Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Motherboard Review

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Introduction: Gigabyte’s Monster Unleashed

Gigabyte has long been a major player in the motherboard industry.  Once known fro mainly its OEM distribution, Gigabyte has emerged as a major player in the enthusiest market.  Gigabyte was one of, if not the first to produce boards with the dual-bios philosophy to keep things safe for those that like to tinker with their rigs.  They have brought other interesting things into the market as well, such as the DPS units to increase the power supply to motherboards.  Gigabyte has certainly earned a spot in this very volitile market. 

Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Motherboard Review


Enter Conroe: the chip that everyone was waiting for!  This CPU is certainly the year’s most anticipated technological advancement in the enthusiest community.  When it arrived, it did not disappoint!  But it needed a nice home to get the most out of it, and that is where Gigabyte and their GA-965P-DS3 comes into the picture.  This board is based on the Intel 965 chipset, and is the little brother to the GA-965P-DQ6.  Let’s take a look at the specs of the DS3 that we will be looking at in this review.


  • Northbridge: Intel P965 Express Chipset
  • Southbridge: Intel ICH8
  • Marvel 8053 Gigabit LAN Controller
  • GIGABYTE SATAII controller
  • Realtek ALC883 8 Channel Audio Codec


  • LGA775 Intel Core? 2 Extreme/ Intel Core? 2 Duo processor*
  • Supports 1066/800/533 MHz FSB

Internal I/O Connectors

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX power
  • 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 x floppy connector
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan connector
  • 1 x system fan connector
  • 1 x front panel connector
  • 1 x front audio connector
  • 1 x CD In connector
  • 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors for additional 6 ports by cables
  • 1 x SPDIF In connector
  • 1 x power LED connector

Rear Panel I/O

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x SPDIF Out connection (coaxial+optical)
  • 1 x parallel port
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x serial port (COMA)
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks (Line In / Line Out / MIC In/Surround Speaker Out (Rear Speaker Out)/Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out)

Expansion Slots

  • 1 x PCI Express X16 slot
  • 3 x PCI Express X1 slot
  • 3 x PCI slots

H/W Monitoring

  • System voltage detection
  • CPU / System temperature detection
  • CPU / System fan speed detection
  • CPU warning temperature
  • CPU / System fan failure warning
  • CPU Smart Fan Control

Other Features

  • Supports RAID 0, 1, JBOD (GIGABYTE SATA 2)
  • Supports @BIOS
  • Supports Download Center
  • Supports Q-Flash
  • Supports EasyTune 5
  • Supports Xpress Install
  • Supports Xpress Recovery2
  • Supports Vertual DualBIOS


  • Supports DDR2 800/667/533 memory
  • Dual Channel architecture support up to 8GB by 4 DIMM slots

Form Factor

  • ATX form factor, 305 x 210mm

The DS3 is also being touted as VISTA ready, so when the OS finally hits the streets, you will be ready to go with this board.  Let’s get a closer look at the interesting parts of the board.

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