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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

Gigabyte P965-DS3



We have two boards from Gigabyte on our chopping blocks today, the high-end monster the DQ6 which we did look at earlier and the lower model the DS3 which we just had to get our hands on.


The DS3 uses a blue mid sized PCB for its mid ranged motherboard. The placement of the power connectors are extremely good considering the price range this board is meant to fit into. The 24-pin power connector is located behind the DDR-2 memory sockets with the FDD port. The DDR-2 memory slots are colour coded yellow for Channel 1 and red for Channel 2. The 4-pin power connector is located a the top left of the board behind the CPU socket.


The cooling for the motherboard components are taken care of by passive heatsinks on both the Northbridge and the Southbridge. While the ICH8R does supports 6 Serial ATA ports, only 4 of the Southbridge SATA ports are used and colour coded yellow. 2 purple and 1 green IDE port are provided by an add-on controller chip.



The layout around the CPU socket is extremely clean allowing for you to install large after markets CPU heat sinks and CPU power is supplied by a 3 phase power system. While this is enough for the Core 2 range of CPU, you won't want to be overclocking a Pentium 4 series CPU here as this will only just provide power to these older processors.



To the rear I/O ports now, and Gigabyte has a pretty good setup. On the lower end of their motherboard lists, Gigabyte puts the Parallel and Serial ports just in case you need them. A single RCA SPDIF output and a single Toslink SPDIF port make up the digital audio for this board along with your standard array of ports.



To the expansion slot there are more than enough for the modern day system. There is a single PCI Express x16 slot that runs at full speed for even the most demanding graphics cards. 3 PCI Express x1 slots are included for additional PCI-E based controllers such as add-on SATA controllers, Gigabit LAN and TV Tuners that are now starting to hit the market. For legacy support that are 3 PCI slots to support TV tuners and sound cards, if that's your thing.



Lastly we have a JMicron PCI Express based Serial ATA RAID controller with a single Parallel ATA channel. Since Intel prematurely cut IDE support with the ICH8 series Southbridge, the only way to get an IDE DVD drive onto your ICH8 based boards is to use a separate chip. Gigabyte had laser named the JMicron chip as the Gigabyte SATA 2 RAID chip and it controls the 2 purple SATA ports and the green IDE slot.

Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 Motherboard


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