motherboards are always colourful, it certainly makes things more pleasant then
looking at a drab brown board. To help the end user figure things out, Gigabyte
have colour coordinated the DIMM slots by their channels; the orange slots
indicate channel one, the purple channel two.
The general layout of the board is good, but that shouldn't
be a surprise since Gigabyte motherboards are always laid out well. The IDE/floppy drive connector
and main ATX power connectors are located in their ideal location to the right
of the DIMM slots. The software
bundle includes Norton Internet Security 2004 (Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton
Privacy Control, Norton SPAM Alert and Norton Parental Control) which is a really useful little
program for office and home PCs alike.
We were surprised to see that Gigabyte did not
include any brackets with the GA-8TRS300M. They usually include all the necessary
hardware to take advantage of every header with their motherboards but this one is
Serial ATA drives
are really starting to catch on and of the computer stores that I visit, they tell
me that Serial ATA HDD's are outselling their IDE drive counterparts. With no
native Serial ATA support (via the Southbridge or additional Serial ATA
controller), people who want to utilize Serial ATA drives would have to install a SATA PCI
The ATI 9100 IGP
Originally the Radeon 9100 IGP was only certified to run at 400MHz
and 533 MHz FSB, but after extending its cross licensing agreement with Intel, the
ATI 9100 IGP acquired the 800 MHz FSB capability which is necessary to
compete with Intel's own i865G integrated chipset. It also recognizes Hyper-Threading
9100 IGP is manufactured on TSMC's mature 0.15-micron process
(like their R300 class videocards). Like NVIDIA's nForce2 chipset for the Athlon XP,
the RADEON 9100 IGP utilizes a 128-bit DDR memory
between two 64-bit channels.
Its memory bus is capable of delivering up to 6.4GB per
second of throughput using DDR400 modules, of which only two can be installed.
In order to realize the platform's 4GB memory ceiling, you'll have to employ
more conservative memory timings.
integrated graphics core if the Radeon 9100IGP is similar to ATI's
RADEON 9200 discrete card. But because the IGP must conform to certain size and
thermal restrictions, ATI has stripped it down to a degree. The 9100 IGP
features two pixel pipelines instead of four. Further, the hardware-based
transform and lighting engine has been extracted from the core in favor of a
software algorithm that off loads vertex calculations
to the host processor.
ATI claim that there is a minimal performance penalty, and
considering the power of modern Pentium 4 processors, there are more than enough
computational resources to handle the job, at least at 3