Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - Page 8

..:: Conclusion ::..

Well, although it didnít come out as the overall leader of the pack in all of the tests, the DDR266 powered GA-8IEXP still performed well and was surprisingly stable even when I had all onboard options enabled. The Gigabyte GA-8IEXP is a board of boards when it comes to the utterly immense amount of features it comes along with. When we first came across the VIA P4PB 400 we thought very highly of the amount of features it brought with it, but we now have a new king, the Gigabyte GA-8IEXP. The P4PB 400 still holds a commanding lead over the rest of our P4 motherboards, although in the near future weíll be bringing in some more DDR333 powered boards to get some more competition for it. The only board I can think of that comes to mind with a feature set much like the GA-8IEXP is the upcoming VIA P4PB Ultra, although I canít mention too much about that as of yet. As far as what was missing on the GA-8IEXP, I found a whole lot of nothing was missing. The only disappointing feature we came across was the onboard sound. The only thing about this complaint though would be that once you take the engineering aspects into account you can begin to understand more that the sound could be higher quality if less items were on the PCB. But hey, you can always use a PCI sound card and use all of the rest of the features offered up by the GA-8IEXP now canít you. Stability on the GA-8IEXP was, as previously mentioned, wonderful. In the past few weeks we have had the system up and running and havenít had one crash, even when the system was put under an inordinate amount of stress as we like to do. I have seen this board running around $130 or so at some of the better online retailers, a price that is hard to beat when it comes to the price / performance ratio. If youíre looking to upgrade that aging SDRAM system and are looking for a board thatíll come with everything and the kitchen sink, youíll want to take a look at the GA-8IEXP. Some will prefer to wait for the i845PE motherboards to begin hitting the market with DDR333 support however. If you are looking to build a new P4 based system on a budget then the Gigabyte GA-8IEXP could be the perfect board for you. The Gigabyte GA-8IEXP comes in with a total of 90 points, just enough to earn the Editorís Choice award. You can see a break down of the points awarded below. Weíd like to send out a big thanks to Heidi over at Gigabyte for supplying us with the review unit, and as always, thanks for reading!

Stability: 10
Design: 9
Features: 10
BIOS / Overclocking: 7.5
Performance: 8.5
Total: 90 Points