Features of the 8S655TX Ultra
- Package and Contents
The package that Gigabyte uses is relatively second nature to anyone looking for a Gigabyte motherboard. This one comes in a cream yellow box with the little flying ships that now resemble Prescott Readiness - that's right, she is Prescott Approved.
Gigabyte packs a good accessories bundle with its Ultra motherboards. You will find two user manuals inside; one is for the motherboard itself, which is fully self explanatory of all the onboard features, the BIOS setup and all the software that Gigabyte includes. We also have two IDE cables and one FDD cable, two Serial ATA cables with a 4 pin power connector to 2x SATA power adaptors, an internal to external Serial ATA bracket with power adaptor for SATA drives, 5.1 channel audio bracket, Firewire/USB2.0 combo bracket and a neat little powered by Gigabyte case badge just to spice your case up.
- The Motherboard - Layout and Components
You might remember a while back we did a test of the 655FX based motherboard from Gigabyte, look familiar? This motherboard is based directly on the same PCB with only a few small differences. First off with the CPU socket, to announce its Prescott Ready line, Gigabyte has used a yellow retention mechanism. While it isn't any different in function than the older orange or green ones used, this yellow one indicated that it is Prescott compatible. The only other difference is the size of the Northbridge heatsink; it is slightly larger on this motherboard. Apart from that the PCB is identical.
One AGP 8x slot and five PCI slots are included for add-on cards like RAID controllers and sound cards, but with all the onboard features, you will find that you won't need the slots for much else than a TV Tuner.
Once again Gigabyte has let themselves down with the placement of the 4 pin power connector. As we stated in our PT880 Gigabyte review, we have let this go far too long. Placement of the connector for a high-end based motherboard is not ideal as it requires you to have the power cable drape over or around the CPU, causing some restricted airflow. This can be counter productive to overclockers and Prescott CPU's which run quite hot without adequate cooling and air circulation around the CPU and additional components. To give this motherboard Prescott approval, Gigabyte has used a 4 phase power base system. This is the ideal setup for a Prescott power supply system.
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