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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.30.04]
Manufactured by: Abit, DFI, Foxconn, Gigabyte


Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D

I really wish I had taken more pictures of this box; it is absoltuely stunning! It is actually twice as deep as a standard motherboard box, and folds open to show some of the accessories that are included inside through clear windows. In fact, Gigabyte's whole "8 Sigma" line of boards just seems more high end. If you were to open up the Foxconn and then this, you would notice it right away.

And the high end feel translates to the board itself, with the inclusion of the latest "DPS" 8 phase power circuit adapter. You might be wondering about the purple connectors at the bottom of the board, but they actually serve a purpose, as you'll see later on.

Once again, you have only two PCI slots, and three PCI-E 1x slots. DFI is certainly the winner in this category! Above the PCI slot, you can see the two BIOS chips. While not exclusive to Gigabyte boards, they are the only manufacturer to support Dual BIOS across their entire line of products. And believe me when I say it can be an absolute life saver in worst-case scenarios.

And here is where the Gigabyte scores a perfect 10 - board layout is almost flawless in this crucial area of the board! Every single header is located at the very bottom of the board, keeping all cables out of the way. And unlike the rest of the boards we're looking at today that include a single FireWire header and a pair of USB headers, the Gigabyte carries two FireWire headers, and three USB headers. As far as the Clear CMOS jumper goes - there is none. You'll have to find your own. That's right, instead of using a 3 pin set, with an open and closed position, there is only a set of two pins. Jumper on means clear CMOS, and jumper off means run normally. Gigabyte did include a small bag of regular sized jumpers, but this is not a very efficient method of clearing the CMOS.

Gigabyte also included a second SATA controller, bringing the total amount of supported devices to eight. Wow. And as usual on a Gigabyte board, the front panel header is fully colour-coded, making for smooth install.

While we're at this section of the board, I have to point out the crappy placement of the IDE and floppy headers. Unlike every other board here, they are mounted horizontally, circa 2001. I guess they flat ran out of real estate, thanks to the extra SATA controller. What you see above is a GeForce 6800GT sticking out between the IDE and Floppy cables. Again, not a very effecient method at all.

More on the next page!

Next Page: (Board Overview Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D p.2)