Gigabyte GA-G1 975X: Will a Turbo help the Pentium 4?by Gary Key on November 11, 2005 12:00 AM EST
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Gigabyte GA-G1 975X: Will a Turbo Help the Pentium 4?
"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."This quote from the American philosopher and pragmatist William James sums up our first look at the Gigabyte GA-G1 975X motherboard today. This is not a full review of the board, the 975X chipset, or their capabilities but a preview of the performance potential of this combination. We will fully review this feature rich board along with others based on the soon to be released Intel 975X chipset in the very near future.
Gigabyte's new series of G1-Turbo motherboards are designed specifically for gamers and overclockers. With the release of this series Gigabyte is concentrating on providing additional bios options, increased system performance, and improved feature sets for the computer enthusiast. The first release in this series is the Gigabyte GA-G1 975X that features the new Intel 975X chipset. This chipset is a follow-up to the Intel 955X that includes optimizations to the Intel Memory Pipeline technology, support for the upcoming 1066MHz processor system bus dual-core processors, and full support for graphic based PCI Express x16 lanes that can be configured as two PCI Express x8 slots for multi-view or GPU capability. The system currently supports ATI CrossFire technology and can support NVIDIA SLI technology in the future.
Besides the Intel 975X chipset, the main technology being introduced on this board is Gigabyte's exclusive Turbojet Technology that offers very effective heat dissipation from the processor, northbridge, and system memory sections of the board. The two front fans blow air over the system memory section with the two rear fans removing warm air from the northbridge and processor sections. Gigabyte has added additional heatsinks for the capacitors and the entire system is designed to work well with most aftermarket cooling solutions. We did not have an issue installing a Gigabyte G-Power heatsink/fan combination in our system. We will be comparing the thermal characteristics of this system to Asus's 8-phase power and fanless cooper heat pipe technology in the near future. However, after utilizing this board for the past few days we believe Asus's fanless heat exchange system is a more eloquent and desirable system for ensuring a quiet system.
The Gigabyte GA-G1 975X offers (2) physical PCI Express x16 slots, (2) 32bit PCI slots, and (2) PCI Express x4 slots. This design offers a very good balance of slots and allows for numerous add-in peripheral cards. However, in between the two x16 PCI Express slots are two 32bit PCI slots. This configuration could potentially render the first 32bit PCI slot useless when utilizing the first x16 PCI Express slot. We did not have any issues utilizing this slot with video cards containing single slot cooling systems but were unable to install a sound or network card upon installation of a NVIDIA 6800 Ultra or X850XT in the first x16 PCI Express slot. The combination of (2) PCI Express x16 slots and (2) PCI Express x4 slots allow the capability of running up to 4 VGA cards simultaneously. Also located in this area is the debug LED display and the C.R.S. (CMOS Reload Switch) system. The C.R.S. provides a CMOS default settings retrieval and auto system reboot capability. The push button activated switch allows the user to reload the CMOS default settings when the system is unable to boot up.
Let's quickly find out if the performance of this board is worthy of the "Turbo" designation.