Gigabyte P4 Titan GA-8TRX330-L Motherboard Review

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Introduction

When it comes to system performance, one of the most crucial aspects is the chipset. These processors coordinate traffic between the main CPU, memory and peripheral devices like your video and sound card. Intel has always been the chipset performance leader for their own Pentium processors, as other chipset vendors either lacked performance or were plagued with bugs.

nVidia, primarily known for their video chips, pioneered new technologies into their nForce chipset, which was exclusively made for AMD’s Athlon processors. Intel countered by introducing a dual-channel memory controller for Pentium 4 processors, which now achieve over 5 gigabytes a second of memory bandwidth!

Now another well-known graphics card maker is making motherboard chipsets, this time it’s ATI with their RX330 chipset for Socket 478 (Pentium 4) processors. The board features 4 DIMM slots for memory, and are dual-channel, an AGP 8x slot, 5 PCI slots, and a Realtek 100Mbit Ethernet controller. Serial ATA-150 support is provided by ATI’s own SB300 I/O controller. The new RX330 offers no integrated graphics core as one might anticipate, as do some nForce motherboards.

Board Features
CPU Socket 478
FSB 800/533/400
Chipset ATI RX330
Memory DDR 400/333/266
Memory socket 4x DDR
Max memory 4 GB
Graphics interface AGP 8x/4x
PCI slots 5
Raid function Yes
LAN Realtek 8100C
Audio Realtek AC97 (ALC655)
IDE 2x Serial ATA, 2x ATA133
USB 2.0 8 (4 on MB, 4 by extension)
Serial ATA 2x ATA-150 ports
Parallel port 1x parallel port
serial port 1x RS-232 serial port
audio ports 3x configurable analog jacks
1x SPDIF jack by cable
front audio connector pins
fan headers 2x fan headers
Size 30.5 x 24.4 cm

Gigabyte is the first manufacturer maker to provide a mainboard based on ATI chipsets. This chipset is targeted to compete directly at Intel’s 865PE chipset, and offers similar features to its rival: hyper-threading technology, dual-channel DDR400, 800MHz FSB, 8x AGP and USB 2.0. Let’s take her out for a test drive…

RX330 chipset features
Up to 800 MHz CPU FSB for Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor
Supports Intel® Hyper-Threading™ processors
In-Order Queue (IOQ) depth of 12
Supports Dynamic Bus Inversion (DBI)
Supports system bus interrupt delivery
Integrated master clock generator with spread spectrum support
AGP 3.0 compliant AGP 8X interface with Fast Write support
266MB/second point-to-point interface to ATI IXP in A-Link mode
Dual channel 128-bit DDR SDRAM memory interface
DDR400 SDRAM support provides up to 6.4 GB/second bandwidth
Up to 4 GB DRAM support with two unbuffered DIMMs
Up to 8 USB2.0 ports
Up to 2 SATA ports
Two independent IDE channels with support of mode 0 to 4, and ATA 100
Supports LPC based Super I/O
Integrated Ethernet controller
Support for Microsoft Windows® XP, Windows® 2000 and Linux