With the release of DDR3 ram and the new Intel northbridge that can do both DDR2 and DDR3, Gigabyte has released their GA-P35C-DS3R motherboard. This is one of the few P35 chipset boards that bridge over to DDR3 ram. This board lets you leap into the Core 2 series of processors from Intel. You can go all out with a quad core, or stay with the current round of Core 2 Duo processors.
The Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R motherboard is part of their Ultra Durable 2 motherboard line which sports Low Rds(on) mosfet for lower temps, ferrite core chokes for less energy and all-solid capacitors (a plus for those that had the electrolytic cap leak on them) for a longer life. It gives the ablity to gain higher overclocks for those that like tweaking for maximum performance.
- Supports Intel® Core™ 2 multi-core and upcoming 45nm processors
- Supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory for great flexibility
- Features PCI Express x16 for outstanding graphics performance
- Integrated SATA 3Gb/s with RAID function
- Features high speed Gigabit Ethernet
- Ultra Durable 2 motherboard design
- Japanese manufactured solid capacitors
- Audio controller from ALC 889A supporting for both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats.
The GA-P35C-DS3R includes the ICH9R SATA II controller as well as Gigabyte's own controller for a total of 8 SATA II channels.
Some of the other features that have been included with this motherboard from Gigabyte are the ALC889A audio chip that has a 106Db signal-to-noise ratio for playback quality. It has support for both Blue-ray and HD DVD for home video. A total of 12 USB 2.0 channels for your peripherals are also on hand.
The board I received was abused by my Fedex driver but it still held up and survived. Only thing that was bounced out of place was the Northbridge heatsink. The power needed by this motherboard is low compared to other boards. The P4+ was excuded and the PCI-E power is not present like my DFI 975X or the Evga 680i. The floppy cable will connect to the black socket next to the ATX power. The single IDE line is the lime green socket at the lower left side next to the SATA channels.
One of the push pins was missing when I first removed the motherboard from the box and bag, but it was still in the bag.
The spring made its way around until sticking to the back side of the sticker covering the PCI slots.
Cleaning up the chip there was no visable signs of damage. I really did not want to send this back through the long RMA process. I replaced the weak pin with one from another aftermarket chipset cooler. I re-applied the thermal paste and re-attached the cooler.
A closer look at the different CAP's that have been replaced. On the left are the Evga 680i board with the electrolytic capacitors and on the right are the Gigabyte P35 board with the all-solid capacitors.
The replacement pin is the black one on the bottom. I installed the E6600 processor as I got everything prepped for going into the GT3 sportcase.
Added a low profile heatsink from Zalman.
Using the DDR3 ram from Kingston, I placed it in the two lime green slots that are designated for DDR3 ram. The other four slots (red and yellow) are for DDR2 ram modules. The system can not support both types of RAM at the same time.
The bios recognizes everything to the max speed that it supports. One of the disavantages with this bios set is that you can not change the RAM timings. The only choices you have are Option 1 or Option 2. No ablity to adjust the RAM timings for fine tuning or non SPD support besides a +2 - +4 adjustments.
In the bios with the C1E setting on the C2D chips turned on, it starts off with the system clocked down to 1.7GHz. It was running with a 6X multiplier and not 9x for the processor.
The biggest part that lets you overclock this system is the ability to adjust the FSB. Any adjustments to the host frequency that has a default setting of 266 will adjust the system FSB up or down by ~4 points (266 X 4 = ~1066). With the overclocking test I will bump the FSB up to 333 (1332 FSB) and set the system voltages control to auto for the quick overclock, I know my processor can handle that speed just fine.