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Intel P965 Shootout Part 2 - Gigabyte, ABIT and Biostar

By: Cameron Johnson | Socket LGA 775 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 27, 2006 5:00 am




With ABIT back in the game, we managed to get a hold of their top P965 based board. The AB9 Pro uses a full size ATX board to pack its materials on to. ABIT has done a reasonable job on the layout, however, there are a couple of connectors in spots we would rather not see them in. The good side of things is the 24-pin power connector being placed behind the DDR-2 memory slots with the 4-pin power being located just to the left of the DDR-2 memory slots at the top of the board.


The bad however are the FDD port being located right at the bottom middle of the board below the PCI slots and the placement of the additional SATA and IDE ports between the last PCI-E x1 slot and the PCI slots, no doubt these will get in the way.



ABIT continues to use their Silent OTES system to cool the voltage regulators and Mosfets. A large heat block sits atop the main VRM's with a heatpipe attached that cools the Northbridge. A small row of RAM sinks sit on the upper VRM modules. The CPU is supplied with 4 phases of power for greater stability when overclocking compared to 3 phase. As for large heatsinks, there should be no problem as the CPU area is quite clean and free of high rise components.



Rear I/O ports are quite sparse as the Silent OTES takes up quite a bit of the real estate at the back to exhaust its hot air. You get PS/2 towers, a single e.SATA port, 2 Toslink ports, USB towers with Dual Gigabit LAN ports and your standard 7.1 audio ports. Its nice to see ABIT putting the e.SATA port onto its board for future external expansion capabilities.



While P965 chipset has been given the Crossfire seal of approval, ABIT hasn't availed itself of this, only 1 PCI Express x16 slot for graphics is used with 2 PCI Express x1 slots and 2 PCI slots.



While there is one slot missing, this is taken up by the JMicron SATA/PATA chip and the 2 extra SATA and 1 PATA port but it's not the most intelligent place to put these. To the right of the last PCI slot is a Texas Instruments PCI Firewire chip to add 2 Firewire ports to the board.

Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 Motherboard


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