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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [07.17.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

Est. Street Price: $175

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The Overclocking

Now if you couldn't already tell, we were very, very excited to get a chance to take a shot at overclocking with this puppy. All signs were pointing to the 7NNXP being a great overclocking board. First there is the 6 phase DPS solution ensuring us that our 5V line would remain stable and our MOSFETT's would remain cool. Next there was the 300mhz maximum FSB setting...taunting us to be just like the Pentiums. And then finally, there was the CTRL+F1 hotkey within the BIOS which unlocked all of the extra tweaking options. These extra special tweaking options must be so special that they had to keep them hidden from the general public! Right?....Right!....right.....

Umm, yeah....wrong.  Unbelievably we were unable to get the board past the 190mhz FSB setting.  Unbelievably because every other nForce2 Ultra board is able to reach 200mhz without breaking a sweat. Unbelievable because we were able to reach close to 230mhz with an Epox board using the same chipset and exact same hardware setup.

Taking all things into account, I have to believe that we just got ourselves a bad chip. Frustrated and looking for answers I took a quick spin out on the web to see how others were making out with this board. To my amazement I saw some people who were able to take it above the 250mhz mark! Frustrated? You betcha! I guess it just goes to show that sometimes overclocking can be just as much about the luck of the draw as it can be about your abilities.

Even with the limitations of a lower FSB, we were able to successfuly clock our 2100+ up to a respectable 2.37Ghz (12.5X190), although the performance gains were much less than those seen with the higher FSB overclock using the Epox board.

Although Gigabyte came late to the nForce2 party, very late actually, they sure know how to make an entrance. The GA-7NNXP contains absolutely every feature that a high end enthusiast would want from a motherboard. Not only that, but they supply you with a full bundle that allows you to use each and every feature straight out of the box. All this on a board that performs as well, if not better than its competition over a wide range of benchmark tests.

There are only two things keeping the GA-7NNXP from being an absolute must buy board if you are considering the nForce2 platform. First is its price.  Retailing at around $175, the GA-7NNXP is almost twice the price of some other manufacturers nForce2 models. Mind you those are stripped down versions that can't hold a candle to the 7NNXP's bundle or list of added features. For those of you who are value conscious, Gigabyte does offer a stripped down version of the 7NNXP named the 7N400, I suggest you check it out.

Secondly there is the low overclocking scores. I am almost absolutely convinced though that we just got hit with an under performing SPP chip. This is confirmed by the experiences of other users on the web. Since our experiences were sub par on the overclocking front I can't recommend this board for those of you looking to go that route. I can't on the other hand though denounce it either since our experiences seem to be an isolated case.

All in all, the GA-7NNXP is a very solid motherboard and would make a nice addition to anyones case.

  • A Ton of onboard features
  • Dual IDE and SATA RAID (10 devices possible!)
  • COMPLETE Bundle
  • Good Performance

  • No CPU Mountin Holes
  • Low Overclocking Ability
  • What's up with the CTRL+F1?

Final Score: 88%