There are many things that are very appealing about this board features wise, but I wonder if it will be enough to catch a spark for the dual-core Intel platform to make much of a difference at the sales counter as right now Intel's dual-core is about as hot as a Alaskan winters night. I mean the facts are the facts; I do not magically create these statements I gather them from an analyst point of view and call them as I see them. In a way this is a very strange time for the entire market as currently AMD is gaining mass sales ground and favoritism in the enthusiasts market, which in itself shows the winds of change blowing in new directions. The entire i945/955 chipset gambit is great for those just getting into a new system, but for those who just bought a 925XE board a few months back, they will be sorely disappointed when they have to buy a new board just to use the new dual-core CPU, especially when the i955 does not really offer significant technological advances to be a, gee I really have to have that product for current 925XE owners. I mean faster memory options and better onboard audio are cool, but enough to shell out the money for a new board, maybe not. Only those who cannot wait and must have first generation Dual-Core CPUs are forced into a move to the i945/955 platform in any case.
On the other hand if you are a new user just wanting to get into an Intel rig the GA-8I955X Royal on its own merit is an awesome feature filled board that is well worth considering if the Intel high-end platform is where your target dollars are aimed at. It comes fully loaded with features that make it appealing to a broad spectrum of users and if you are looking for something that is top shelf, this is a serious consideration for boards in this class. I cannot in my mind however recommend this board as an Editors Choice as there were just too many problems in the overall user experience with the pair of GA-8I955 Royals we tested. I was disappointed to say the least with these problems, as Gigabyte is one of my favorite companies in existence today and this is really the first motherboard in years that has given me any major problems from these folks. I know they had their hopes high that this would be an all-star product and it is possible I just happened to get a pair of boards with problems, but I can only go by my own experiences that I had with the boards. I can tell you however that I just finished testing their Intel SLI board and it whooped some serious butt here in the lab, and it worked and scored higher than many of the boards previously tested, and in my opinion a much better board than this one in the overall picture. I will give Gigabyte the opportunity to exchange this board and then retest it if they so wish and if at that time I see different results I will change my final conclusions. If it did not have so many technical problems it would have been an easy Editors Choice product due to its overall value, as it is now, it is full of features and a great bundle, but from where I sit very problematic in its mechanical nature. Sorry folks this motherboard was just a wee-bit under par in its performance to make the big leagues.