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Gigabyte GA-8I955X Royal (Intel 955X Express)
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 16th May, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

Hot on the heels of their GA-8N-SLI Royal nForce4 SLI Intel Edition motherboard, Gigabyte follows up with another member of royalty. The GA-8I955X Royal is a parallel product for the high end Intel segment. Based on the Intel 955X Express (Glenwood) chipset, the GA-8I955X Royal features a wide range of compatibility and support from Prescotts, to dual-cored Smithfields and Pentium Processor Extreme Editions. Official memory support has been updated to embrace dual channel DDR2-667, but Gigabyte plays the number game in the same vein as ASUS, claiming full capabilities for blistering DDR2-888 speeds. Remember, this is not official DDR2 specification, just Gigabyte trumping their capability as part of their new i-DNA technology family. However, this bodes well for overclockers if Gigabyte backs up their claim with full official support.

Gigabyte GA-8I955X Royal motherboard.

We've completed our review on the board and if you're itching to find out how it stands, read on. Before we begin on the board itself, let's take a look first at the packaging and specifications of Gigabyte GA-8I955X Royal.

Packaging contents include the following items:-

  • 6 x SATA data cables
  • 3 x SATA power converter cables (dual plugs)
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • 1 x U-Plus D.P.S. Module
  • 1 x Bluetooth USB dongle
  • 1 x SLI high-speed digital link interface bridge
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (2 ports) bracket
  • 1 x USB extender cable
  • IEEE1394b (2 ports) and USB 2.0 (2 ports) bracket
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CDs
  • Hardware installation guide

    Gigabyte GA-8I955X Royal Technical Specifications
    CPU Support
    • Supports 90nm LGA775 processor package
    • Supports Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 
    • Supports Intel Pentium D Smithfield processors
    • Supports Intel Pentium 4 / Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processors
    • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology ready
    Chipset
    • Northbridge: Intel 955X Express
      • 533 / 800 / 1066MHz front side bus
      • PCI Express x16 graphics
    • Southbridge: Intel ICH7R
      • Intel High Definition Audio
      • Supports six PCI Express x1 lanes
      • Supports up to eight USB 2.0 ports
      • Supports four SATA II ports (with RAID capabilities)
      • Single-channel Ultra ATA-100 IDE port
    Memory
    • Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.8 Volt DDR2 SDRAM
    • Supports 677/533/400 dual channel DDR2 memory architecture
    Storage
    • Intel ICH7R Southbridge
      • 1 x Ultra ATA 33/66/100 (data transfer rate up to 100MB/sec.)
      • 4 x SATA II (Serial ATA II 3.0Gbps interface)
      • Intel Matrix Storage Technology
      • Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 5
    • Silicon Image Sil3132 SATAIIRAID controller
      •  2 x SATA II (Serial ATAII 3.0Gbps interface)
      •  Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1
    • GigaRAID ITE8212F IDE RAID controller
      • 2 x Ultra ATA 33/66/100/133 (data transfer rate up to 133MB/sec.)
      • Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1
    Audio
    • Intel High Definition Audio (Azalia)
    • Realtek ALC882M HD Audio CODEC
    Networking
    • 2 x Broadcom 5751 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller
    IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
    • Texas Instruments SN082AA2 1394b OHCI-Lynx Controller
    • Texas Instruments SN081BA3 IEEE P1394b Three-Port Cable Transceiver Arbiter
    • 3 x 1394b ports @ 800 Mbps speed
    I/O Interface
    • 1 x Floppy connector
    • 3 x Ultra ATA IDE connectors
    • 6 x SATA connectors
    • 8 x USB 2.0 ports (4 x rear, 4 x bracket)
    • 3 x IEEE 1394b ports (2 x header, 1 x header)
    • 2 x RJ45 LAN port
    • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Output
    • 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output 
    • 8-Channel Audio I/O ports
    • 1 x CD-IN
    • 1 x 9-pin serial port
    • 1 x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
    • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
    • 1 x mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
    Expansion Slots
    • 1 x PCIe x16 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
    • 2 x PCIe x1 slots, PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant
    • 3 x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.3 compliant
    Special Features
    • USB Bluetooth dongle (Bluetooth v1.2 compliant)
    • U-Plus D.P.S.
    • DualBIOS
    • C.I.A. 2
    • M.I.B. 2
    • R.G.B.
    PCB
    • ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6"(30.5cm x 24.4cm)


    Rear I/O panel includes both RJ-45 sockets plus analog and digital audio ports. Users will have to use the brackets for FireWire connection though.
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