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DDR400 for Athlon: A Comparison of 9 Motherboards

Gigabyte GA-7VAXP, Continued

Gigabyte has been adding a second Flash ROM to many motherboards for several years. This safety feature, known as DualBIOS, makes sure that the motherboard will still function after a failed BIOS update or a virus attack, by using the secondary Flash ROM with the backup BIOS in case of a malfunction.

The ports for Memory Stick, smart card reader or Secure Digital are located in the upper right-hand corner, though the board ships with none of these.

Gigabyte has even thought of digital outputs, so that sound can be produced with modern stereos without any loss of quality. This adapter, which is included in the box as well, offers not only coaxial but also optical digital output.

The additional manual that exclusively deals with the RAID controller is a nice addition. You also get an abridged version of the installation instructions, a comprehensive manual, a Gigabyte sticker for the case and a CD containing all of the drivers as well as Norton AntiVirus 2002 and Personal Firewall 2002. Even Adobe's Acrobat Reader 5.05 is part of the deal.

Your typical Gigabyte box - this time, it's green.

Gigabyte was able to put on quite a show in our benchmarks, right up there with the Asus board. The manufacturer does not provide any options for changing the settings for memory timing in BIOS (except for selecting the clock); you can only activate a "Top Performance" mode. This was enough to produce respectable results.