The new GA-8PENXP is the latest and greatest Intel 865PE offering from the folks at Gigabyte. The board is well featured, with a lot of great integrated peripherals and devices that should appeal to a lot of power users. The most attractive part about the GA-8PENXP is its focus on storage controllers which made this board very ideal for users who plan to add a lot of storage devices into their system. With support for up to 12 devices, the GA-8PENXP will make an ideal workstation that could also be doubled up as a file server.
The other main feature would be the Dual Power System support that ensures the best in operating stability, especially with future processors that requires more power for operation. The DPS feature lets you add another three phases of power into the board, giving it a total of six phases of power that ensures stable current delivery to the processor. If the on-board power circuitry fails (quite unlikely), the DPS will take over and the operation of the board will continue as usual.
In terms of performance, the GA-8PENXP is about on-par with the original Intel D865PERL board. Not too shabby if you're considering a feature rich board like this one. However, it would be slower than most of the recent 865PE boards which features PAT tweaks. If compared to those boards (and also boards with dynamic overclocking), the GA-8PENXP will appear slower.
The GA-8PENXP motherboard.
Overall, we quite like what we found on the Gigabyte GA-8PENXP. It's a very feature-rich board with very few flaws. It may not appeal to hardcore overclockers as it lacks the PAT tweak which most other motherboard manufacturers boast about, but it should make a pretty good system for most power users. Priced at about S$355, the cost of the board is reasonable and is a good buy if you want a reliable 865PE motherboard.
For its unique DPS feature and one-of-a-kind mix of storage controllers, there's no reason why this board doesn't deserve our coveted Most Innovative Product award.
Most Innovative Product Award.