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Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro Intel 945P Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro Intel 945P Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Two PCI Express x1 slots and three conventional PCI slots take care of further peripheral expansion needs, and the GA-8I945P Pro can support up to six IDE and four SATA II devices.
 81% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Aug 08 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro

Overclocking the Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Speed: 200 MHz

236 MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard
The first go at overclocking a new chipset is always exciting, but unpredictable too. Intel's chipsets have historically been solid overclockers, so we were interested to see what we would get out of this more mainstream of the company's two newest offerings. Gigabyte does not have the greatest reputation for hardware overclocking, but their boards have been getting better at this hobby recently, so we had some high hopes for the GA-8I945P Pro.

All the necessary options are contained within the M.I.T. (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section of the BIOS, though seeing that the GA-8I945P Pro uses an Intel processor, CPU multiplier was not a factor. We set the system memory to 200MHz and began raising the FSB of the motherboard 5-10MHz at a time.

The first problems occurred at 230MHz FSB, when the system started spontaneously rebooting on startup. Increasing FSB voltage by +0.2 and CPU voltage to 1.3V cured this, but we still experienced instability in 3DMark 2005. ultimately, we had to increase FSB by +0.3V and Vcore to 1.35V before we could complete our test benchmarks and continue.

Sadly, we couldn't get much further, as no amount of tweaking would push the Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro past 236MHz FSB with its Intel P4 D 840 processor. The board would reset the FSB to 200MHz every time. A speed of 236MHz is not bad at all though, especially for a motherboard and processor based on brand new silicon. We'd consider this a positive result for the GA-8I945P Pro and a good sign for the future of the 945P chipset.

Inside the GA-8I945P Pro BIOS

The familiar blue screen of the Award BIOS here. Like most gigabyte boards, pressing CTRL+F1 at the main BIOS screen will enable several advanced options such as the 'Top Performance' setting and many extra entries in the 'advanced BIOS settings' screen.

Most of the interesting overclocking options are contained within the M.I.T. (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) screen. By enabling the CPU Host Clock Control option, you can type in your desired FSB speed from 100-600MHz. Voltage for memory, FSB, PCI and CPU can be increased using the respective 'overvoltage' controls here too. memory can be cranked up to a maximum of +0.6V, FSB to +0.35V and the CPU to +1.6V. As you can see, most of the important memory settings are also on this page, making it your one stop overclocking shop.

Interestingly, though hyperthreading is not present on Pentium D CPUs, disabling hyperthreading (which is enabled by default) on the GA-8I945P Pro caused Windows and CPU-Z to only see and use one core on our processor.

Like most Gigabyte boards, the Dual-BIOS option is present on the GA-8I945P Pro and can be accessed by pressing F8 at the BIOS screen. Gigabyte's Q-BIOS flashing utility is also present on this menu, and is extremely easy to use.

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

Intel Pentium 4 D 840
Intel Pentium 4 540

Clock Speed:

16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz
16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz

Motherboards:

Albatron PX925XE Pro-R (925XE)*
Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D (925X)*
MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum (915P)*
DFI LANParty 875P-T (i875P)**
ASRock 775V88 (PT880)**
ECS RS400-A (RS400)*
VIA PT894 Ref Motherboard (PT894)*
AOpen i915Pa-PLF (915P)*
Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Royal (NF4-SLI IE)*
Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro (945P)**

Videocard:

MSI RX800XT-VTD256E*
Asus X800XT/VTD**

Memory:

2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC5300 DDR2

Hard Drive: 40GB Western Digital Special Ed
74GB Western Digital Raptor SATA
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: Seasonic Super Tornado 400W
Software Setup

WindowsXP
VIA 4in1 4.55V
Forceware 6.53
Catalyst 5.4

Workstation Benchmarks

SYSMark 2004
Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
Super Pi
SiSoft Sandra 2005
PCMark04
3DMark2001SE
3DMark05
AquaMark3
Comanche 4
X2: The Threat
UT2003
UT2004
Doom 3

PCstats has upgraded its test platform with a couple of 74GB Western Digital WD740 Raptor hard drives, replacing the trusty 40GB WD IDE HDDs as test drives. Please keep that in mind when viewing the office and disk benchmarks. Also note that this board was tested with the Intel Pentium 4 D 840 CPU, while the remaining reference boards were tested with an Intel Pentium 4 540 CPU; both are clocked at 3.2GHz.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro Intel 945P Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel 945P/G desktop chipset
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking the Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, Comanche 4
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3 & Conclusions

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