Overclocking is alive and well! PCSTATS has all the details
you need to see at a glance to know which board is best. The chart we've
compiled below lists the highest overclocked Front Side Bus speeds we were able
to achieve while maintaining 100% stability.
GA-P31-DS3L is surrounded by some pretty good company wouldn't you say? Pretty
much every motherboard around it costs twice as much though....
The Intel P31 Express, a
great entry level chipset!
What do you think of when someone talks about a budget
motherboard? Lack of upgradability and low performance? Gigabyte
wipes those old stereotypes away with its GA-P31-DS3L motherboard.
Based on Intel's entry P31 Express chipset this little
board retails for $80 CDN ($83 USD, £40 GBP) but don't let
that fool you. This motherboard rocks for the right applications - office and
On paper the difference between the Intel P35 Express and
P31 Express chipsets is small. No 1333 MHz FSB support (officially anyway) and
DDR2-800 memory only. The P31 Express also comes with the older Intel ICH7
Southbridge instead of the modern ICH9.
The Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L motherboard only comes with a
Gigabit network card and 7.1 channel High Definition Azalia audio integrated. If
you need more there are three PCI Express x1 and three 32 bit PCI slots for your
expansion needs. The GA-P31-DS3L is refreshingly small and easy to work
Of course where the Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L really impresses
is the benchmark results, the little motherboard absolutely kicks butt! The
workstation style tests like SYSMark2004, PC Worldbench 5 and Super Pi put the
budget motherboard in excellent company. It often performed as fast as Intel P35
Express motherboards and that's pretty good!
We thought the lower operating memory frequency would be
a major handicap for the Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L but it looks like DDR2-800 memory
is still plenty fast for games.
3DMark06, Doom 3, FarCry and Quake 4 all put the Gigabyte
GA-P31-DS3L near the top! That's amazing when you consider the other
motherboards tested are two to three times more expensive!
Officially the Intel P31 Express chipset does not support
the 1333 MHz FSB but Gigabyte has certified the GA-P31-DS3L motherboard for that
speed. During testing the motherboard had no problems running, when it comes to
overclocking this board reached a very respectable 463 MHz FSB! Not bad for a
budget motherboard eh...
If you need a low cost motherboard make sure you check
out the Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L. Be it workstation or gaming, this motherboard
delivers big time for a low price, you can't get better than that!
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