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Intel's 955X Dual-Core Chipset Better For Business Users Than NVidia's nForce4

Gigabyte GA-8I955X Royal

The Gigabyte board ran like a champ up to FSB clock speeds of 300 MHz or FSB1200 - we actually couldn't make it run faster anyway. Here again, the CPU is probably the culprit, as it refused to run much faster than 4 GHz.

This mobo is Gigabyte's top-of-the-line Intel motherboard, endowed with the Royal appellation along with everything else anybody might want. Next to three x1 PCIe slots and a like number of 32 bit PCI slots you'll find the PCIe x16 slot for a graphics card. A supplementary SATA chip services two external SATA connections, and a GigaRAID controller enables two UltraATA/133 channels to handle RAID 0, 1 and 10. Another chipset delivers support for both FireWire 1394a and 1394b.

A big orange slot accommodates the DPS (a mixed up acronym for Power Delivery System) module, which doubles the four phases of power to the motherboard up to a total of eight. Through parallel switching one of these sets smoothes out warm-up of the voltage regulator, while the other helps boost power signal quality and delivery.

Two Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet chips enable this motherboard to make a snappy connection to the outside world. Part of the 8I955X Royal's capabilities include remote operation controls to turn the computer on or off, or to launch pre-selected programs with two clicks of those same switches. It even includes a Bluetooth USB Dongle among the accessories bundled in the package.


Gigabyte's iLock facility takes advantage of its remote operation controls to disable access to the computer, and can even make shut down remotely (and restart, if told to do so).