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

Est. Street Price: $180

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The Bios

First off, let's see if Gigabyte includes any important PC safety features:

As you can see, there is not only a CPU fan failure warning function, but one for an onboard fan as well (not that you'd need it). Unfortunately, there is no option to have the PC shut down when the CPU fan fails. By the way, this is the entire 'PC Health' section of the BIOS. Not much info at all, and very little features to speak of; this is pretty much the polar opposite of Abit's "PC Health" sections...

Gigabyte is not known for their overclocking features. Let's see if they improved on that with their latest K8 boards:

And that's it. Things are definitely not looking good. Of course, the lack of an AGP divider is the fault of the VIA chipset itself; not a single board manufacturer allows for a locked AGP clock. Let's dig a little deeper to see what kind of voltage controls we have:

Not too shabby; we have control of the CPU voltage up to 1.7V, in 0.25V increments. Next up is the AGP voltage:

I haven't seen many boards offer more than 0.2V on the AGP card, so this isn't unusual. Most importantly however is how far we can overvolt our memory:

No, this is not a cruel joke. The K8VNXP really does only offer two voltage settings above stock. This will get your memory up to 3.75V from default 3.55V. Not a hell of a lot, but then again how far can you really push the FSB with a single AGP divider? Not very far at all, that's why we aren't even going to bother with overclocking results.

The Test

As you know, two boards using the same chipset are going to perform almost identically, be it an $80 board or a $180 board such as this one. This is especially the case with Athlon64 boards, since the memory controller is on the CPU itself.

Therefore, it doesn't really matter how many boards we throw into this review, as long as we cover as many chipset available as possible. That is easy to do right now, because there are only two chipsets available for the Athlon64! The VIA K8T800 this board is based on, and the nForce3 150!

So to contrast, we're using Shuttle's NF3 150 based AN50R.

CPU: AMD Athlon64 3400+
Memory: 512MB Kingston HyperX PC4300 (running ad PC3200) 3-3-3-8
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB
HDD: Maxtor 80GB ATA133 7200RPM 8MB

Windows XP with SP1, nForce 3.13 drivers, Hyperion 4.51, ATI Catalyst 4.2

So without further ado, let's get to the benchmarks!

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