FIC K8-800T - Page 4

..:: FIC K8-800T BIOS ::..

The FIC K8-800T is equipped with a very basic Phoenix-Award type BIOS. You can configure normal hardware settings, view a health status screen, etc. just like in any other BIOS, but there really isn't anything to tweak. There are no fan control options, no Cool'N'Quiet configuration, and most importantly, there are no options for memory timings. Some of the earlier FIC K8-800T reviews on the web showed that a user could manipulate these timings, but in the VXA407 and the VXA41 BIOS versions that we have tested, there are none. You either like the timing set that the motherboard decides on or you don't. I have always used 2.0-3-3-6-1T timings for our Corsair XMS PC3200 on the test bench, but the K8-800T decided on a slower 2.5-4-4-8-2T set. Needless to say, the exclusion is somewhat of a drag, and in more ways than one.

You wouldn't be alone if you thought that a user could have the ability to tweak a system before being given any options to overclock it, but that doesn't seem to be the case for the FIC K8-800T. The only enthusiast geared section of the BIOS for the K8-800T is located within the Frequency/Voltage Control menu, and these are the options for overclocking. The image above was taken with the highest settings available. As you can see, DDR and AGP voltages can be increased to 2.8v and 1.8v respectively, and the processor's external clock is available up to 250MHz. Take note that FIC now provides CPU voltage adjustments in the VXA41 BIOS for the K8-800T, ranging from -.075v to +.075v in .025v increments. That's not much to work with, but it is nice to see the addition.

One thing that I have never had to mention before in a review is something that I would like to see removed from a motherboard's BIOS. The item of focus is the "Async AGP clock control" option, because when it is set to "Enabled" on the FIC K8-800T, manipulation of the settings always resulted in the board not posting and having to clear the CMOS. The VIA K8T800 chipset, as well every single VIA chipset ever created as of the publishing date of this article does not allow AGP and PCI clock adjustments, so we have no idea why this option is included since it does not work.

..:: FIC K8-800T Overclocking ::..

Now that we know what overclocking options are available in the BIOS, let's see how the FIC K8-800T managed to overclock our hardware. Well, the motherboard was able to crank out a 434MHz DDR FSB. The only voltage increase that helped the overclock was to raise the DDR voltage to 2.8 volts.

But remember that the memory timings cannot be adjusted and were set to 2.5-4-4-8-2T by the K8-800T for our memory of choice. Normally other motherboards can accomplish or surpass this overclock with a 2.0-3-3-6-1T timing set, but as we mentioned in this review's introduction, FIC is a name that rarely comes to mind when overclocking. Nevertheless, we would say that the overclocking ability of the FIC K8-800T isn't too shabby.