Granite Bay Chipset - Initial Thoughts Continued
- Gigabyte's packed out 8INXP mobo
As well as the hybrid features listed on the previous page, Gigabyte's 8INXP motherboard includes support for ATA133 RAID through a Promise controller, Serial ATA150 through a Silicon Image controller, onboard Gigabit networking through the Kenai chip from Intel, 6-Channel AC'97 audio and 6 x PCI 2.2 compliant slots for maximum upgradeability - some of which you can see below in Gigabyte's future advertising poster below.
As you can see, Gigabyte are really positioning this motherboard as a strong feature packed product which one could safely surmise tends to suggest the market for the Granite Bay is going to be a fierce one among all motherboard companies fighting for their share of your hard earned dollars, well at least more than usual.
With such a wide spectrum of features, it's quite hard to classify which sector the 8INXP and other Granite Bay based motherboards will fit into - high end desktop or low end workstation and server. That is the question on our minds right now.
- First down fall, and maybe a second
The only down fall we can note so far is the need to have two separate sticks of DDR memory due to its dual channel setup - go figure. This shouldn't prove to be much of a hassle for users looking at buying a new computer system.
Although, for those of us upgrading from older 845x, VIA P4X or SiS 648 based motherboards with only a single stick of memory, you will need to purchase another before you can take advantage of the new technology - making the upgrade a little more expensive than one might have originally thought.
The next possible down fall (if you can call it that...) we hazard to question is if the Granite Bay will be able to provide Dual Channel DDR-333 support - officially or not, one way or another. If it does, it will be mean super fast bandwidth of up to 5.4GB/s for the Pentium 4 platform and an incredible 6.4GB/s in the case of not yet JEDEC certified PC3200 memory. Only time will tell on this front, though it never hurts to tempt the imagination, right?