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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.13.04]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

Est. Street Price: $180

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Board Features Continued

This is Gigabyte's "DPS K8" external power circuite addon. Essentially, it turns the board's power circuit to a 6 phase circuit. Up from the standard 3 phase required, this should ensure the best stability, especially when stressing all the component on the board. As an added bonus, the fan lights up blue! I wish the northbridge fan did so as well though.

One of Gigabyte's trademark features on most of their boards is DualBIOS. A second CMOS chip is there to back you up incase of a bad flash, or an otherwise corrupted CMOS. This is a nice feature to have, but hopefully you'll never have to use it.

The rear panel features a pair of LAN connectors - one is capable of 100MB and one 1000MB. Both are Realtek adapters. In my opinion, Gigabyte is wasting precious space here with a pair of COM ports. Do we really need two? Do we even need one? Gigabyte could have eliminated an entire PCI bracket, putting the connectors here instead, and moving the COM ports to a PCI bracket for the very few people who will actually use them.

Speaking of PCI brackets, here they are! The aforementioned audio bracket up top, with all the ports you'll need to get full connectivity from the onboard audio adapter. Also included is a USB/FireWire combo bracket. The board also has an extra port on top of this for an extra pair of USB ports and another FireWire port. Perfect for a case that has such connectors!

As you know, motherboard layout is getting pretty similar across all manufacturers. It is going to take a little extra to get our attention. Gigabyte's color-coded front panel connectors is one of those little things that makes me appreciate the layout even more.

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