Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?

Five i845E mainboards in the test: who will win?

The Gigabyte GA-8IEXP

Scope of delivery and documentation

And also with the GA-8IEXP from Gigabyte we proceed according to the well-known Principle and first give you an overview of thePackage contents:

  • GA-8IEXP
  • GA-8IEXP Driver/Tools CD Ver. 2.02
  • ATX slot bracket
  • Additional USB module (4x USB)
  • Additional Firewire module (3x Firewire)
  • S/PDIF -Out module (optical and analog)
  • Three Ultra ATA133/100/66/33 IDE cables
  • One floppy cable
  • English manual (User “ s Manual)
  • Promise Raid Manual (User “s Manual)
  • Motherboard Settings Sticker
  • Quick PC Installation Guide
Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - packaging - front
Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - Board
Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - scope of delivery
Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - packaging - back

The once again completely English manual of the GA-8IEXP can with Unfortunately, they can't quite keep up with those from Epox, Abit or Asus. Although the second chapter, which provides information about the connections, jumpers and installation, is still convincing, the third chapter about the bios is more than just kept and gives practically no reference to the various options that are available in the submenus . The fourth chapter briefly informs about the driver installation and the in-house flash tool, but the manual does not provide more information. For all those who have not yet dealt with the construction of a raid array, Gigabyte has included another manual that deals exclusively with this topic. Although completely in English butNevertheless, it should be informative even for inexperienced users to set up a raid array. In addition to these two manuals, the GA-8IEXP also comes with a “Motherboard Settings Sticker”, as we already know from Asus. It should be glued into the housing and thus always reveal where which connector and jumper are without looking in the manual. The Quick Installation Guide explains which steps you should work through one after the other after buying a board and how you have to connect the mainboard and the associated components.

Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - Documentation
Gigabyte GA-8IEXP - packaging features

All in all, the documentation of the GA-8IEXP can just be convincing, even if the manual did not give that impression at first. The only point of criticism remains the bad documentation of the BIOS.



  • Form factor
    • Socket 478 ATX (30.6cm x 24.4cm)
  • Processor
    • Supports Pentium4 (Socket478)
    • Automatic CPU detection
    • 400MHz and 533MHz Quad Pumped Bus
  • Chipset
    • Intel 845E chipset (actively cooled)
    • ICH4 Southbridge
  • RAM
    • 3x 184 pin DIMMS (DDR RAM)
    • Supports PC1600/2100 DDR RAM
    • Maximum Memory size: 2GB
  • Expansion slots
    • 1x AGP 4x slot
    • 6x 32 bit PCI slots
    • 3x fan connections (monitor capable)
    • 1x CNR slot
    • 2 IDE ports (UDMA 33/66/100)
    • 1 floppy port
  • External connections
    • 1x parallel port
    • 2x serial ports
    • 6 USB 2.0 ports (2x internal, 4x perSlot cover)
    • 3x Firewire (via slot cover)
    • 1x game port
    • 1x microphone in
    • 1x line in
    • 1x Line Out
    • 1x S/PDIF-Out analog/optical (via slot cover)
    • 1x RJ45
  • Bios
    • Dual AMI Bios
    • Multiplier can be manipulated in the BIOS (only if the CPU is unlocked)
    • Front side bus can be manipulated in 1MHz steps in the Bios (100-350MHz)
    • CPU voltage adjustable in the BIOS (1.50-1.725V)
    • V Dim voltage adjustable in the BIOS (2.6V - 2.9V)
    • AGP/PCI Frequency fixable (66.66/33.33 - 50/100MHz)
    • Interrupt Mode APIC (up to 24 IRQs)
  • Special features
    • Onboard Promise PDC20276 IDE ATA/133 Raid Controller
    • 6-channel Creative CT5880 sound chip (Sigmatel 9708T Codec)
    • OnBoard LAN
    • OnBoard VIA VT6306 Firewire -Controller
    • Dual Bios
    • Easy Tune 4
    • Q-Flash
  • Other functions
    • Keyboard Power-On, Suspend To RAM
    • Wake-On-LAN, Wake-O n-Modem, Wake on USB-Device

On the next page: Equipment