Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

Gigabyte GA-7ZX

BIOS-Version: July 17, 2000 (F8)

Board Revision: 1.0

The 7ZX offers an excellent sound system that is based on Creative's CT5880 chip. This chip has all the functions of the Sound Blaster PCI 128. If surround sound with four speakers is selected the line-in becomes the output for the speaker pair in the back. The chip also supports the AC3 format; in this case line-out is changed to SPDIF-out. But there are no Soundblaster PCI128 drivers for Windows 2000 yet. This means that the chip runs in Soundblaster compatible mode but with a limited number of functions.

The board is also available as GA-7ZX-1 without the ISA slot, with only one BIOS chip and without the sound system. The standard version possesses the so-called Dual-BIOS. It has a second BIOS for safety reasons. If the main BIOS fails the backup BIOS takes over.

Gigabyte uses a clip that secures the AGP card after insertion. This feature makes sense if you need to transport your computer a lot. Usually you should get along quite nicely without this feature.

The labeling of the connectors for power-on, reset, power-LED, and so on is not quite clear. Only a look into the handbook clarifies the situation.

Uwe Scheffel