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Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 965P Express Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 965P Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: With a retail price of $235 CDN ($201 US, £102 GBP) the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboard offers a good set of mainstream-to-performance features.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Mar 02 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6

Passive Cooling System for Motherboard PCB and Chipsets

Another rather innovative aspect of the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboard are its passive heatsinks, called SilentPipe. Located on the chipsets and power MOSFETs, these copper and heatpipe thermal solutions conduct heat to a central location where exhaust airflow from the CPU fan is harnessed to cool them. This method makes use of an existing air flow source, doesn't introduce any extra noise into the computer, and concentrates the hot portions of the motherboard in the vicinity of the power supply exhaust fan. We here at PCSTATS just really like the fact that there are no more small chipset heatsinks to get clogged with dust bunnies, dry up and rattle with age. Noisy chipset fans are very annoying.

The Intel P965 Express Northbridge is cooled with a medium size aluminum heatsink, the Intel ICH8R Southbridge with a fairly low profile one, but much of the heat from both chipsets is conducted right over to the MOSFET heatsink. The copper MOSFET heatsink will work well enough with the exhaust airflow from the CPU heatsink, provided it flows in that general direction. If your PC uses a watercooling or phase change cooling system, it's advisable to point a fan in the general direction of these passive heatsinks on the GA-965P-DQ6 so the components don't overheat.

Motherboard PCB Heatsinks?

Yup, you read that right. In an attempt to keep the CPU area with its voltage regulators, MOSFETS and CPU running cool, a very low profile passive aluminum heatsink is installed onto the rear of the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboard PCB. Another is situated directly behind the southbridge chipset.

The little brass stand offs which support the PCB give sufficient space for both of these heatsinks to squeeze into the thin space next to the chassis, and subtle convection currents handle all the cooling without power, or noise. The basic idea is that because surface mounted components dump much of the heat they produce into the motherboard, why not lower component temperature by adding a heatsink on the opposite side? Adding fans, or extra cooling to these thin motherboard heatsinks won't help you overclock faster, but once again in the long term they should help extend component life spans. That is, if this idea actually holds water. Without an infrared thermal camera it is very difficult to gauge the impact rear mounted PCB heatsinks have on the thermal gradients in the GA-965P-DQ6 PCB itself.

Gigabyte dives into eSATA

eSATA (aka external Serial ATA) support is one of the most exciting features found on new motherboards in our books. When it comes to external mass storage, bandwidth has always been an issue, and Serial ATA makes even IEEE 1394b's 800Mbps bandwidth look paltry by comparison. Gigabyte's approach to eSATA is a bit different from what the other manufacturers have been doing.

Instead of installing an eSATA port on the rear I/O, the GA-965P-DQ6 comes with two dual port "L-port" style eSATA/power headers. These are the same kind of connections internal SATA hard drive cables use.

The expansion brackets use the internal Serial ATA ports as well as having the option for power through an internal molex power connector. Gigabyte includes two Serial ATA L to I cables along with two external molex to Serial ATA power connectors. This allows you connect internal or external Serial ATA devices to your computer without having to open it up.

eSATA enclosures for SATA hard drives are widely available, and the great thing is that hard drives connected over this standard are just as fast as internal devices. The connectors are hot swappable, so it makes adding and removing an massive external hard drive about as complex as plugging in a USB memory key. For anyone who as ever had to move Gig's of data over a USB cable, eSATA is simply awesome.

A detailed look at what the Intel P965 Express chipset has to offer is next, but first a quick tour of the GA-965P-DQ6 boards' highlights.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 965P Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Passive Cooling System for Motherboard PCB and Chipsets
 Pg 3.  Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  The Intel 965P Express chipset
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboard
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Graphics)
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Office)
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Data Crunching)
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SuperPi, PCMark05
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3
 Pg 14.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Quake 4 / Conclusions

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