Gigabyte employs the same Award BIOS system that it has been using for its motherboards for two years now. This has given easy access to many tweaking and overclocking options. Gigabyte also uses a failsafe system to prevent inexperienced users to playing around with the memory timings. In order to gain access to the Advanced Chipset features you need to press CTRL+F1 to bring the menu up. If you haven't read the manual properly or not experienced enough to work the system out you won't gain access.
Frequency/Voltage control menu is the location for all the overclocking options. From here you can adjust the FSB, memory dividers, AGP/PCI dividers and voltages. First off is the CPU FSB. You can adjust the FSB from 133FSB up to 355MHz in 1MHz increments. This allows for the best range of frequencies for overclocking.
Next you have the memory dividers. You can set the memory dividers to either 266/333 or auto when running 533FSB or 266/320/400 or auto when running 800MHz FSB processors.
AGP and PCI dividers can be set between 50MHz and 100MHz or locked to 66MHz on the AGP and 33MHz on the PCI. This allows you to keep the AGP and PCI within operating specifications.
Voltages are next and this is where we were a bit disappointed. CPU voltage can be changed from 0.8v up to 1.6v in 0.25v increments. AGP voltage can be changed from 1.5v up to 1.8v in 0.1v increments. DRAM voltage can be adjusted from 2.5v up to 2.8v in 0.1v increments. In all it is very limited voltages for overclocking a board running already high FSB and memory settings.
Layout wise we didn't find any major failings. Connectors and slots are all free and allows for easy access to all the parts on the board. The inclusion of the four Serial ATA ports is a great feature as is the inclusion of the Parallel ATA RAID.
Firewire and eight USB 2.0 ports gives all the external expansion you will need. The dual power system keeps the voltages within specs when running the CPU at higher CPU speeds. The only major disappointment was the voltages. CPU voltage is what we would expect on a budget board rather than an overclockers motherboard as are the DRAM voltages barely able to hold a great overclock. While we had an unlocked Pentium 4 and managed 310MHz out of the FSB, it would be hard to get a 2.4C up to this limit due to lack of CPU voltage.
Dual Serial ATA RAID
Parallel ATA RAID
CSA Gigabit Ethernet
Placement of the 4 pin power connector
Limit of 1.6v on CPU
Limit of 2.8v on Memory
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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