Features of the Gigabyte 8PE667 Ultra - Part 2
10 USB ports - Was 6 not enough?
Well as if moving from four USB ports to 6 wasn't enough, Gigabyte have given us 10. NEC's BGA USB2.0 controller chip makes another appearance on the 8PE667 Ultra. Gigabyte have chosen this chip many times in the past for USB2.0 when no native support is available, however, the ICH4 has a native USB2.0 controller, so it's a mystery to us why they would add four more ports. No Firewire ports are available on this board, removing the NEC USB controller in favour of a Firewire controller would have been more popular.
Intel Pro100VE Network
Gigabyte has not attempted any fancy bells and whistles networking solutions for the 8PE667 Ultra. Intel's Pro100VE network controller is supplied onboard (thanks to the integrated MAC on the ICH4 Southbridge). This brings base level networking for DSL and light LAN duties.
BIOS and Overclocking
The BIOS of the Gigabyte board is a standard Award 6 BIOS setup that you would expect from just about any motherboard on the market today, so there is no need to learn a second language to get through the information on the screen. Some people have commented about Gigabyte's latest BIOS codes not having a Advanced Chipset Features menu, well it is there - next time you are in the BIOS press CTRL+F1 and your Advanced chipset Features Menu comes up. Here you can adjust memory CAS settings and all the normal advanced chipset features other boards make visible.
Under the Frequency/Voltage control is the Overclocking options. From here you can adjust your setting to your hearts content. Vcore is adjustable from 1.1v unto 1.75v. Gigabyte has followed the Intel safety guidelines for Northwood CPU's that states vMAX being 1.75v - anything over that is risking serious damage.
DRAM Overvolt allows you to change the voltage supplied to the DDR-SDRAM. You can go from 2.5v up to 2.8v (this again is the safe limit for Overclocking as defined by the JEDEC.
AGP Overvolt allows you to change the voltage supplied to the AGP slot from 1.5v up to 1.8v. There is no limit on what you can set, although the best option is to not go above 1.8v as it tends to cause corruption in most high end video cards.
With this all said, the limiting settings didn't hinder us too much, we managed to get 167 MHz FSB using 1.75v CPU, 2.7v DRAM and 1.6v AGP - In all a very good overclock.