63 Gigabyte GA N650SLI DS4 650i SLI Review

The NVIDIA motherboard chipsets on Intel platforms have caught up with Intel
chipsets in the past few months in terms of popularity, pulling down the
traditional notion of “Intel chipset with Intel Processors – No-brainer
consideration”. Initially when the NVIDIA Crush 55 chipsets launched, it was a
product that required wallet-muscles. Then the 650i SLI motherboards became
available and that opened up a beaming pathway for the mid-range users. The main
attraction? SLI support/upgradability without the high cost. Only very recently,
buyers get one more option in the 650i SLI list – Gigabyte GA-N650SLI-DS4. This is the best 650i and one of the best NVIDIA Chipset boards out there… Here’s why…

The NVIDIA motherboard chipsets on Intel platforms have caught up with Intel
chipsets in the past few months in terms of popularity, pulling down the
traditional notion of “Intel chipset with Intel Processors – No-brainer
consideration”. Initially when the NVIDIA Crush 55 chipsets launched, it was a
product that required wallet-muscles. Then the 650i SLI motherboards became
available and that opened up a beaming pathway for the mid-range users. The main
attraction? SLI support/upgradability without the high cost. Only very recently,
buyers get one more option in the 650i SLI list – Gigabyte GA-N650SLI-DS4.
When you get to the testing segment of this review, you will see it tested
against the other 650i SLI Motherboards.

1 Gigabyte GA N650SLI DS4 650i SLI Review

An attractive box with all the catchy features pimped aggressively on it.

 

2 Gigabyte GA N650SLI DS4 650i SLI Review

17 Gigabyte GA N650SLI DS4 650i SLI Review

Regular Gigabyte blue for the PCB, and the usual Gigabyte
“Lego-Building-Block” colors on the connectors.

 Specification
Processor
  1. LGA775
  2. Support Intel® Core™ 2 Quad/Core™ 2
    Duo/Pentium® D/Pentium® 4
    Processor
  3. Supports 1333/1066/800 MHz FSB
Chipset
  1. NVIDIA® nForce 650i SLI (Northbridge:
    C55, Southbridge: MCP51)
  2. Onboard Marvell 88E1116 phy (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  3. Onboard Realtek ALC888 chip
  4. Onboard T.I. TSB43AB23 1394 chip
Memory
  1. 4 DDRII DIMM memory slots (supports up to 8 GB
    memory)(Note 1)
  2. Supports dual channel DDRII 800/667/533
    unbuffered DIMMs
  3. Supports 1.8V DDRII DIMMs
  4. Supports DDR2 667/533/400 DIMM
  5. Supports ECC type DRAM

(Note 1) Due to the limitation of Windows 32-bit
operating system, when more than 4 GB of physical memory
is installed, the actual memory available for the
operating system will be less than 4 GB; Windows 64-bit
operating system doesn’t have such limitation.

Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 24-pin ATX power connector
  2. 1 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 floppy connector
  4. 2 IDE connectors
  5. 4 SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 CPU fan connector
  7. 1 system fan connector
  8. 1 North Bridge fan connector
  9. 1 power fan connector
  10. 1 front panel connector
  11. 1 front audio connector
  12. 1 CD In connector
  13. 1 S/PDIF In connector
  14. 2 USB 2.0/1.1 connectors for additional 4 ports
    by cables
  15. 2 IEEE 1394a connectors for additional 2 ports
    by cables
  16. 1 power LED connector
  17. 1 Chassis Intrusion connector
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 PCI Express x16 slots (Note 2)
  2. 2 PCI Express x1 slots
  3. 3 PCI slots

(Note 2) In SLI Mode, the two PCIE x16 slots can run at
up to x8 respectively. In Normal Mode, only the first
PCIE x 16 slot (PCIE_16_1) is available and can run at
up to x16.

Rear Panel I/O
  1. 1 PS/2 keyboard port
  2. 1 PS/2 mouse port
  3. 1 S/PDIF Out connection (coaxial+optical)
  4. 1 parallel port
  5. 1 serial port
  6. 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  7. 1 IEEE 1394a port
  8. 1 RJ-45 port
  9. 6 audio jacks (Line In / Line Out / MIC
    In/Surround Speaker Out (Rear Speaker
    Out)/Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out)
Form Factor
  1. ATX
  2. 30.5cm x 24.4cm
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU warning temperature
  5. CPU/System/Power fan failure warning
  6. CPU/System Smart Fan Control
BIOS
  1. 2 4 Mbit flash ROM
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Supports Dual BIOS
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 1.0b
Other Features
  1. Supports @BIOS
  2. Supports Download Center
  3. Supports Q-Flash
  4. Supports EasyTune (Note 3)
  5. Supports Xpress Install
  6. Supports Xpress Recovery2
  7. Supports Xpress BIOS Rescue

* (Note 3) EasyTune functions may vary depending on
different motherboards.