Albatron KI690-AM2: A Mini-ITX Powerhouse

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Normally in this section we would provide some pictures of the BIOS, but in this case we felt it was unnecessary. The only selectable options of note were memory clock (400/533/667/800), command rate (1T/2T), and UMA frame buffer size (AUTO/32MB/64MB/128MB/256MB/512MB/1024MB), i.e. the amount of memory allocated to the integrated graphics. There was also a Frequency/Voltage Control section with only two options: NPT Fid and NPT Vid control - both of which were grayed out and thus out of reach. Fan control is provided by the Smart Fan Control option (Enabled/Disabled) available in the Hardware Monitor section.

The KI690 has two fan headers, one 4-pin PWM connector intended for the CPU fan and one 3-pin connector. Unfortunately the stock heatsink that came with our test processor, the X2 3800+, was of the 3-pin variety and could not be controlled with 4-pin header. We plugged in a 4-pin fan from an Intel LGA775 stock heatsink to see how well (or if at all) Smart Fan worked. The fan ran at approximately 2140RPM before we began stress testing. After a few minutes we did not notice the fan speed changing and assumed the fan control feature was broken or faulty. It dawned on us that perhaps the CPU was not heating up enough for the fan control to kick in, so we turned off the AMD stock fan. Once the core temperature exceeded 50C and Smart Fan increased the fan speed to about 2550RPM sporadically, that is the speed would ramp up with little rhyme or reason beyond this point. Not content, we installed the latest version of SpeedFan.

RPM reporting in the BIOS was accurate however SpeedFan seemed to have some difficulties. No reading was displayed for the 3-pin header and an erroneous reading was attributed to the 4-pin fan. While the LGA775 stock fan is loud, 1,350,000RPM is somewhat of an exaggeration.

We located the PWM settings in the Advanced menu. "PWM 1 mode" corresponds to the 4-pin PWM fan connector. Changing this option to "Software controlled" allowed us to customize the fan's speed, however we found the minimum and maximum speeds to be exactly the same as Smart Fan (minimum being approximately 70%). The other PWM settings did not do anything as far as we could tell. The 3-pin header was not controllable with SpeedFan or Smart Fan.

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