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Testing The E-Class: 9 Pentium 4 Motherboards With The 845E Chipset

Gigabyte GA-8IEXP: Features Galore

Board Revision: 1.1BIOS Version: F4 (9. May 2002)

Gigabyte has put all the bells and whistles on the current 845E motherboard. With six PCI slots, a CNR slot, AGP 4x with a card lock, three DIMM sockets, a FireWire controller, an IDE-RAID controller from Promise (PDC20276), a sound system based on a Creative CT5880 and an Intel network controller, you have everything your heart could desire. Above and beyond that, Gigabyte provides all the necessary cables to be able to use all connectors except the two remaining USB 2.0 ports.

The only area where the little helper may keep the system stable is in overclocking. The BIOS offers all the overclocking options possible, from changing the FSB to increasing the voltage settings of the CPU core, RAM and AGP.

Gigabyte is one of few manufacturers to actually provide BIOS in several languages. What's more, the translations even make sense - in the past, some manufacturers just used a dictionary, engendering menu items with nonsensical titles.

We were pleased with the bracketing on all the ports on the motherboard. This is a simple way to keep ports from being polarized incorrectly or connected improperly, making bent pins a thing of the past.

The board comes with a large number of cables and a lot of software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 or Norton AntiVirus 2002.