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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

Gigabyte 8PENXP Features Continued



Intel's latest addition to the Pentium 4 platform, the i865PE, has proven itself to provide just as much power as an i875P chipset can, so it's no wonder that manufacturers are using this chipset above any competitors or even Intel's own i875P chipset. With support for DDR-400 Dual Channel DDR SDRAM, AGP 8x, CSA Networking, the only thing missing is PAT and ECC support, which isn't that much help for desktops anyway.


The new ICH5 is included to add eight USB 2.0 ports, AC'97 audio and two independent Serial ATA controllers. It would have been nicer to see the ICH5-R used, however, Gigabyte does make up for this with the inclusion of the Silicon Image Controller.


Dual Serial ATA



While the ICH5 is included for Serial ATA, it doesn't support RAID functions like the ICH5-R does. The ever popular Silicon Image Serial ATA controller chip has been added to give two extra Serial ATA ports for RAID 0, 1 and 0+1.


Parallel ATA RAID



While more companies today are building boards with Serial ATA RAID, 99% are forgetting about Parallel ATA RAID. Serial ATA is still new, so it's pretty doubtful 20% of us have a SATA drive let alone two. Most of us, however, have two or more IDE drives in RAID arrays. With new boards with Serial ATA RAID, it's almost impossible to use the IDE drives; this is unacceptable. Gigabyte, however, hasn't forgotten us. The ITE GigaRAID controller is added for two IDE ports supporting four drives in RAID 0, 1 or 0+1 modes.





While you would think that eight USB ports would be enough to keep the system going, Gigabyte has made the 8PENXP dual Serial port ready. Firewire has become a great interface for DV transfer and even networking. Gigabyte adds the Texas Instruments 3-port Firewire controller.


Gigabit CSA Networking


With the introduction of the new i875P and i865 series chipsets, Intel added a new bus interface to the MCH. This new bus is called the Communications Streaming Architecture. This new bus runs at 266MB/s and allows for connection of the Pro 1000CT Intel network controller. This controller runs at 10,100,1000mbps for Gigabit Ethernet connections. Using the CSA bus eliminates the large amounts of Ethernet data from clogging up the PCI bus, a much better approach to the even increasing problems with the PCI restrictions.


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