from their 8 Sigma series. Featuring a list of cutting edge technology like multi-GPU SLI, Firewire B and SATAII etc. How will the board perform against the Asus A8N-SLI? Find out now!

giga1 Gigabyte K8NXP SLI Review

Gigabyte has always been known for their full featured mainboards with the
latest technology. Today, VR-Zone reviews the K8NXP-SLI, the top-of-the-line
motherboard from Gigabyte’s 8 Sigma series. Featuring a list of cutting edge
technology like multi-GPU SLI, Firewire B and Serial ATA II etc. How will the
board fare against the A8N-SLI? We will find out in this very review today.
First, Let’s take a look at the specifications of the K8NXP-SLI.

Specifications

CPU SupportAMD Athlon64 socket 939 based processors
Memory Support4 slots, DDR400, 4GB Max
ChipsetNVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP
Expansion Slots

2 x PCI-Express x16
2 x PCI-Express x1
2 x PCI 32bit/33MHz

Audio8 Channel AC97 via Realtek ALC850
IDE2 x ATA133
SATA4 x SATA via Silicon Image SIL3114 Controller
4 x SATA II via NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP
NetworkingMarvell 8053 Gigabit Ethernet controller
CICADA8201 Gigabit LAN PHY chip
802.11G 54mbps Wireless LAN PCI Card Included
RAIDSATA RAID 0,1,0+1,5,JBOD via SIL3114 Controller
Cross SATA/PATA 0,1,0+1,JBOD via NVRaid
FirewireTexas Instrument IEEE1394b controller (Firewire 800)
USB 2.04 on rear panel, 6 via onboard headers, 10 in total
Power Connector20/24pin ATX supported
Form FactorATX, 305mm x 244mm
BIOS2 X 4M bit flash ROM, Award BIOS

Initial impressions

The K8NXP-SLI is one board that enthusiasts will adore; it’s simply so filled
with features that perhaps, the only other additional I/O card the consumer
will need is a soundcard to compliment the board. A brief summary of features
that the K8NXP offers in point form:

  • Cross IDE/SATA II 3GB/S with RAID 0,1,0+1 & JBOD Capabilities
  • SATA 150MB/S with RAID 0,1,5,0+1 & JBPD capabilities
  • Firewire 800 1394B
  • Dual Gigabit LAN
  • Nvidia Scalable Link Interface (SLI) Multi GPU Technology
  • Bundled Wireless G Lan

The Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI is based on the Nvidia NForce 4 SLI MCP, and as we all
know, it comes with support for SATA II hard drives, and as well as cross IDE
and SATA NVRAID capabilities, which allows users to do RAID, either striping,
mirroring or both on a cross IDE/SATA basis, meaning users can do striping on
one IDE and one SATA hard drive, striping+mirroring on one IDE and three SATA
hard drives and so on. The other storage controller that you can see onboard
is the Silicon Image SIL3114 SATA150 RAID Controller that is sitting on the
PCI bus of the mainboard. Gigabyte has enabled the RAID5 capabilities on the
controller, which means that this board will fit users who are looking for a
budget workstation who needs data redundancy; they will not have to spend extra
money on another SATA PCI Controller with RAID5 capabilities.

Gigabyte has always been known about their top-notch onboard LAN solutions,
as you can see on their past high end motherboards and as well as the K8NXP-SLI
we’re touching on today. Integrated onboard are 2 Gigabit NICs, one Marvell
8053 GBe and another GBe via GBe NVLAN via a CICADA8201 PHY chip. A seperate
Wireless G PCI Adaptor was included in the package too.

Another honorable mention would be the presence of Firewire 800 onboard. Firewire
800 standards has been widely used by Apple since the beginning of 2004, and
only recently mainboard manufacturers has started to integrate the standards
on their motherboard, and Gigabyte has taken the pride of being one of the first
few mainboard manufacturers to do so.

Let’s proceed on and take a closer look at the board features.