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Gigabyte GA-8TRS300M Radeon 9100 IGP Review

Gigabyte GA-8TRS300M Radeon 9100 IGP Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: The benefit of the using the Radeon 9100 IGP chipset is that it includes a Radeon 9200 class VPU within.
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jan 16 2004   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-8TRS300M

The ATI 9100 IGP

Gigabyte 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 bare.

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 controller.

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

The ATI 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 bus split 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.

The 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 GHz.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-8TRS300M
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-8TRS300M Radeon 9100 IGP Review
 Pg 2.  — The ATI 9100 IGP
 Pg 3.  The IXP200 Southbridge
 Pg 4.  The GA-8TRS300M BIOS
 Pg 5.  System Spec's and Overclocking
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3, Comanche 4
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: X2 The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 11.  ATi in motherboard world

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