As you would
probably expect from a standard ATX motherboard,
installation was very simple and went off without
a hitch. Short
of making sure you?re using the proper
stand-offs and plugging in the ATX power and case
connectors, there really is nothing to it.
quality of the GA-7VX is very good. As we?ve
come to expect from Gigabyte products, the
workmanship is excellent.
All traces are clean and every item mounted
on the board was sturdy and tight.
Gigabyte put some thought into the layout
of the board as well.
configuration of this board is our second favorite
would have preferred 6 PCI slots, but the 5 PCI
slot configuration where the AMR slot is shared
with the ISA slot is still a fine choice.
Should you have to use the ISA or AMR slot,
you would still have access to all 5 PCI slots.
A welcome addition
to the GA-7VX is the on-board Creative Labs sound
last few boards I have reviewed all came with the
AC-97 codec installed and I can honestly say it
pails in comparison to the on-board creative sound
found on the GA-7VX.
The layout of the audio connectors is also
well thought out.
You?ll notice in the picture that they
are all placed between PCI slots. This may sound trivial, but there are many boards out there
with connectors that are unusable or render a PCI
slot unusable because they are in the way.
layout of the IDE and floppy connectors was also
well thought out.
They are placed all the way on the edge of
We like this because ribbon cables aren?t
draped across your motherboard when the system is
fully assembled. This allows for better air
circulation which translates to lower
temperatures, which in turn means better stability
and a longer life.
is another thing about the GA-7VX that I hesitate
to say we like, but because it is better than what most other
manufactures are doing is worth mentioning.
The heatsink placed on the chipset is
mounted with thermal epoxy (notice there are no
We normally dislike thermal epoxy because
it isn?t a very efficient interface material,
but it?s better than nothing!
Most other manufacturers that place a
heatsink on the chipset don?t use any interface
material at all, so even though this is a slight
improvement...it is an improvement nonetheless.
Dual-BIOS feature is also found on this board.
In our opinion, this feature should be
universally adopted by all motherboard manufactures.
(How?s that for a bold statement?)
What is does is allow a user to restore a
BIOS image from the secondary chip should a
problem arise during a flash, or if the original
BIOS is corrupted by a virus.
This is a great feature, and virtually
eliminates down-time due to a problematic BIOS.
noteworthy feature found on the GA-7VX is a
thermal probe found directly in front of the Slot-A
notice the abundance of power capacitors around the
connector. Using so many caps to filter the
power signal going to the processor help with
stability, and as you'll see later, they do the
job well. If you look behind the caps you'll
see the ATX power connector has been mounted
behind the Slot-A connector...you won't have a
problem using a large heatsink / fan combo on your
Athlon with the GA-7VX.