Page 15: Gigabyte
Gigabyte has been about for a bit, but really hasn't been active until recently. The last 4 years they've sky rocketed in size. Gigabyte is the choice manufacturer for a few other board names, and they also have made a large number of reference boards for companies. Gigabyte has left the performance market and moved to the stability and reliability area. This tactic might not impress you or me, but OEMs and the server market love it.
As said, Gigabyte has left the high end performance area. They used to be very competitive in it, scoring within the top 4 most of the time, but have dropped back to the middle of the pack lately to focus on stability. With their recent company moves, its doubtful they'll move back to the performance area again, its just not worth it.
Their boards are being focused on reliability and stability. The dual bios option is just one sign. From personal experience, I've noted their boards to have a high degree of stability. They aren't extremely stable, but they are far above average. Their stability during their performance market days was questionable.
Gigabyte does offer the full array of overclocking features, but their boards are not geared for it. As with most quality boards, they do overclock decently, but they aren't up with the best. There aren't any real innovations for it.
This board is one of the best values for what you get. They offer a lot of features for a moderate price, and they are usually features that you want. More and more companies need to follow their pricing scheme, its extremely fair.
Along with MSI, Gigabyte is one of the best companies for on board features. They offer their dual bios, blue PCB, RAID, sound, and many times a NIC. Having the NIC is useful, and I hope more companies adopt that policy. Their boards generally ship with a decent software package also, including EasyTune.
Few gigabyte boards arrive DOA and die during their normal lifetime. They are a reliable product, although a few people have questioned their dual bios feature. There are quite a few that lost their original bios to have the secondary bios never kick in like its supposed to. Gigabyte will replace the board, but its no fun.
Gigabyte web support is pretty complete. They offer bios and driver updates, unfortunately they admit that their e-mail support has been horrid. They are attempting to fix it, but this is rarely accomplished without a major overhaul.
Products worth mentioning
The 7dxr+ board was great, it had everything anyone could want and more. They have also released a few boards similar to it, and should be commended for it. I truly think that NIC, sound, and anything other than graphics should be mounted on board. Other than AGP, only 1-2 PCI slots should be available.
Overall Rating 7/10 They are solid boards, not fast but work well. For anyone that wants something reliable, you can count on them without shelling out a lot of money.
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