Article Author :Ian Date : 11th Oct 2002 Comments :
Motherboards that include lots of onboard peripherals have more than often proved very unpopular with anyone except the computing novice or budget user, the Gigabyte 8IEXP however, has an extensive range of onboard items on a high-end board.
This board is targeted for overclockers and power-users, featuring onboard RAID, onboard 5.1 digital sound, Firewire, USB 2.0, LAN adapter and some excellent overclocking features - all of the onboard items are high quality devices that would usually cost a lot more to buy separately. The motherboard is based on the Intel 845E chipset, pretty much standard for Pentium 4 CPU's, giving excellent stability and performance.
Socket 478 CPUs
100 - 355Mhz Bus
Form Factor : 306mm x 204mm
2GB PC1600/2100/2700 DDR SDRAM (3 Slots)
1.725V CPU Voltage Max
1 x AGP, 6 x PCI, 1 x CNR
4 x Fan Connectors
Dual Channel ATA 66/100
Promise ATA133 RAID
Intel 10/100 Onboard LAN
VIA VT6306 IEEE 1394 Controller (3 Firewire Ports)
6 x USB 2.0 Ports
Creative CT5880 Audio Chipset (5.1 Digital)
Most notable about the specifications are the aforementioned onboard peripherals. The quality of the components is high, and the onboard items will be just as sufficient as the separate add-on cards - saving a large amount of money for any high end system. Compatibility between the components and chipsets is excellent, even with chips from a multitude of different companies.
I have never before seen such a comprehensive bundle included with a motherboard, Gigabyte certainly have taken time to include everything needed in the box. All the cables and panels required are also included, rather than being an "optional" extra as happens in most cases.
3 Port Firewire Bracket
4 Port USB 2.0 Bracket
2 x ATA133 Cable, 1 x ATA100 Cable, 1 x Floppy Cable
Easy Installation Guide
Board Layout Sticker
CD Audio Cable
The "Easy installation guide" provided enough information for a computer novice to hopefully fit the motherboard - complete with lots of pictures (always a good thing!). It is worth a quick read to follow the steps required to install the motherboard if you aren't completely sure about this type of motherboard, i.e Socket 478 CPU installation or header connections.
One of the best items in the bundle was undoubtedly the board layout sticker! Countless times do I have to find the motherboard manual just to find out where a certain jumper is, or where component "x" attaches to. Thankfully, the provided sticker easily attaches to the inside of your case proving the location of components and jumper settings as required.