This 3400+ has friends
Here are the supporting partners who provided their products to make this review possible.
When AMD sent us the 3400+ for review, we immediately went out to find a good socket 754 motherboard to use in our review. Abitanswered the call by offering to send us their KV8-MAX3. The KV8 use VIA’s newest K8T800/VT8237 chipset North and South Bridge.
This has to be the baddest looking motherboard I’ve ever seen. It has OTES cooling system for the power regulators and capacitors. First time I have ever seen cooling for anything on a motherboard besides the Northbridge. This board is loaded with Gigabit LAN, 1394 Firewire, USB 2.0, RAID SATA 150, onboard sound and of course, Abit’s excellent Soft Menu functions. I’ve been a long time fan of Abit’s motherboards so I was very excited to be getting back and running with an Abit product.
Moving on to cables, this board has every cable under the sun including four (4) SATA cables. The truth is that I’m frankly shocked at the extra’s in the box. I’m not sure how it somehow became the motherboard vendor’s job to make sure the box is packed with extras — but WOW it is great. The motherboard has been stable as a rock and with Abit’s overclocking prowess, I can’t wait to get under the hood and “play”. Be sure to look at the features here. They are impressive.
We need storage!
Seagate has been making excellent hard drives for a very long time now. I have been using various Barracuda drives for quite a time and so when I needed to add some SATA HDD for this review, I did not hesitate to request a couple of the newest 160GB 7200 RPM Barracuda drives.
They have always proven to be fast, quiet and reliable. I had aWestern Digital drive die on me a couple of months ago and it reminded me that I have not had that many drives go bad on me in the 10+ years I have been using computers. That dead drive was the 3rd Western Digital drive that failed on me. I then realized that I have quite a few Seagate drives and not a single one has ever failed.
Memory is a requirement too
We have often worked with Corsair in a roundabout sort of way. Never asking them directly for samples but since AMD is so fond of Corsair, we decided to give them a ring. They were happy to send us samples for our AMD 3400+ review. They sent us their newest XMS PC3200 sticks that actually had LED on top to monitor the memory access.
The XMS PC3200 performed great and is very, very quick. Of course they operate at CAS 2 and with this motherboard, overclocking should be a breeze. I’m counting on this Corsair memory being stable as the FSB climbs.
It’s all about the pictures
We have been working on getting samples of the Radeon 9800XT and NVIDIA based 5950 boards especially to benchmark with LOMAC. We have had some success, so we decided to throw in a Radeon 9800XT and see how it performed with our 3400+.
Sapphire was the board I decided to use in my review. They have a very balanced feature set along with a nicely designed 9800XT. The board was stable and blazing fast. It comes with a nice bundle including a free coupon for HalfLife2.
The Sapphire Radeon 9800XT Atlantis comes with 256MB of DDR RAM and uses a 256-bit interface like the 9700 PRO. The core is clocked at 412MHz and the memory is clocked at 730MHz (365MHz DDR). The board is DX9 compliant. Did I mention it was fast?