Benchmark Analysis and Final Rating
Benchmark Analysis: The Gigabyte G1975X ruled the benchmarks, but this was probably due more to Gigabyte's aggressive clocking rather than anything specific in the i975X chipset. As the i975x chipset is not much more than an update of the i955x with a tweaked memory controller and support for additional CPUs and dual GPU configurations, we weren't expecting any major increases in performance, but we got some anyway.
We had the G1975X in the labs for an extended period of time, and our overall impression was that this was a solid, stable motherboard, but the noise issue was a bit of a disappointment. This division left us in a bit of a conundrum as to how we should come up with the final rating. So, let's present the pros first and see what we liked. The G1975X is an obvious attempt from Gigabyte to woo the enthusiast crowd. The board is feature-rich, providing users with the latest advances, such as an onboard Creative Sound Blaster Live! audio, ATi Crossfire support, and extreme cooling. While we didn't necessarily get too far in our own overclocking experiments, this is probably due more to our components than anything else. There are plenty of options within the BIOS to satiate even the most discerning overclocker, and the TurboJets will keep things running cooler and more stable than most other boards, even when using a stock CPU cooler.
Now for the cons. Those same TurboJets that provide extra cooling cause two somewhat undesirable side effects, too much noise and fewer connectivity options in the I/O backplane. For the most part, we can live without Parallel and Serial ports. To tell the truth, we can't think of the last time we used either. But only providing 2 USB ports and a relatively poor slot configuration are major drawbacks. These shortcomings, combined with the overly loud TurboJets, may be a design trade-off that we will see repeated throughout the G1Turbo line. That being said, just as we were finishing up this review, a revision called the G1975X-C appeared on Gigabyte's website that looks essentially the same as the original sans the TurboJets. It doesn't appear that the rear I/O has been modified yet, but if it is, and the board supports Conroe CPUs, and Gigabyte drops the price a bit from the current mid $250 range, then they might have a real winner. As for the original, we're handing the Gigabyte GA-G1975X an 8 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.
._Finished at the top of each benchmark
._Supports ATi Crossfire
._Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live! audio
._TurboJets are too loud!
._Few connections in the I/O backplane