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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.03.04]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

Est. Street Price: $130

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Every good motherboard review needs to cover the BIOS extensively, so here you go! The first thing you have to know is that to get full function out of your bios, you are going to need to hit ALT+F1 EVERY TIME you enter the bios. Near as I could tell, this is almost an undocumented feature (I only found it in the FAQ under "why aren't all my BIOS functions available after I flash the BIOS?"). At first I thought this was the worst BIOS EVER, but after figuring this trick out, I gave it a chance to redeem itself...

Let's start with the 'safety' features. The last Gigabyte board we looked at didn't fare to well here...

This time they offer a LOT more safety functions, including warning alerts for the CPU temperature, CPU fan, AND two other fans. Very nice! For a perfect score, Gigabyte would have to add a CPU temperature shutdown function.

Tweak That Memory

Gigabyte was never one to offer a ton of memory tweak functions; certainly not as much as Abit. While the 8IPE1000 Pro2-W doesn't quite reach the capability of Abit's boards, it is certainly beyond what we are used to seeing from Gigabyte.

You'll notice the "MIB" feature at the bottom; I think this is Gigabyte's "PAT Trick" for the 865PE. It can be set to either "Auto" or "Enabled". I was unable to get it to work under "Enabled" with the super high latency PC4400 ram I have here, but as you'll see later on, the board performed extremely well regardless.

As far as memory voltage goes, the 8IPE1000 Pro2-W offers 0.1, 0.2, or 0.3V above default. This comes to a max of 2.85V, which should be enough for most people. However other boards allow for 3V and beyond, so it would be nice if Gigabyte offered that as well.

Tweak That CPU!

And here are the CPU tweak functions. This is one of the stronger overclocking boards I've seen in a while; memory frequency can be keyed in, and the AGP divider can be locked. One thing I would have liked is a 'final CPU frequency' display, but I guess I am just spoiled by DFI with this feature...

The acronym for this page is "CIA". Based on the description, I guess this is supposed to dynamically change your FSB based on CPU usage. Again, I could barely get this working - I was able to boot up at "Cruise" and "Sports" mode, but no higher. Benchmarks showed absolutely no improvement anyway, but your mileage will vary with a feature like this. I attribute my problems to the fact that I am using ultra high latency ram where high FSB settings take precedence over latency timings and speed (I tested the board with PC4400 sticks from Corsair and OCZ).

CPU voltage can be set up to 1.76V in plenty of increments:

Now let's see how this board performs!

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