iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte 8IHXP i850E Mainboard

At first sight, this is a standard memory, but at a closer look you will find a lot of pleasant things - good components and a rich set of functional elements. The design of the box has become less austere. The new user manual now includes instructions on how to assemble a PC (apart from traditional description of settings) - starting from installation of the board into the PC case to connection of peripherals; besides, the guide is quite colorful and well illustrated. 

Moreover, it contains information on memory types, processors etc. -  it's quite brief but it will be of much help for a novice. 


  • Package of an almost standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • 2 ATA66/100/133 and FDD cables; 
  • 2 Brackets with 2 USB ports each; 
  • Bracket with SPDIF-Out connectors (Coaxial and TosLink); 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • 2 C-RIMM modules; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • ITE GSM Editor; 
    • Norton Internet Security 2002; 
    • System Information Viewer; 
    • DirextX 8.1a; 
    • Gigabyte EasyTune 3; 
    • Gigabyte EasyTune 4; 
    • Gigabyte Face Wizard; 
    • Gigabyte Utility Manager; 
    • Gigabyte Management Tool; 
    • Gigabyte IA Panel. 

The layout is ordinary - audio-ins are in front of the PCI, while the IDE is behind them. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 13 capacitors of 1500 uF and 1 of 3300 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the Creative CT5880-DEQ chip supports 4.1 audio systems and has connectors for front audio outputs and for SPDIF; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100BL chip; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the NEC D720100AS1 chip; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20276 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 protocol. 

Thanks to the Winbond W83L518D Smart I/O controller the board supports (and have connectors) readers for cards of the Memory Stick and Secure Digital formats. 

The board incorporates the DualBIOS technology (BIOS protection by copying it onto the second Flash EEPROM chip). 

Non-unsoldered connectors: several audio connectors. 

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83627HF-AW chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +1.5, +3.3, +5, +12V, Vcc18 (+1.8V), VBAT and +5V Standby; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 3 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 - 4 RIMM RDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI/ CNR ; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 10 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm.

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
BIOS based on AMI 3.31a Setup of memory timings -  
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, at FSB 100 MHz - PC600 and PC800, at FSB 133 MHz- PC800 and PC1066
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -  
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100, 103, 105, 108, 110, 112, 115, 118, 120, 122, 125, 130, 133, 136, 138, 140, 142, 144, 145, 150, 152, 154 and 156 MHz
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x50
Changeable core voltage + Original, +0.025 - +0.2B, 0.025V step
Changeable memory voltage + RIMM Over Voltage (Enable / Disable)
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage -  

We used the BIOS F3 as the latest available version. I like the board - it sports excellent performance coupled with good settings and high functionality... This is exactly what makes boards hits. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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