Gigabyte's GA6CXC i820 w/ SDRAM Support

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The Gigabyte GA-6CXC Motherboard
The i820 With  SDRAM  Support

By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta - 5/9/00

Hot Hardware's Test System
Standard Issue

GA-6CXC, PIII 733mhz & 770mhz, 256mb Mushkin 7ns RAM, nVidia Geforce 256 DDR, IBM 22GXP 7200 RPM HD, Plextor UltraPlex 40max, Win98SE and DirectX 7.0a


I ran our standard SiSoft Sandra 2000 benchmark suite, so without further adieu...

Click all images for full view

PIII @ 733                                        PIII @ 770
    

As you can see, the processor was running very nicely in this board.  Lets see how the hard drive likes the new Intel UDMA66 controller.

 

PIII @ 733                                        PIII @ 770
    

Again, some nice numbers are shown.   Intel has been releasing upgraded drivers fairly regularly.  If there are any major developments, we will update these scores in the future.  I would also like to say that there is a slew of software installed on this drive.  Should I have done this test on a fresh install of Windows on an almost empty drive, I'm sure these scores would have been higher.

 

How does the SDRAM perform in this board?  Let?s find out?

PIII @ 733                                        PIII @ 770
    

Ouch, the Achilles heal.  There are a few things to remember when looking at these scores.  First, even though the FSBs were set to 133MHz and 140MHz in these test, the RAM runs asynchronously at 100MHz.  When overclocked to 140MHz the RAM is still only running at 104MHz. Second, the Memory Translator Hub adds a significant bottleneck.  What the MTH does is translate the RDRAM signals of the i820 chipset, to signals which regular PC100 (or PC133) RAM can use.  It?s in this translation, much of the performance is robbed.

Why Couldn't You Translate Faster?

(This is what the MTH looks like)

 

I also ran ZDWinbench 99 to give you an idea of application performance:

PIII @ 733                                        PIII @ 770
    

The overall performance of the board is very good.  With the exception of the memory throughput, there is not much to complain about.

 

Overclocking The GA-6CXC
Not quite there yet...

There is one more gripe however.  When overclocking, I tried all the FSBs above 133 to see how high this board could take me.  This particular processor will do 825MHz (150MHz. FSB) in my Tyan Trinity 400 if I set the RAM speed to 100MHz. using the ?33 setting in the BIOS, but on this board, the max I could hit was 770MHz. (140MHz. FSB).  At 798MHz. (145MHz. FSB) it would post, but Windows would not run reliably and I couldn?t complete any of the benchmarks.  825MHz. was out of the question, as Windows would not even load.  I think I can conclude with reasonable confidence, that the board itself is the reason for this as all of the components used in testing work fine at the higher settings with a different board installed. 

 

 

In conclusion, my overall experience with the GA-6CXC was a good one.  The extra features like DualBIOS, on board thermal probe and Aureal audio are welcome, but I could see the lack of a jumperless menu turning some people off.  However, I?ve been around hardware so long I can set jumpers with my eyes closed so it didn't affect scoring too drastically.  My main concerns here, are with the memory and overclocking performance. Hopefully with future revisions and updated drivers, these blemishes will be cleared up.  We?ll keep you posted.

 

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Tags:  Gigabyte, RAM, SD, DRAM, SDRAM, Support, port, A6, i820, RT, AM

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