Gigabyte's GA6CX i820 Motherboard and GAMG400 Graphics Card

Gigabyte's GA6CX i820 Motherboard and GAMG400 Graphics Card - Page 1

The Gigabyte GA-6CX and GA-MG400
i820 Motherboard and G400 Based Graphics Card - A package Deal

The long awaited Intel i820 chipset has finally been released to the market.  What is somewhat surprising is the amount of time it is taking motherboard manufacturers to get boards designed and released based on this new chipset.  We all know Intel hasn't been exactly smooth with their transition to the new RAMBUS memory architecture that the i820 chipset utilizes.  Perhaps this is why there have obviously been a few hurdles to overcome with this new chipset. In any event, Gigabyte Technology is one of the first manufacturers to release a board, based on the i820, that supports RAMBUS and the rest of the full feature set of the new chipset.

Gigabyte also has pulled off yet another first.  They are the first 3rd party OEM to release a Graphics Product based on a Matrox chipset, other than Matrox itself.  With this card, they also have implemented an all new technology they have coined "B.O.B.", BIOS On MotherBoard.  This actually integrates the VGA BIOS into the motherboard BIOS for what they claim is perfect compatibility.   

We'll take a look at both of these interesting products individually and collectively in the pages to follow.

GA-6CX Specifications / Features
The i820 Rap Sheet...

(click image for larger view)

Slot 1 for Intel® Pentium® II/III Processor
Clock multiplier 2.0~8.0 for future Processors supported
100/110*/120*/133/140*/150* MHz System Bus
AUTO Detect CPU Voltage
Intel® 820 AGPset
Aureal AU8810 PCI Sound chip
64MB to 1GB memory size
2 x RIMM Sockets
Supports 64/128/256/512 MB RAMBUS RIMM Module
Supports ECC Type RIMM Module

1 x AGP Slot Supports 2X/4X mode
1 x AMR (Audio Modem Riser) Slot
5 x PCI Slot Supports 33MHz & PCI 2.2 compliant
1 x ISA Slot (optional)
2 x Ultra DMA 33/66 Bus Master IDE ports on board
1 x FDD, 2 x COM, 1 x LPT, PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse on board
1 x Joystick, 1 x Line-in, 1 x Line-out, 1 x MIC on board
2 x USB ports on board
2 x USB ports by cable (optional)
CIR TX / RX Header (optional)
IrDA TX / RX Header (optional)
ATX Power connector
Power-on by USB device, K/B, PS/2 Mouse, LAN, RTC, Modem & Switch
Power-off by Windows ® 95/98 Shut down & Switch
Supports USB device wake-up
Suspend / Wake-on by ACPI & APM device
AC Recovery ON/OFF control ; 3 Level ACPI LED Support
Stop CPU Fan during entering suspend mode
ATX , 4 layer PCB (30.5*20.6cm)
Auto speed down and Alarm when CPU overheat or Fan failure (OS independent & Driverless)
3 Fan Power & Speed Detection Connectors; Case open Detection
System Health status detect & report by BIOS, LDCM® & SIV
H/W detect 5V, 12V, CPU Voltage & CMOS battery Status
Includes DualBIOS? technology ; 4Mbit Flash RAM
AWARD BIOS with Enhanced ACPI Feature for PC98 / Win98 Compliance, Green, PnP, DMI, INT13 (>8.4GB) & Anti-Virus functions
IDE#1~#4, SCSI, LS120, ZIP & CD-ROM bootable
Auto-detect & report system health status
Suspend-To-RAM (STR)
Includes Wake-On-LAN Header (WOL) ; Includes Wake-On-Ring (WOR)
Poly fuse for keyboard, USB, VGA & Game overcurrent protection

Needless to say, this is one full featured motherboard.  One thing to note is that you do lose a full expansion slot to the Audio Modem Riser Slot.  There are 5 PCI and 1 ISA slots left however and this should still leave you plenty of options, especially if you go with the on board A3D sound.  The on board sound chip is the Aureal 8810 which is A3D version 1.0 compliant.  This may not be the most up to date version since 2.0 has been out for a long time now.  However, the audio on the board is still top shelf Aureal technology and sounds great with a full range of 3D positional effects



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