Neoseeker : : : : Gigabyte GA-SINXP1394 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-SINXP1394 Motherboard Review - PAGE 1

, Peter Judson
- Tuesday, March 25th, 2003
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djspe Mar 27, 03
I've had the Gigabyte GA-SINXP1394 running for about a week and no major complaints other than the workaround necessary to get it to work with dual channel DDR400 (using 2x256mb Corsair XMS-LL Twin 3200s):

Supposedly the SPD on the memory uses timings that are slightly too tight for the SINXP and the CMOS ships to read the SPD in auto mode. Somehow you need to get to the BIOS, however the system would not post with both sticks of memory installed. Strangely, they would not post with just one 256mb stick -- When it would start to go through the system checks, the display would go crazy and lock up after seconds. Somehow I managed to boot up and switch the bios Cas from SPD(AUTO) to 2.5 and booted no problem.

Now the system has been working great for a week.

It seems to run fastest for me using an Intel 2.4B C1-step on a 160 FSB, mem Dual-Ch DDR 366 Cas 2.5-7-3-3 But I know my memory can run faster. Has anyone had success with the Corsair Twin XMS in cas2?
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dj__saturn Mar 27, 03
Well yesterday i was working around with this same board for my friend, and i just instelled everything power on, bang no video i double checked the video card and its cool cause i know it does work. My next assumption was the mem its an unknown brand to me since i didnt buy it, just says platinum and nothing also two 512 sticks. I started searching through the Gigabyte site and they only support 3 different brands....
That really sucks i said to my self, i guess im going to have to be returning somethings...
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Redemption Mar 27, 03
We suspected the same thing you did regarding timings that are simply too tight for the board to handle.

However, it seems a big shame to use CAS2.5 on RAM that can go down to CAS2 - have you tried just loosening the rest of the timings and keeping CAS2?
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djspe Mar 30, 03
Yes, I have had EXCELLENT overclocking results with this board. The scores looked a little week, running my 2.4B (Step C1) on a FSB of 133, so I titrated my FSB slowly up to 150FSB.

After some tweaking I am getting SCORCHING benchmarks off the chart. This board handled just about everything I threw at it but I liked this setting best because the CPU stays cool using my retail fan:
FSB - 150
Mem - 430 Dual-Ch, 2.5-7-3-3
(using two 256mb-Corsair LL 3200s)

Using this setting, my SiSanSoft Memory Benchmarks are literally off the chart. Shows that my system overtakes a 3.0Ghz with Rambus mem by a good 10%. At this spead I don't mind running Cas 2.5. However, I'd like to hear some results from people that HAVE run this board successfulyl at Cas2.
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Redemption Mar 31, 03
Hey djspe,

The Corsair 3200LL should be able to take something like 2-2-5-2T though I think the SINXP1394 can't quite do it - at least I couldn't get it to work like that. Still, with your RAM speed @ 430 I think it might have an advantage over stock speeds @ CAS2.
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Kuduros Apr 9, 03
My GA-8INXP uses the DPS as well, although it doesn't claim to offer performance benefits or additional stability in the manual or documentation - all it claims to do is to act as a backup power source for the CPU, in the event of the primary supply failing, the DPS will kick in and power the CPU itself, as well as providing an additional source of air conditioning via the fan, which when inserted, blows air horizontally across the heatsink/CPU area. Just something I thought I'd comment on when I noted the reviewer harshly commenting on the DPS, which I also point out is not installed in the Gigabyte installation manual for the GA-8INXP until after the CPU/heatsink, memory and expansion cards (PCI/AGP) are installed - only then does it instruct the user to install the DPS. The review claims that the DPS makes things cramped when working with the CPU, but I assume, if the models' manuals are the same, that it also instructs you to put the DPS in last?
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Freestyle_Gamer Apr 9, 03
This mobo only use 3 brands of stick? Or is it only 3 brands of stick for dual 400 DDR? And Dual Channel DDR is for two of the same sticks right?
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RichC Apr 15, 03
I'm stunned at how many comments I've found across different forums reporting problems with this board. In particular, the board doesn't post with certain DDR400 modules, even though the brand/model is listed on Gigabyte's website as compatible. Apparently the fix is to install slower memory and then change the BIOS settings to prevent the system from auto setting the memory speed. I just RMA'd this board. My previous system uses RDRAM so I don't have a really convenient way to fix this problem. I'm strongly considering moving back down to the Granite Bay version of this board, or moving over to the Asus Granite Bay board instead.
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xi Apr 17, 03
Yeah it's true this board only takes 3 brands of memory officially on their website it says it support Kingston Corsair and Samsung,and it's not dual channel optimized memory either, and i've tried emailing Gigabyte and OCZ to see if i could use OCZ memory or Corsair twinx and they don't even want to comment..never got an email back.It shows that they must be having alot of problems with memory compatibilty with this board.
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RichC Apr 17, 03
After a great deal of discussion with vendor tech support and with an engineer at Corsair, both of whom were very helpful and seemed to be knowledgeable of the issue at hand, I've come to the following conclusion/opinion: I'm going to forget that this board even claims to support DDR400 and instead try it with Crucial PC2700, which is both supported and has also received very high marks for overclockability. My feeling is that if I rig it with DDR400 that I'm going to pay for it by having to swap in slower modules whenever I push things too far, or if I ever find myself resetting the CMOS. I'll report back on how this turns out. Bottom line is that I want to install memory that won't choke when the board comes up with default settings.
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RichC Apr 22, 03
OK, reporting back. So far, after just a really basic initial setup without any tweaking or overclocking whatsoever this board is screaming along better than I'd hoped. I'm running with 1GB crucial PC2700, an ATI AIW 9700 Pro, a P4 3.06/533, and mirrored Maxtor 80GB/8MB/133 Drives (for the OS, I'll be running RAID 0 on a pair of 120 GB Maxtor SATA/150's when they arrive for non-critical data and swap file)

One 20 minute online session of UT2003 without anything but defaults loaded, and I'm averaging over 90fps in 1280x1024 with all the details cranked up to their highest settings. Haven't touched the video settings yet, so I assume they're at the ATI defaults (2x AA and AF I think, I could be wrong). The framerate never dropped below the mid 80's at any time. So far, I couldn't be happier.
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r3s3t Jan 26, 04
this reply has less to do with the review, than it does with other questions.

i just bought this motherboard from ebay, for a very good deal imo. it seemed a lot of people overlooked this board because of the 533mhz fsb limitations. it seems like a well-received mobo overall from what i've read.

i'm trying to decide what ram to use with the GA-SINXP1394, as it seems a lot of people have had issue with their ram. for now, i'm planning on one stick of 512mb, and i hope to upgrade to dual-channel with an identical stick later on.

i'm thinking about Kingston Valueram, any suggestions as too DDR333 or DDR400?

as well, anyone suspect that the 3.06ghz HT P4 533fsb chip will come down drastically in the near future? until it does, i plan on using the 2.66ghz chip.

any "first things first" help about setting this board up etc is MUCH appreciated.

ajackson1@sasktel.net or r3s3t_063@hotmail.com (occasionally on msn)
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judge42 Mar 13, 04
I've had quite a few problems with this board - when you can get it running its fine but its quite fiddly to get it all wokring.

Firstly I had some non-descript RAM that I couoldn't get working reliably at all. Then I bought some Corsair TwinX5122700LLPT which worked fine.

Then I tried to upgrade the memory by adding some more TwinX. I RMA'd two sets because the machine wouldn't POST with them in and then bought some from somewhere else. That didn't work either so then I found this thread and manually relaxed the timings (2 7 5 5) and it works fine.

I've tried overclocking my CPU (P4 2.66 GHZ) and got it running quite reliably at over 3GHz but applications will start to crash after a day or so. I'll try this again though now that I've relaxed the timings a bit.

I also had a problem with running my ATI9700 at AGP8x. I had to RMA that and now it works fine.
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Ace0 Apr 3, 04
does anybody know if the 1GB 400 works on this mobo
and i mean not 2x512 i mean just 1 module from 1024
and if its brand specific which one works
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