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Socket 7 Board Review July 1998

Gigabyte GA-5AX

ATX motheboard, ALi Aladdin V Chipset (Rev. E), 512 kB L2 Cache, 4x PCI, 3x ISA, AGP slot; voltages: 2.0 - 3.5V.

Many of you wanted us to review this board; if some product is missing in our reviews it's not because we don't want to review it, but just because we haven't got it so far. Now here we go...

Today it's a habit of Gigabyte to use dip switches for setting up the CPU. Many users - me included - do really appreciate this, but a software setup in the BIOS would be even better. The board has 4 PCI and 3 ISA slots as well as three DIMM sockets and uses the Award BIOS. You can chose three memory timing settings: slow, normal and fast. The fast setting provoked hangups with the Diamond Fire card running Business Winstone 98. As with all other boards the game benchmarks ran with the ATI Xpert card (Rage Pro chipset); here the memory could be clocked "fast" without difficulties.

The board is very memory tolerant. Excpt the 10 ns Toshiba memory, every of my SDRAM types worked fine at 100 MHz bus: The Samsung 10 ns, LGS 10 and 7 ns and the big 32 chip module as well. The price of this compatibility seem to be average benchmark results. Some game benchmarks are even the slowest in this review now. The pricing of the Gigabyte boards is usually very human; so if you already used Gigabyte boards and like them: This board ist reliable and of good quality as we are used it.