Gigabyte GA-G1975X Turbo S775 Motherboard Review

Motherboards/Intel S775 by KeithSuppe @ 2006-03-17

Gigabyte is now jostling for the motherboard maker Performance / Feature title. With Abit seemingly loosing favor with the Enthusiast crowd it is now Asus v. Gigabyte, with DFI and AOpen coming up fast. Today we look at the ultimate saddle to throw over your .065 micron Presler Dual core.

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G1975X-Turbo Specs:

LGA775 Intel® Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 processor
Supports 1066/800/533MHz FSB
Intel 975X chipset

- Northbridge: Intel® 975X Express Chipset
- Southbridge: Intel®ICH7R
- T.I IEEE 1394 Controller
- Gigabit Ethernet Controller
- Creative Sound Blaster Live 24-bit Audio controller

-Type: Dual channel DDR2 533/667/888/1066**-240pin
- Max capacity: Up to 8GB by 4 DIMM slots

Internal I/O Connectors
- 4 X Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
- 1 X UDMA ATA 100/66/33 connector
- 1 X FDD connector
- 1 X IEEE 1394 connector (support 2 ports)
- 3 X USB 2.0/1.1 connectors (support 6 ports)
- 1 X audio pin header (support 7.1-ch)
- 1 X S/PDIF In/Out pin header
- 3 X Cooling fan pin headers

Expansion Slots
- 2 x PCI Express X16 slot
- 2 x PCI Express X4 slots
- 2 x PCI slots

Rear Panel I/O
- 2 X USB 2.0/1.1 ports
- 1 X RJ45 port
- PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse
- Audio (1x Line-in/ 1x Line-out/ 1x Mic) connector

Form Factor
- ATX form factor
- 305 x 244mm
- H/W Monitoring
- System health status auto-detect and report by BIOS
- Hardware detecting and reporting for case open, CPU voltage, and fan speed
- 2 x 4Mb flash ROM, Award BIOS

Other Features
- Multi-GPU support
- C.R.S. (CMOS Reload Switch)
- Norton Internet Security
- Xpress"! Installation
- Xpress"! Recovery 2
- C.I.A. 2 (CPU Intelligent Accelerator 2)
- M.I.B. 2 (Memory Intelligent Booster 2)
- EasyTune"! 5
- Download Center

Onboard Sound and Devices

Madshrimps (c)

On-board sound has been a series of disappointments to me since AOpen teased audiophile/PC-enthusiasts the world over when the company incorporated true audiophile grade circuitry onto several motherboard models including their AK79-G Tube. They were the first (and last) attempting to reach millions of audiophiles whom spend half their time on the PC the other half in thei listenting rooms, by utilizing a vacuum-tube output driver stage in on-board sound circtuitry. Integrating circuitry sporting Vishay resistors, WIMA / Multicap Capacitors, Cardas and Kimber audiophile cables equated to the best sound ever heard from a PC (speakers were the weak link for most). AOpen discontinued the line, no doubt production costs must have broken company records (no pun intentded) and today's $300 motherboards were simply unacceptable back then.

Gigabyte has been slightly more conservative in their on-board sound; however, their repeated use of the Creative Sound Blaster Live is still a step above most. This is apropos for surround (aka Games), unfortunately most people incorrectly associate surround sound with quality sound. How they could simplify their lives if they found a simple high quality stereo (2-channel) sound-system mated to high quality monitors such as those built by M-Audio StudioPro-4. Such high quality transducers would put the term "sound-stage" and "palpable imaging" into several million vocabularies. Nonetheless given Gamers predilection for surround Gigabyte is right on target.

Madshrimps (c)

In the previous section we discussed Gigabyte's "Turbo" (-Jet) technology, utilizing plastic inverted half-pipes to direct air-flow over processor power-circuitry, the North Bridge heatsink and DIMM slots (memory) simultaneously. The design is the most extensive active cooling solution we've seen from Gigabyte and marks the first in a series. Below we see DIMM placement takes advantage of the Turbo technology.

Madshrimps (c)

Moving on and over we see the passive copper heatsink on the ICH7R South Bridge, four S-ATA connectors, GigaATA 3Gb controller chip, as well as USB 1/2/Green (-S3 wake) and the IDE-2 connector.

Madshrimps (c)

The front panel connector is clearly marked and color coded for those having to make connections while the motherboard is mounted in the case.

Madshrimps (c)

S-ATA RAID and IDE are shared among the GigaATA S-ATA controller chip.

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LAN function are delegated to the Broadcom BCM5789KFB NetLink™ Gigabit Ethernet Controller with PCI Express.

Madshrimps (c)

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