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Gigabyte GA-8S655TX Ultra Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-8S655TX Ultra Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: In the Pentium 4 world there haven't really been many real mainstream alternatives to Intel's own chipsets, that is until very recently.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Dec 17 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte Ga-8S655TX Ultra

Scooping out the GA-8S655TX Ultra

The GA-8S655TX Ultra includes an excellent software bundle which features Norton Internet Security 2003 (comprising Norton Antivirus, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Privacy Control, Norton SPAM Alert and Norton Parental Control) specifically.

In this day and age of email viruses, bundled software that helps safeguard the consumer from all sorts of potential problems is a nice extra.

Lastly we find an onboard IDE RAID controller with the motherboard. Too many boards these days are built for the future and not the present; and that can be a problem for users who have multiple IDE HDD's. The GA-8S655TX Ultra does its best to make sure that there is no downtime with the aid of a dual BIOS system. While flashing a BIOS is pretty uneventful, disaster can often strikes when we least expect it....

There's not much to complain about with the Gigabyte GA-8S655TX Ultra. I guess one thing I don't understand is why Gigabyte does not have a clear CMOS jumper on their motherboard. Users must short solder points if they wish to reset the BIOS.

Additionally, why the user is forced to press CTRL + F1 to access the Advanced Chipset Features is something I will never understand... If the manufacturer is trying to protect the end user from damaging their components, they should just lock out the Frequency/Voltage control options altogether.

655FX & 655TX? What's the difference?

As you probably recall, PCstats was quite impressed with what the SiS' 655FX chipset had to offer in our last review. SIS released a newer revision called the SIS655TX whose main improvement revolves around the memory controller.


Picture taken from Gigabyte PP Presentation

As the picture above shows, what will take the 655FX four clock cycles to accomplish will only take two clock cycles in the 655TX. Memory performance of the older FX was already around i865PE levels, now it should be closer to the i875P - which is very significant for SIS considering the chipset is targeted towards the mainstream market.

If you're interested in learning a bit more about the HyperStreaming Engine that powers it the SiS 655TX, please read our SiS 655FX Reference motherboard review.

It should also be noted that the SiS 655TX is fully Prescott compatible. The last thing anyone potential motherboard/PC buyer wants to know is that they'll have to upgrade the motherboard if they get a new processor. This is possible because the 655TX is FMB 2.0 (Flexible Motherboard) and VRM 10.0 (Voltage Regulator Module) compliant. Current i865PE/i875P based motherboards may or may not work with the upcoming Prescott processor, it really depends on how well the boards powersupply was designed.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte Ga-8S655TX Ultra
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-8S655TX Ultra Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Memory and Northbridge Cooling
 Pg 3.  — Scooping out the GA-8S655TX Ultra
 Pg 4.  BIOS and Overclocking
 Pg 5.  System Spec's and Benchmarks:
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winbench99, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena, UT2003
 Pg 9.  SIS and the Gigabyte 8S655TX Ultra

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