Gigabyte GA-8I915P Dual Graphic Inverness

Dual-graphics slots aside, this is a very good motherboard, with 8-channel Intel HD Audio, Gigabit LAN and three EIDE ports, two of which are provided via a third-party chip and support RAID. DDR2 memory is also supported. The Gigabyte is also a very good overclocker available in Inverness, particularly for a board based on the Intel 915P chipset.

PC World
0844 5610000
79A, Telford St, Inverness
Inverness
 
iTek Solutions Ltd
01463 725999
1, Cromwell Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
Csrlaptops
01463 242483
5, Celt St.Inverness
Inverness
 
ITP SOLUTIONS
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4, Walker Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
B S COMPUTERS
07745 056669
74, Highfield Avenue, Inverness
Inverness
 
Solution X
01463 418264
Cromwell Road, Inverness
Inverness
 
Sutherland Systems & Services
01463 234007
36, Tomnahurich St, Inverness
Inverness
 
PC Warehouse Ltd
01463 250250
Unit 4, 23, Harbour Rd
Inverness
 
Laing PC Support
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Inverness
 
Sneckie Ltd
01463 225413
39, Laggan Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 

Gigabyte GA-8I915P Dual Graphic

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A princely £91.06 for what, at first glance, appears to be a basic motherboard seems like an extortionate amount of money, especially when other 915-based boards cost up to £30 less. However, the Gigabyte is no ordinary 915-based motherboard.

The GA-8I915P Dual Graphic differs from other 915 boards in that it has two high-speed PCI-E graphics slots. One is a 16x slot (16 lanes) while the other is a 4x slot, making it very similar to an Intel E7525 configuration, the launch platform for SLI. Gigabyte couldn't tell us whether this motherboard has official SLI support, so we tried it out ourselves.

An SLI bridge isn't supplied with the board, and SLI support is patchy at best. In fact, the situation is very similar to that of the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum, which adds SLI support via the nForce4 Ultra chipset.

With the latest ForceWare 71.89 drivers installed, the Gigabyte didn't acknowledge SLI at all, although we successfully enabled it using 71.40 drivers. Unfortunately, when we loaded our Far Cry test the PC immediately reset itself. With SLI a non-starter, the only other use for two high-speed PCI-E slots is for quad-monitor setups, but this is hardly what most enthusiasts are thinking of when they buy a motherboard with a low-end chipset.

Dual-graphics slots aside, this is a very good motherboard, with 8-channel Intel HD Audio, Gigabit LAN and three EIDE ports, two of which are provided via a third-party chip and support RAID. DDR2 memory is also supported.

The Gigabyte is also a very good overclocker, particularly for a board based on the Intel 915P chipset. It achieved a maximum stable FSB of 270MHz, which is extremely impressive. The BIOS allows up to 1.6V to the CPU, which is about as high as you'll realistically want to go with a Prescott-core CPU without extravagant cooling.

At £91.06, the Gigabyte is more expensive than other 915P-based boards. The second graphics card slot will probably go unused, although the three EIDE ports and great overclockability are worth taking into account if you don't like the look of the Asus.

Author: Andrew Spode Miller

Gigabyte GA-8I915P Dual Graphic