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Reviewed by: Stephen Waits [07.23.01]
Manufactured by: GigaByte


Don't you hate it when...

Ok, this is really petty, but for some reason it really got to me. I don't know who wore Gigabyte's manual, or what they translated it from, but they really should have gotten someone who has a clue to look over the thing before printing it up.

First, throughout they refer to overclocking as "overdrive" (yes, with the quotes). Overdrive went out of style with the 486, it's time for Gigabyte's technical writers to get with the times and actually read a tech site or two. I'm not sure if something was lost in the translation there, that might have been the case. But, the least Gigabyte could do would be have someone in the know proof what they're writing or translating.

Second, the manual is riddled with worse grammar than I've seen from an ESL student. Ok, I understand that this is all getting translated from something else, and it's pretty comical to read, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the product for an English-speaking customer. Even running the manual through Word's grammar checker would have fixed a lot of things, most of which are incredibly glaring. Frankly, I expected a little more of a professional job here.

The 7VTX is a pretty great board, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's for you. Let me explain.

Chances are, if you're reading this, you tweak your system within an inch of its life. Odds are you want lots of BIOS options, you want to be able to crank on your voltage and multiplier from the BIOS rather than with dip switches. You're probably comfortable enough with tweaking and overclocking that you don't need an incredibly dumbed down program to do it for you ala EasyTune.

A lot of choices that Gigabyte made with the 7VTX aren't necessarily ones I sit well with for the enthusiast crowd. The 7VTX is more for the casual user, someone that's a little intimidated by tweaking, BIOS updates, and "overdrive". To that end, the 7VTX does a hell of a job, though. My grandma could overclock this thing, and there'd be no problems updating the BIOS, that says a lot for what Gigabyte has achieved here.

A couple of the 7VTX's features will be appreciated by the more hardcore set, though. Things like a simple BIOS update utility I certainly found useful, and I think everyone would breathe a sigh of relief if they had a backup BIOS that was so easy to manage. The stability and performance of the 7VTX is also something everyone can appreciate. So, despite being turned off by a few lacking tweaking options, and the horribly written manual, I'm still able to recommend the 7VTX for anyone that doesn't want to get into hardcore overclocking or tweaking.

(Editor's Note: After going through four DDR motherboards, and having none of them work properly, this board would definitely get some bonus points from me! Way to go Gigabyte! Too late though, since I already switched to Intel :P)

Who is Joe User anyway?

  • Rock Stable
  • performs well, especially compared to other Via offerings
  • great utilities for the casual user
  • blue, if that's your thing

  • not really for hardcore users
  • manual needs a grammar check, bad

Final Score: 90%