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Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI nForce4-SLI Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI nForce4-SLI Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you consider yourself a performance enthusiast and are contemplating purchasing a new system or motherboard in the near future, do yourself a favor and get something that's SLI compatible.
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Feb 25 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI

Overclocking and BIOS

nForce-based motherboards have traditionally been pretty good at overclocking, but seeing as how we're still dealing with a beta motherboard we didn't really know what to expect. The first thing we did was lower the CPU multiplier to 6x so the processor would not limit our motherboard overclocking.

Going up a few MHz at a time, the Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI easily passed 210 MHz but we ran into problems soon afterwards. No matter what we did we could not go 1 MHz above the 214 MHz mark. If we tried, the system would randomly lock up while booting Windows or just lock up at the POST screen.

Raising the voltages (CPU, memory, HTT, core) didn't help get us one MHz higher, which was odd. We're just hoping that these low overclocking results are due to a beta motherboard rather than bad silicon.

The GA-K8NXP-SLI BIOS

To access the Advanced Chipset Features, we must first press CTRL + F1 at the main menu. Once inside we can adjust HyperTransport speed, the width of the up and downstream links and enable/disable SSE/SSE2. As you can see the memory tweaks are here too and boy do you get a lot of options!

The motherboard frequency can be adjusted from 200-400 MHz in 1 MHz increments while the PCI Express clock goes from 100-150 MHz again in 1 MHz increments. I'm not sure what the Linear RGB clock does so I left this at default. You can raise the CPU voltage a maximum of 0.25V, HTT 0.3V and memory 0.2V. I'm not sure what the Core Power voltage control refers to (perhaps NF4-SLI voltage?) but that can go up 0.3V too.

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 4000+

Clock Speed:

12 x 200 MHz = 2.4 GHz

Motherboards:

ASRock K8 Combo-Z/ASR (ALi M1689)*
Soltek SL-K8TPro-939 (K8T800 Pro)*
MSI K8T Neo2 FIR (K8T800 Pro)*
MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (NF3 Ultra)*
Epox 9NDA3+ (NF3 Ultra)*
Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 (NF4 Ultra)**
Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI (NF4 SLI)***

Videocard:

Asus X800XT/VTD*
MSI RX800XT-VTD256**
MSI NX6600GT-TD128E***

Memory:

2x 512MB Mushkin PC3200 Special Ed.

Hard Drive: 40GB Western Digital Special Ed
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: Seasonic Super Tornado 400W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
VIA 4in1 4.55V
Forceware 6.10 Beta
Catalyst 4.12

Workstation Benchmarks

SYSMark 2004
Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
Super Pi
SiSoft Sandra 2004
PCMark04
3DMark2001SE
3DMark05
AquaMark3
Comanche 4
X2: The Threat
UT2003
UT2004
Doom 3

*Using the Asus X800XT/TVD which is based on the Radeon X800XT PE GPU. **Using the PCI Express-based MSI RX800XT-VTD256 which uses the Radeon X800XT GPU (slightly slower than the Asus card). *** Gigabyte motherboard was tested with both the RX800XT-VTD256 and two MSI GeForce 6600GT (NX6600GT-TD128E) in SLI mode.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI nForce4-SLI Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  SATA II and SLI
 Pg 3.  nForce4 Technology Loving
 Pg 4.  Disk Improvements
 Pg 5.  More Storage Features
 Pg 6.  — Overclocking and BIOS
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, AquaMark3
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 14.  A great motherboard with a bright future!

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