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Gigabyte GA-7ZMM - Gigabyte GA-7ZMM
Mon Feb 26, 2001 | 7:14P| PermaLink
Gigabyte is one of the big players on motherboards market, but until now I hadn't had the chance to review one of their motherboards at PC Hardware. Fortunately this situation will change today with the review of a KM133 based motherboard, Gigabyte GA-7ZMM. I suppose that most of you know about the new i810 rival from VIA, the low cost integrated chipset KM133. Most professional users consider i810 a toy, but Intel went for it because a significant part of sales are generated by "a computer in any house" program. Over the years most chipset manufacturers have tried to produce an integrated low cost motherboard suitable for users with no computing pretensions but the first successful integration was the old i810. With KM133 VIA bite from Intel's cake, but in AMD processors field. If we think logically it must be easier to produce a low cost PC based on AMD CPUs because these are more powerful and even lower priced than Intel's Celeron. For VIA the apparent problem seemed to be the onboard video engine. It's a known fact that i810 is based on i752 graphics engine and for today 3D applications it is surpassed. With the purchase of S3's graphics division, VIA was able to include a combination of Savage4/2000 engines called ProSavage in KT133 and KM133 was born. Savage family it's not impressive, but at least is a newer solution than Intel's i752. S3 had never delivered a top video quality and furthermore almost all drivers had been buggy. Anyway the video engine is not the most important part of the chipset so we will see in the next sections if KM133 is able to maintain system performance to a level close to KT133. I don't talk in here about Quake frames because it's impossible to stay close to a GeForce but in 2D the difference doesn't have why to be astonishing.

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