Albatron K8SLI

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Albatron K8SLI

Pros

  • Small package with lots of power, SATA2, wide range of connectivity options, detachable bios backup card.

Cons

  • Must be extra careful during installation

Bottom Line

If you're after a board that has SLI capabilities then this one is well worth it at only $199.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

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This little gem of a board from Albatron stands out because it is so little and so inexpensive, yet is based on an nForce4 SLI chipset. The board is only slightly smaller than a sheet of A4 paper and is perfect for cramped or relatively small ATX enclosures. Because it's based on the recent nForce4 chipset, it also features SATA2 and it can support up to four SATA drives as well as RAID configurations. We needed to create a floppy disk with RAID drivers on it before we could install Windows XP on our RAID 0 array, but we didn't face any problems at all during this task.

Because the board is so small, the installer needs to be very careful during the insertion of IDE cables and the power connector, as these reside on the very edge of the board, which overhangs the secure mounting points of the ATX chassis-design by around 3cm. The board can be so narrow due to the placement of the memory slots, which reside on the top edge of the board just above the CPU socket. Installing the CPU is a little fiddly though, due to the lack of space, as the heat sink securing clips reside very close to capacitors.

As for connectivity, the K8SLI has plenty of USB 2.0 ports, a single Gigabit Ethernet port and it even includes coaxial digital audio, serial and parallel ports on its rear port cluster. It lacks FireWire connectivity, however.

For peace of mind, Albatron ships the K8SLI with a little BIOS card that can be attached to a set of jumpers to restore your system should a BIOS update ever go wrong.

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