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Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The board actually has two nForce4 SLI chipsets PCB, the Intel (Northbridge) and AMD (Southbridge) edition work in tandem.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte May 15 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal

Royal Overclocking with a Quad Videocard Motherboard?

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

245 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

Gigabyte has been focusing a lot of its attention on enthusiasts, and squeezing every last drop of overclockability out of its products. As a flagship motherboard, you can expect some pretty decent overclocking options in the GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal's BIOS.

Before the overclocking starts, we'll first lower the memory speed 533 MHz, this way the memory will not hold the motherboard back.

Starting at 200 MHz FSB, the clock speed was increased in 5 MHz intervals, and at 225 MHz FSB the GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal started to show some signs of instability. To fix this, all it took was a little extra juice to the Northbridge chipset (voltage was bumped up 0.25V). As the overclocking progressed, it was clear that the Northbridge needed another voltage bump at 233 MHz, this time to 0.35V above stock values.

Experts Tip: Troubleshooting With Port80

At first glance the Port 80 diagnostics card is difficult to follow with its cryptic symbols, however Gigabyte does its part to make things easier by including a Port 80 code definition PDF. From C1 errors to 26 or even 96, if the hardware is causing problems, the Port 80 will tell you what it is. If you're not sure what an error code is describing then simply look it up!

Comments and Feedback? Suggest a Tweak.

At 240 MHz, the Pentium D 840 needed a bump from 1.35V to 1.45V to stabilize things. In the end the Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal hit a maximum FSB of 245 MHz, anything higher and stability would have been compromised. Not bad for a Gigabyte motherboard, especially with one that has four PCI Express x16 slots!

Now let's take a walk through the many BIOS options and then dive right into the benchmarks with SLI enabled!

In The BIOS

All the action is found inside the MB Intelligent Tweaker (MIB) section of the GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal's BIOS. The motherboard FSB can be adjusted between 100-500 MHz FSB, although the way Gigabyte does things is a bit confusing.

Instead of changing the FSB value, users have options for the Pentium 4/D bus speed... so four MHz must be increased for every 1 MHz of the FSB. The memory frequency can be set independent of the FSB which is a useful feature.

In the voltage control section we can adjust the CPU voltage up to 1.8V and increase the DIMM voltage 0.55V over stock. The Northbridge and Southbridge voltages will go as high as 0.55V over stock, and FSB OverVoltage control bumps things up by 0.175V over stock values.

In the Advanced Memory Timings section, you can adjust the DDR2 memory timings; everything from CAS Latency, to RAS to CAS Delay, Row Precharge, Command Rate, and a few other criteria.

The GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal's Advanced Frequency Control allows us to adjust the PCI Express frequency and HyperTransport multiplier. Nifty, but you ain't seen nothing yet...

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Features, sockets and Qual PCI-E
 Pg 3.  SLI with Four PCI Express Videocards?
 Pg 4.  Quad SLI videocard combinations?
 Pg 5.  — Royal Overclocking with a Quad Videocard Motherboard?
 Pg 6.  Prelude to Benchmarks - Test System Configuration
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, PCMark05
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark05
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Conclusions

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