Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D - Page 2

..:: GA-8ANXP-D Packaging ::..

It is well known to frequent MBR readers that Gigabyte has always, in my opinion, put out some of the best, and in many cases the best packages for the retail market. The GA-8ANXP-D does not fail to live up to the hype of providing a solid product package, much as we expected. Gigabyte, like ASUS, has begun to throw in a wireless card for their high-end motherboards, and they have done so with the GA-8ANXP-D. Right now, products with these cards are limited, but as time progresses I think we’ll see more manufacturers begin to throw in Wi-Fi support, especially with the Wi-Fi enabled ICH6-W chips start to roll off the production lines. Gigabyte has also thrown in the latest incarnation of their DPS unit, the U-Plus DPS. This unit provides for an additional four phases for the core voltage power supply, and unlike older models comes outfitted with a heatpipe cooling solution. Additional phases for the VCore allow for a smoother power delivery, and the load can be better distributed.

As far as the included cabling options go, Gigabyte has included several items that should allow for seamless integration. Gigabyte includes four, red Serial ATA cables for use with either the native ICH6 supported connections, or those provided by the additional Silicon Image SATA RAID controller. Gigabyte has also chosen to include two Molex power cables that can support two Serial ATA drives a piece. As the new ATX v2.0 power supplies begin to hit the market, we’ll see less of these power adapters included in motherboard packages, but for now the bulk of users are still operating on the older PSU’s which require such adapters. Lastly, Gigabyte includes a single floppy cable, and a single IDE cable, both of which come colored in a dark shade of blue.

On the expansion bracket end, we find that Gigabyte has added in two options, both of which provide support for additional USB 2.0 ports. The first bracket features three USB 2.0 capable ports, which brings the current USB 2.0 total to seven ports. The second of these brackets allows for support of IEE1394 devices, as well as providing an additional two USB 2.0 ports, brining total USB support to a grand total of nine ports. Needless to say, whether you choose to use the USB only, or USB / IEEE1394 bracket, you won’t ever fall short on ports for your USB supported devices, that’s for sure.

The remainder of the GA-8ANXP-D‘s package includes items such as the various manuals, the Silicon Image Sil3114 Serial ATA RAID Controller as an example. Gigabyte also includes a large, fold-out style installation guide that will help first time and novice users properly install all of the required components of their system so that it gets up and running right out of the box. They have also paid special attention to the installation of the LGA processors, a point that we’ve seen noted constantly in manufacturers install guides due to the frailty of the pins within the socket. The manual for the GA-8ANXP-D was what we had expected. It covers all of the various onboard headers, gives excellent illustrations, does a nice job covering BIOS options, and also has some guides for software installation. I was expecting to find one of the case stickers that we have seen used by Gigabyte with the GA-8ANXP-D, but Gigabyte has chosen not to include one with this product. This is one of the more useful documentation features, but so long as you don’t lose your manual, it isn’t a must have.

The Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D packs in a solid selection of cables, expansion brackets, and other components that really give the end user a bang for their buck. Gigabyte has always been on the top of my recommendation list for users looking to get the most for their money, and from the looks of things this trend will continue with the latest line of motherboards. The GA-8ANXP-D comes with all of the required items, along with providing some additional components such as the IEEE1394 and USB 2.0 brackets that other manufacturers might leave out. Gigabyte provides a solid product manual, and documentation that will make a novice builder’s life a little easier as well. As of yet, this is the best retail package we’ve seen from an i915P or i925X motherboard. Only time will tell if we see a product come along that can de-throne the GA-8ANXP-D.