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Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic (Intel 945P Express)
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Tuesday, 30th August, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


Conclusion

The Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic was simply put, a very attractive board. It had the just right amount of features to cater to most consumer needs with its Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 1394b, 8-channel HD audio and its well-rounded storage capabilities. Gigabyte's Dual Graphic Link and Quad View technologies bring the ability to install two graphic cards and up to four display output, increasing work productivity and making games more immersive. As you'd have expected, the board also comes with Gigabyte's established set of technologies to help users get the most out of the motherboard. Dynamic overclocking technologies like C.I.A.2, M.I.B.2 and R.G.B were all available within the BIOS or through Gigabyte's Windows based EasyTune 5 software. Xpress Recovery and DualBIOS, two data protection and backup functions were also available.

The board was no slouch in the performance department either. The GA-8I945P Dual Graphic held up against other boards in its class, meeting our expectations of a high-performance Intel 945P Express motherboard. Though there wasn't any particular area where the GA-8I945P Dual Graphic seemed more optimized, its well rounded performance we saw in every benchmark made it suitable for all tasks, be it work or play, in the home or office. Power users would also be happy to know that the board was a great overclocker and we were able to ramp up the FSB up to 313MHz, which was even a little higher than what the ECS PF5 Extreme could achieve before. There was however, one point to note though. We recently noticed that the FSB scalability of the Intel 945P Express may have a dependency upon the PCI Express bus (much like the older generation Grantsdale and Alderwood chipsets). This could mean that motherboards that do not allow a floating PCIe frequency might suffer from lower overclocking capabilities. Thankfully, the Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic had all the necessary options that enabled it to achieve the high stable overclock we managed.

The Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic is a great board if you're looking for some serious desktop action.

The Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic was one board that had a surprising lack of problems. Not that we'd be happy to find numerous flaws, but most motherboards today are so complex and feature-packed that they usually can't escape from some sort of quirky behavior, be it a minor resource conflict or a major compatibility problem. The GA-8I945P Dual Graphic displayed nothing of the sort and completed all our tests with excellent stability and poise. Hardware and driver installation went flawlessly and no compatibility issues cropped up. While we did express concern over some minor layout problems, like the expansion slot grouping and slightly cramped CPU socket, there was nothing much to dislike about the board. At US$164, the Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic is set to debut slightly above the average price range, but it has the makings and perks of a great board. Nicely done, Gigabyte.


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Ratings Legend
5.0 Stars Perfect 4.5 Stars Excellent
4.0 Stars Very Good 3.5 Stars Good
3.0 Stars Above Average 2.5 Stars Average / Fair
2.0 Stars Below Average 1.5 Stars Bad
1.0 Star Very Bad 0.5 Star Not Retail Worthy


Testbed Configuration
Processor Intel Pentium 4 XE 3.46GHz
Mainboard Gigabyte GA-8I945P Dual Graphic
Memory 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR2-667
Graphics Card Gigabyte GeForce 6600 GT 128MB
Harddisk Seagate 7200.7 80GB SATA (NTFS)
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP1

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