Gigabyte 7VAXPA Ultra KT400A

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Gigabyte's 7VAXP-A Ultra KT400A Motherboard
Competition For The nForce 2

By, Tom Laverriere
May 27, 2003

 

We'll wrap it up with a benchmark round from Unreal Tournament 2003.  We utilized a simple benchmark script that does "Fly By" demos on the Antalus, the Asbestos and the Citadel levels at low detail settings putting most of the strain on system throughput rather than the graphics card itself.

Unreal Tournament 2003
DirectX 8 Gaming Performance

 

 

 

We see that in the Antalus and Citadel levels, we can put the KT400A motherboard on the same pedestal as the nForce2 board.  However, the Asbestos level heavily favors the nForce2 motherboard mainly due to less intensive graphics pipeline demands, allowing for system bandwidth to truly shine through.  By now, it's fair to say that Gigabyte's KT400A motherboard is not quite up to par with a competitive nForce2 solution but does provide a measured level of performance above and beyond its predecessor the KT400.

 

Gigabyte 7VAXP-A Ultra Analysis:
 

After working with the Gigabyte 7VAXP-A Ultra for over two weeks, we have some mixed feelings.  Let's start you off with the good.  When looking at the benchmarks Gigabyte's 7VAXP-A Ultra motherboard produces, we can easily say this is a reasonably fast motherboard.  Despite some anomalies between this motherboard and the PC3500 DIMM's, this motherboard has also proven to be reliable and stable throughout its tests.  Although the performance is not at the level of an nForce2 motherboard, a competitive system could be configured potentially at a lower cost, since only one stick of memory is needed with this motherboard.  As a final positive notw, this board is loaded with extras from USB 2.0 support to PATA and SATA RAID support and these extra frills definitely earn the "Ultra" moniker.  Now the downside.  Why would anyone bother buying a KT400A motherboard right now?  Not only is this board slower than the nForce2 variety, it has only just now become mainstream nearly four months after nForce2 motherboards hit full swing.  The sound solution is not as good as the nForce2's, there is no dual channel DDR memory, and the nForce2 chipset has the ability to offer all the same peripheral features as the KT400A chipset does.  We have come to expect good things from VIA over the last couple of years, since each of their chipsets has seemed to improve upon the previous chipset release.  While Gigabyte has produced a solid product here, it would be hard for us to recommend this board to any type of enthusiast but perhaps it would suit the average system builder looking to control every cost variable they can.  If what you're looking for is a fast, stable motherboard with some decent options, then yes, maybe this board is for you.  But when you can get even better performance from an nForce2 motherboard, albeit it at a slightly higher price point, we think it would be wiser to consider something like Gigabyte's GA-7NNXP instead.

 

  • Stable and Reasonably Fast

  • AGP 8X

  • Supports 333MHz Athlon chips

  • USB 2.0 support

  • IEEE 1394 support

  • PATA and SATA RAID support

  • Dual BIOS

  • Single Channel DDR technology
  • No support for 400MHz FSB AMD processors
  • Mediocre overclocker
  • nForce2 motherboards available with better performance

We're giving the Gigabyte 7VAXP-A Ultra motherboard a HotHardware Heat Meter rating of...

 

Discuss this or any other Hot Hardware Review in the PC Hardware Forum!
 

 

Tags:  Gigabyte, XP, t400, Ultra, T4, ULT, K

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