iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte 7VAXP (VIA KT400) Mainboard

This is the most functional board among Gigabyte's models based on the VIA KT400. It will be interesting for many who are going to buy a board on this modern chipset. 


  • Package of a standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual, installation manual for IDE RAID, a poster with brief installation steps - in English; 
  • Cables: 3 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with 4 USB ports; 
  • Bracket with 3 IEEE 1394 ports; 
  • Bracket with SPDIF-Out connectors TosLink and Coaxial; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Norton Internet Security 2002; 
    • Gigabyte EasyTune 4; 
    • Gigabyte Face Wizard; 
    • Gigabyte Windows Utility Manager; 
    • Gigabyte Management Tools. 

The layout is not ideal because of cables stretching toward the audio-ins and some connectors on the left edge, but on the other hand, the board is deprived of many typical downsides. However, it can be difficult to reach some switches when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 4 capacitors of 3300 uF and several less capacious ones. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio inputs/outputs and for SPDIF;
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100BL chip and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20276 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the protocols up to ATA133; 
  • IEEE 1394 bus controller based on the VIA VT6306 chip. 

Thanks to the Winbond WT83L518D Smart I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) readers for smart cards and flash cards of the Memory Stick format. 

The board incorporates the following technologies: 

  • DualBIOS (second Flash EEPROM chip for a copy of the BIOS). 

+2.5 V supplied to the memory modules is indicated with the LED. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8705F chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, +5 V SB; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 2 for unadjustable connection of fans (one of them is connected to a fan on the heatsink of the chipset's north bridge). 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 3 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0 / 3 IEEE1394; dimensions - 305x235 mm.  

Adjustment can be carried out with: 

jumpers and switchesJumpers for setting a FSB frequency100, 133, 166 MHz
Switches to set a processor multiplierx5-x12.5
BIOS based on the 6.00PG of AwardSetup of memory timings+CAS Latency, Bank Interleave, Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, Active to CMD, Burst Length, Queue Depth, Command Rate, Write Recovery Time, tWTR.
Setup of memory frequency+By SPD, DDR200, DDR266, DDR333, DDR400
Setup of AGP bus+ 
Setup of PCI bus- 
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses- 
Manual assignment of interrupts+ 
Changeable FSB frequency+100-200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier- 
Changeable core voltage+Auto, +5%, +7.5%, +10%
Changeable memory voltage++0.1, +0.2, +0.3 V
Changeable chipset voltage- 
Changeable AGP bus voltage++0.1, +0.2, +0.3 V

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - BIOS F5. 

Its functional capabilities put the board into the first places, and taking into account its average performance level (not striking but not terrible either) we can gauge it as an excellent product without noticeable defects. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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