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Abit vs. Gigabyte: Tier 1 i865PE Head to Head

By: Cameron Johnson | Socket LGA 775 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 18, 2003 4:00 am

Features of the Gigabyte 8PENXP

 

Package and Layout

 

 

Gigabyte's latest motherboards to come for the Taiwan giant have been very colorful masterpieces. The 8PENXP is packed in a similar front lift up package to the 8KNXP that gives you all the information on the motherboard you are purchasing. Inside, Gigabyte gives a plethora of goodies including the motherboard, three user manuals (1 for the board, 1 for the Serial ATA Controller and 1 for the Parallel ATA controller), one 4-port USB bracket, one audio bracket for 5-speaker operations, one Firewire bracket, one Serial ATA to External expansion card, DPRS 2 module.

 

Board Layout and Gripes

 

 

Gigabyte has, for the past four motherboards, used a 1 AGP slot and 5 PCI configuration. This has proven to be a winning combination and has been used on the 8PENXP, which is identical in Layout to the 8KNXP. The AGP slot supports both 4x and 8x protocols and is not backwards compatible with older 2x cards. Gigabyte has put a great deal of onboard peripherals on the 8KNXP so 5 PCI slots are all that should be needed for now and the future.

 

One of the biggest notations of this board is the memory slots. i865 chipsets have support for only four double sided DIMM modules. This limits most boards to 4 slots, two for channel A and two for Channel B. Gigabyte has changed this, similar to how 3 DIMMs were added to i845 boards. Gigabyte manages 6 DIMMS like this; Port 0 has a single DIMM connector on it where port 1 has 2. This means that if you install a double sided DIMM into DIMM 2, DIMM 3 cannot have any memory modules inserted. The same theory exists with DIMM 5 and 6; if a double sided DIMM is in 5, 6 cannot be occupied.

 

Power connectors and expansion sockets are located as per normal for a Gigabyte board. The 20-pin power connector is placed behind the DIMM sockets along with the FDD and HDD connectors. The 4-pin connector is between the Northbridge and the I/O panel making the 4-pin cable drape across the heatsink and fan.

 

Another feature is the DPRS2 system. DPRS2 stands for Dual Power Retention System. Most motherboards have either a 3-phase or some now with 4-phases to power the CPU voltage regulator. DPRS2 adds an extra 3-phases to the already 3 onboard, giving a total of 6 phases. This means there is no limit to the amount of power the Gigabyte 8PENXP can deliver stably to the CPU.

 

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