Gigabyte has done a wonderful job with the DS3! The layout of the board is fantastic, with our only complaint being a minor one of the placement of the IDE connector. The bios is fine to work with. It is easy to navigate, easy to update, has plenty of options available for tweaking and overclocking, and also has only one minor annoyance of having to use Ctrl-F1 to gain access to the advanced memory timings. The bundle is a little weak, but is understandable as this board is not meant to include everything, including the kitchen sink. You have what you need to get you up and running, which is the whole purpose of where this board is aimed.
Overclocking on this board was probably the easiest I have run into in awhile, and while that may be because for the CPU that we had, Gigabyte should also to be commended for making things effortless and painless in overclocking endeavors. Another thing to note about this board is that it uses all solid-state capacitors. Gigabyte says this about these capacitors on their web site:
“…this platform adopts cutting-edge Conductive Polymer Aluminum Solid Capacitors from the world’s leading vendors. With these high-quality components, users can take advantage of better electronic conductivity and excellent heat resistance for enhanced system durability.”
Gigabyte also says that these parts will ensure a longer life for your motherboard, which is a good thing (although I have never had a board long enough to see its die, at least on its own without a little help from me!). Also worth mentioning is that this board is RoHS, Core 2 Duo, Quad core and Vista compliant and ready, so those who buy this board can be assured of its cost effectiveness while running it, and they can also be assured of the ability to upgrade and use new technology.
The board, as with all Gigabyte motherboards, carries a 3 year limited warranty (First 2 years parts & labor, 3rd year parts only). This speaks volumes about how Gigabyte feels about its products, as a three year warranty is fantastic.
The Legit Bottom Line
I cannot rave about this board enough! Starting at $145 from online e-tailers, it is an overclockers dream! It is fast at default settings! But wait until you overclock it! Gigabyte has certainly unleashed a monster with this board! If you are in the market for a moderately priced overclocking monster, this is the one!