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Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 is based around Intel's highly successful P35 Express and ICH9R chipsets. It supports Intel Celeron D, Pentium 4/D/XE and Core 2 Duo/Quad processors running on an 800/1066/1333 MHz FSB.
 87% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: gigabyte Nov 06 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > gigabyte GA-P35-DS4

Ultra Durable 2 = better motherboards?

Gigabyte recently shifted many of its mainstream and enthusiast grade motherboards to all solid state capacitors construction. It paired these electrical components with improved ferrite core choke coils, Low RDS MOSFET's and comprehensive passive cooling thermal solutions. The combination of all these parts, according to Gigabyte, helps reduce temperatures, improve power efficiency to the CPU and improve PC stability under load. The collection of features has been suitably marketed as "Gigabyte Ultra Durable 2" on the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 motherboard.

You may or may not recall the problem of burst capacitors that turned into an industry wide epidemic a few years ago. What caused poor quality electrolytic capacitors to burst after ~3 years is a story of industrial espionage, stolen chemical recipe's, and cut rate electronic components. Consequently, the benefits of higher quality Japanese-made electrolytic capacitors, and conductive polymer solid-state aluminum capacitors has been stressed on virtually every motherboard to have them since.

Solid state capacitors improve overall stability, and last significantly longer than the electrolytic variety. When the burst capacitor problem really hit, many computers suffered intermittent errors and crashes. Only opening up the PC case to inspect the motherboard revealed that the little aluminum capacitor cans had split, popped, and leaked gooey brown electrolyte all over the place. Motherboards from almost every vendor suffered to one degree or another, leaving users like you and me stuck with out of warranty boards that no one wanted back, that no longer worked.

Given that the average desktop motherboard lifecycle is anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, we think it should operate reliably for at least that span of time.

If you've never looked twice at motherboard and know nothing about what all the little black and grey spots actually are, let alone do, you're in for a treat. In the above slide are the three components of Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2 approach. This is hardly a unique collection of electrical components, so it's mainly significant because Gigabyte is making an effort to stress its build quality over features. Shown here are the Ferrite Core choke coil (this helps filter out EMI/RF interference), the LOW RDS(on) MOSFET (power circuitry), and the 'All-Solid' aluminum Polymer capacitors.

Gigabyte build the GA-P35-DS4 with high quality components which allegedly improve reliability and longevity. Big claims, and difficult to prove, but PCSTATS is happy to see more manufacturers moving away from the cheap electrolytic capacitors available to the electrical industry. We've lost count of the number of motherboards we've seen that have suffered from blown and leaking capacitors just as they reach the 3 year mark.

Compared to standard Electrolytic capacitors which use a fluid electrolyte, the 'all-solid' style aluminum polymer capacitor is beneficial because it has a longer lifespan for the same given elevated temperature that is common to the inside of a computer. As temperatures increase, the lifespan of electrolytic capacitors begins to decline. The same general rule of thumb holds true for MOSFETs as well, and according to Gigabyte's information the LOW RD(on) variety can operate with decreased heat output. A Ferrite Core RF Choke has high electronic resistance, better high frequency operation, operates at a lower temperature, has reduced magnetic leakage, and several other qualities Gigabyte engineers feel are desirable.

Next, PCSTATS examines the highlights of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 motherboard itself. You'll want to have a good look at its silent chipset heatsinks...

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Contents of Article: gigabyte GA-P35-DS4
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Stressing Build Quality and Engineering
 Pg 3.  — Ultra Durable 2 = better motherboards?
 Pg 4.  Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the Gigabyte motherboard
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004 Continued
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Graphics)
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Office)
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PC Worldbench (Data Crunching)
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 14.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3., Quake 4
 Pg 15.  PCSTATS Maximum Motherboard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions

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