Gigabyte GA-8PE667 Ultra2 P4 Mainboard
at TargetPC have been trying to get our hands on a Gigabyte motherboard for
over a year. Recently at Comdex 2002 we sat down with Gigabyte and arranged
our first review with them. They showed us many new boards including the
GA-8INXP, GA-8PE667 Ultra 2, GA-7VAXP, and GA-8SG667. Impressed with what
we saw, we look forward to working with them in the future.
we are happy to finally bring you a review on a Gigabyte motherboard, the GA-8PE667
Ultra 2! Gigabyte is a name that most of us are familiar with. They have been
known to design some of the most stable and reliable motherboards on the market.
More recently their motherboards have become very enthusiast oriented offering
a plethora of tweaking and overclocking features. Gigabyte has obviously realized
like so many other motherboard vendors that computer enthusiasts demand much
more than the “average user”. Gigabyte has brought many new innovations to
Intel® 82801DB ICH4
Intel® 82540EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller
x AGP 4x, supports 1.5v display card only.
6 x PCI (PCI 2.2 compliant)
1 x CNR
Features like Dual Bios, Anti Burn Technology, Dual Power System (DPS), AGP
2x Detector, and their Windows based Bios flash utility are becoming very popular.
most motherboards based on the same chipset perform in a similar manner. It
really all comes down to what features and extras the manufacturer has to offer.
In the last few months we have seen a new trend in the DIY motherboard market.
Integration of components onto the board has become cost effective and practical.
Chipset manufactures Intel, VIA, SIS, and NVIDIA have packed their chipsets
full of features allowing motherboards to become even more integrated than ever
before. Memory bandwidth for P4 desktop systems will also be getting a boost
soon with the release of new Dual Channel DDR solutions like the SIS655 and
VIA P4X600. This is music to our ears because Rambus is no longer needed for
high bandwidth solutions.
GA-8PE667 Ultra 2 uses the relatively new Intel 845PE chipset, although this
chipset is a single channel DDR333 solution it should still be a good investment
for the future.
Intel 845PE chipset has been around for some time now but let’s take a quick
look at its most prominent features.
533MHz and 400MHz System Bus
- Hyper-Threading Technology Support
- DDR333/266 SDRAM
- Integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 (6 Ports)
- Ultra ATA/100
- AGP4X Interface
- Intel® Hub Architecture
the biggest improvement with the 845PE is support for DDR333 and Hyper-Threading.
With DDR333 the maximum theoretical bandwidth is now 2.7GB/s. VIA and SIS
already had DDR333 chipsets for the Pentium 4 some time before the release
of the 845PE. Intel wanted to make sure that the DDR333 standard was finalized.
I first opened the box I was amazed with what I saw. Gigabyte has included
a great deal of extras with the GA-8PE667 Ultra 2.
with the motherboard
- Motherboard Manual
- Driver CD and Utility
- Quick Installation Guide
- Promise RAID Manual
- SATA Silicon Image RAID manual
- 3 IDE Cables/1 Floppy
- 4 Port USB Kit
- Audio Combo Kit
- 2 SATA Cable
- Standard I/O Plate
- GC-SATA Card (Extra SATA Cable and Power Cable)
nice to see adequate documentation included. The manuals are very straight
forward and easy to understand. The only other thing I would like to see
included in their package are rounded IDE cables. I personally think rounded
cables add a nice touch to any system and a lot of motherboard vendors are
currently shipping their boards with them.