Feeds
75%
abit_kn9_sli_mobo_tm

Abit KN9 SLI Socket AM2 motherboard

SLI for less

High performance access to file storage

Moving on, the KN9 SLI's initial Award BIOS offered relatively few hardcore tweaking options. Abit quickly realised this was a mistake and has since released a more feature-rich version. CPU clock frequencies are now selectable from 200MHz through to 400MHz, PCI Express frequencies range from 100MHz to 145MHz, vCore ranges up to 2.10V and memory voltage climbs to 2.30V. The usual array of memory clock settings are available covering 400MHz, 533MHz, 667MHz or 800MHz and all the typical memory parameters can be manually set to taste. Of course, all these can be left at their default or automatically defined values making life simpler for those who'd rather not scour the murky depths of their system BIOS.

abit_kn9_sli_scores

Testing was performed using an Athlon 64 X2 4600+ at its stock 2.4GHz. For graphics we used a pair of Sparkle 512MB GeForce 7950 GTs, which we ran in SLI configuration at their default 550MHz GPU and 1.4GHz memory frequencies. 1GB (2x 512MB) of Kingston DDR2-8500 memory, a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 hard drive and a 420W Tagan PSU completed the test system.

General performance and stability under extended testing were excellent, and despite some very flaky early BIOS revisions and some inconsistency issues with the latest revision, I didn't run into anything that could be considered serious. Of course, the fact that there have been almost monthly BIOS updates since the end of May suggests that Abit rushed this board out of the gate, or at least released it without thorough in-house testing.

That said, things like improved memory compatibility and the inclusion of a functioning PCI Express frequency lock all served well to dismiss some initial gripes while early POST problems seem to have been all but eradicated, with our particular hardware setup at least.

Verdict

Aggressive pricing, a passively-cooled design and decent stock performance all count in the KN9 SLI's favour but it's difficult to feel any respect for a product that seems to have been nursed through teething problems. It may be that the next BIOS revision will transform this into the must-have Socket AM2 motherboard in its class, but from our point of view it's a genuinely excellent motherboard that fails to inspire confidence in the long term. ®

High performance access to file storage

75%
abit_kn9_sli_mobo_tm

Abit KN9 SLI Socket AM2 motherboard

A solid design for the gamer on a budget, but keep an eye out for BIOS updates...
Price: £80 inc. VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.