Gigabyte has brought to the market a new chipset that really will leave users with mixed feelings. Most of the time you expect new things to outperform the old. That was even the case here in this review. No one expected the P35 chipset to blow anything already on the market out of the water, but we also would not expect to see it perform at the same levels, and sometimes even lower than the levels, of a previous generation of chipsets and boards. With that in mind, I would also have to say that I am not writing this P35 chipset off. It is still young, and I am sure that there are tweaks to be made and BIOS’ that will be altered to make this chipset all the more better. For that, we anxiously await. It is also not fair to pass judgment on a new chipset with just one board in house to look at so far. There are a few things that I would personally like to have seen built in to this chipset, for one, the ability to run your ram unlinked, just like the Nvidia boards are able to do right now. That is a great feature for the enthusiast. I am sure in the weeks ahead we will have more on this chipset, so until then, it would be irresponsible to say that this chipset is a poor performer. So what can we say?
First of all, the Gigabyte P35-DS3R disappointed us with its results in our testing. It scored at pretty much the same levels, or even a little lower than most of the other boards represented in our testing. It surprised us just a little to see this, and we hope that some BIOS tweaks will help with this.
The bundle that came with the board was adaquate. Nothing flashy, but certainly also not to thin to leave you running out the door to get to a local computer shop to pick up an item or two that you need to have to even get the board running.
The layout and design of the board was just fine. i am still amazed that floppy connectors, serial ports and parallel ports are still being added to boards these days, but i am sure that someone out there will send me an email on how important that it is to have that parallel port for their Barbie or Transformers game that they bought in 1993.
Overclocking was terrific on this board. The Intel chipsets have been incredibly easy to use, even in the area of overclocking. To see a board push 500fsb without any special tweaking is just fantastic, and speaks well of not only the new P35 chipset, but also of the Gigabyte P35-DS3R board we have here.
Pricing is a little high for my taste at the moment. A quick look over the internet finds pricing to be anywhere from $190 – $230. Over the next few weeks, I am sure that it will come down, but that price is certainly not justified over the lower priced 965 and 975 boards that perform just as good if not better.
Legit Bottom Line: The Gigabyte P5-DS3R is a good motherboard that is well built, overclocks like crazy and is built around the latest Intel chipset. After the prices settle down, this will be one to watch for as you prepare to upgrade or build the rig of yours.
UPDATE 6-4-07: mwave just put their pricing down to $132.50 plus shipping, making this a much better deal than before, especially for new technology.