With so many features built-in to the GA-8KNXP, it should be a seventh miracle that Gigabyte can implement everything on a standard-sized board (30.5cm x 24.4cm according to Gigabyte’s documentation). As usual, Gigabyte equips the board in the company color, blue.
Another board shot
Plenty of space for AGP graphics card
Since the GA-8KNXP is designed for use in high-end desktops and workstations, a universal AGP Pro slot is used. We can also see that Gigabyte provides plenty of space between the AGP interface and the DIMM sockets, allowing both components to be installed independently of each other. This is a positive trait that we’ve seen on a number of 875P motherboards.
The IDE and floppy connectors that are tied to the chipset are neatly tucked away near the DIMM sockets, while the Serial ATA ports (all four of them) are just underneath the system battery. Unfortunately, Gigabyte has placed the ATX12V connector below the CPU interface, near the left edge of the motherboard. This means you’ll have to string the ATX12V cable between the DPS2 module (if you decide to install it) and the CPU cooler’s fan. The DPS2 module’s fan is recessed pretty deep into the DPS2 housing, reducing the chances that the power cable may accidentally jam it, but the chance is still there. This same danger applies to the CPU and its fan shroud as well. Unfortunately the upper portion of the GA-8KNXP is crammed with so many components that Gigabyte would have been hard-pressed to place the ATX12V connector anywhere else without increasing the size of the PCB.
Lower half of the board
Moving a little further down the GA-8KNXP board, we see that the IDE connectors that are tied to the GigaRAID controller are placed alongside PCI slots four and five. This could be an issue for those of you who own multiple PCI cards that are longer than normal, although you do have three other alternatives (assuming you place a PCI card in the slot next to your AGP slot) to choose from. In our opinion, the primary setback is the orientation of the RAID IDE connectors -- being perpendicular to the right edge of the motherboard means that you’ll need a slightly longer cable to hook everything up.
Like DFI’s Canterwood board which we just tested, Gigabyte has chosen to place the third fan header below the fifth PCI slot. We still believe a better location would be on the left side of the board near the AGP slot, as there are a large number of cases with fans located near the motherboard back plate. If the fan header were on the left side of the board, this would be perfect for those cases.
We were definitely disappointed to see Gigabyte remove the jumper to clear BIOS. If you’re an experienced overclocker, the clear CMOS jumper has probably saved you on multiple occasions. With the clear CMOS jumper now removed on our Rev 1.0 board, we had to remove the system battery in order to accomplish this. Hopefully Gigabyte integrate the clear CMOS jumper on a later board revision, as it makes life much easier for overclockers. Of course, Gigabyte will argue that they no longer need the clear CMOS jumper, because of an overclocking feature present on their motherboards that we’ll discuss on the next page.