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Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R supports socket 775 Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme, Celeron D, and Pentium 4/D/XE processors operating on a 800/1066/1333 MHz FSB.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Nov 08 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R

One of the greatest aspects of today's motherboards is a reliable level of performance across diverse platforms. Motherboard A from one company is bound to handle within 2% of motherboard B from another manufacturer, provided the chipsets, processor, memory, etc. remain identical. The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R is a good example of a striped down mainstream motherboard, yet because it's built upon the versatile Intel P35 Express chipset, it crunches office applications just as well as enthusiast grade boards. The benefit to you is a significantly more competitive price point, with just the essential features you're actually going to use. If you don't overclock, or game more hours than there are in a day, chances are high a mainstream motherboard will service your computer requirements completely.

Naturally motherboards made for the normal masses (you and me in every day life) lack some of the glitz and glamour of enthusiast gear; but it's all tucked away inside you PC anyway, so it's not like anyone will notice.

In this review, PCSTATS will be getting our feet wet with the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R motherboard.

Designed around Intel's successful P35 Express and ICH9R chipsets, the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R supports socket 775 Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme, Celeron D, and Pentium 4/D/XE processors operating on a 800/1066/1333 MHz FSB. As is standard, up to 8GB of DDR2 1066/80/667 memory can be installed in a dual channel configuration. If you're using Microsoft Windows XP 1GB of RAM should be fine, but for Windows Vista 2GB is a much better (see for yourself ).

Office and general home computers require a basic set of features, and luckily for us the Intel ICH9R southbridge has pretty much covered all the bases here. Even RAID (0/1/JBOD) is included, which is handy because setting up a RAID 1 array from the get-go is a quick way to have a running backup of irreplaceable family photos, an MP3 collection, or whatever.

Other integrated features on the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R include Gigabit network card, 12 USB 2.0 ports (four at rear), eight Serial ATA II channels (six via the Intel ICH9R with RAID 0/1/5/10, two via Gigabyte SATA2 controller with RAID 0/1/JBOD) and of course a 7.1 channel Azalia High Definition sound card. The GA-P35-DS3R board has one lousy IDE channel, one floppy. Serial ATA hard drives are plentiful, and SATA DVD-DL burners like the LG GSA-H62N are less than $50 bucks.... so upgrade already!

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Motherboard

User's Manual, Driver CD, 4x Serial ATA cables, Ultra/133 IDE Cable, Floppy Cable, eSATA Power Cable, eSATA Bracket, USB Bracket I/O Shield

There are no eSATA ports on the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R motherboard, instead it comes with a dual eSATA bracket. The GA-P35-DS3R has an equal number of PCI Express x1 and PCI slots (three), and one PCI Express x16 slot for a videocard. The Foxconn 8600GTS DirectX10 videocard is a good match for this motherboard, and since it's DirectX10 it fully supports Windows Vista.

In an effort to improve the longevity of the motherboard itself, the GA-P35-DS3R is equipped with fanless aluminum chipset heatsinks, and all solid aluminum polymer capacitors. The retail price of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R is about $145 CDN ($150 USD, £75 GBP).

Layout and Useability

The layout of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R motherboard is good, all the ports and connectors are labeled well, jacks and cables organized nicely around big peripherals like the videocard and memory.

My only complaint is the USB headers, the yellow plastic doesn't have any polarity marking. This is important for computer cases that have individually pinned front panel USB sockets that you have to hook up manually. On the plus side, the rear-oriented PCI Express x16 videocard retention lock is easy to access, so even if the videocard has a large double-slot heatsink your fingers will reach.

As the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R is a mainstream motherboard, the box bundle is pretty skinny. No games, no flash, no little ribbon wrapped presents.

The only interesting accessory is a dual port eSATA bracket and a pair of external SATA-to-eSATA data and molex-to-SATA power cables. This allows a bare hard drive to be quickly connected to the PC without opening up the chassis. The internal SATA cables are the push-to-click variety. We like these because the positively lock into the SATA motherboard jacks.

411 on the Intel P35 Express chipset is right around the corner, then overclocking and benchmarks!

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
 Pg 1.  — Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Intel P35 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel P35 Express and ICH9R Chipsets
 Pg 3.  Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Gigabyte motherboard
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004 Continued
 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: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 13.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3., Quake 4
 Pg 14.  PCSTATS Maximum Motherboard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions

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