The "Conroe" or
Core 2 Duo Intel E6600 processor is exactly what the doctor ordered! After
struggling both in the CPU and chipset markets for far too long, the future is
looking very bright for Intel.
To use Intel's latest and greatest, you'll
need to upgrade your motherboard to a 945, 965 or 975 based platform. The reason
is older generations do not properly handle the power requirements of the Core 2
Duo processor, and that's where the P965 Express series of chipsets comes in. If
you'd like to upgrade to Core 2 Duo without breaking the bank, Gigabyte
GA-965P-DS3 is an excellent alternative with a retail price of $156 CDN ($140
US, £75 GBP).
Moderately priced, the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 comes with
basic integrated peripherals like 7.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN and Serial ATA
II RAID yet has a whole host of upgrade options thanks to all the expansion
slots (three PCI Express x1 and three 32 bit PCI slots, along with PCI Express
x16 for graphics cards).
Another feature that you might not notice is
that the GA-965P-DS3 only uses solid state capacitors instead of electrolyte
based capacitors. Solid capacitors are higher quality and last longer than the
regular capacitors and are usually only found on videocards. By equipping the
GA-965P-DS3 with solid capacitors, Gigabyte is improving stability and
durability of the motherboard. In light of all the burst capacitor problems the industry has faced in the
past few years, this is a welcome, albeit overly technical, feature to
The Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 is definitely a peppy motherboard.
Not only is it fast in office based tasks like SYSMark2004 or Business Winstone
2004, it's also fast at 3D gaming! Of course the Core 2 Duo processor had a lot
to do with the large increase in performance but the GA-965P-DS3 motherboard
still played a key role. With the ability to run memory at DDR2-800 (or 1066
unofficially) the GA-965P-DS3 motherboard should be faster than even high end
975X boards on the market!
If you want to upgrade your system to something using
Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 is definitely a platform
worth considering. It's moderately priced, and fast; that's a combination you
don't usually find these days in the computer world. ;-)
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