GIGABYTE GA-8I945GMH-RH VIIV Motherboard Review :: VIIV Features

04-30-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

GIGABYTE says the GA-8I945GMH-RH motherboard is the first Intel certified VIIV motherboard. VIIV is Intel's new push for the Digital Home Entertainment platform. The combination of High Definition Audio, Core Duo CPUs, a Broadband connection and subscription to services like MovieTime, an online movie subscription site brings a home entertainment platform that's pretty awesome. One issue during testing was the audio would not work. I tried installing the drivers manually, but the audio was DOA.

Onboard graphics is generally not worthy of mention in a review. The GMA950 is Intel's latest integrated graphics part and is included on the GA-8I945GMH-RH for the business user and the very casual gamer. The key features of the GMA950 include: 4 Pixel Shader pipelines, 400MHz core clock speed and memory bandwidth up to 10.6GB/second with DDR II 667MHz memory. I would not suggest playing any modern game with the integrated graphics, as it doesn't support Hardware Transformation and Lighting nor does it support Hardware Vertex Shaders.

These features are the absolute minimum for Microsoft's Vista Aero Glass interface. Intel will likely need a new video core to run Vista's Direct3D10 Shader Model 4.0. But Vista isn't due till next year and Intel integrated video is barely adequate for the gamer as it today, much less in 2007 when the new OS hits. For the home theater enthusiast watching today's movies on DVD, the GMA950 is an excellent option. One consideration for home theater enthusiasts in the near future, however, is the advent of H.264 content. H.264 is the new High Definition standard for media that will be introduced in the market this year. It requires a lot of processing power and graphics power, meaning you'll likely want to upgrade the video card to play HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs.