There currently appear an increasing number of motherboards based on the recently released and well-advertised Intel 925XE chipset. Motherboards on this chipset are very often practically no different from their i925X predecessors. The new motherboard from Gigabyte is not an exception. It looks very much like Gigabyte 8ANXP-D, except for the support of Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition and 1066 MHz FSB.
Gigabyte GA-8AENXP-D is the top model in the series for Intel processors, so it is bundled according to its high status and possesses corresponding functionality. I would like to note that the manufacturer laid stress on the functionality of the motherboard instead of on "bells and whistles": eight Serial ATA connectors — this is quite "capital" even for these days. We should also note a very good quality of the integrated audio, based on Realtek ALC880 HD Audio.
The PCB layout is ordinary — inconvenient placement of connectors along the left edge, FDD and PATA connectors are behind the video slot, the audio connector is in front of the PCI-E 1x slots. Access to the jumper is not hampered, when the motherboard is in a PC case, its description is provided on the PCB. The 4-phase switching voltage regulator of the processor incorporates two 1500 uF capacitors, four 1000 uF capacitors, and nine 560 uF capacitors. The PCB also contains voltage regulators for the PCI-E x16 bus (4 x 1000 uF) and for memory (6 x 1000 uF).
The PCB layout provides space for a COM port connector, which is left empty. Motherboard dimensions 305x245 mm ("wide" ATX, nine-screw mount, all motherboard edges are firmly fixed). System monitoring is performed by the ITE IT8712F-A chip.
We used BIOS 1.02F, the latest available BIOS version at the time of our tests.
Gigabyte GA-8AENXP-D demonstrates the best test results among the motherboards based on i925XE that we have tested. Differences between motherboards' test results are insignificant, so it's hard to say for sure which motherboard is faster. And, of course, a couple of seconds must not play a pivotal role when choosing one of these motherboards.
Foxconn 925XE7AA (DDR2 533)
ASUS P5AD2-E Premium (DDR2 533)
Abit Fatality AA8XE (DDR2 533)
MSI 925XE Neo Platinum Edition (DDR2 533)
Gigabyte GA-8AENXP-D (DDR2 533)
Archiving with 7-Zip, min:sec
Memory read rate, MB/sec
Memory write rate, MB/sec
MPEG 4 (XVID) Encoding, min:sec
MPEG 4 (DIVX) Encoding, min:sec
Processing images in Photoshop, min:sec
Unreal Tournament 2004 (Fast@800x600x32), fps
Unreal Tournament 2004 (High@1280x1024x32), fps
Gigabyte products have always been a model of reliability. The new GA-8AENXP-D motherboard is not an exception. Besides, this model can boast of almost ultimate functionality, excellent performance, and very good quality of integrated audio.
But there is still a fly in the ointment of Gigabyte GA-8AENXP-D: for some unknown reason our sample refused to operate well with DDR2 Corsair XMS2 DDR2 PRO modules, so we had to replace them with XMS2 DDR2 TWINX. Considering very good performance results of this product in our tests, it will be logical to assume that it's a "price of speed", sort of: perhaps, some default timing values are a tad too "aggressive" (we traditionally use BIOS Optimal Defaults + By SPD in our tests, that is the settings used by the majority of users).