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With the critical success of the original GA-965P-DS3, Gigabyte is taking no chances with the P35 chipset this time around. The original GA-965P-DS3 may have come from humble beginnings, but Gigabyte has seen the so much value in the mainstream line of their S-series motherboards that they've created a whole new series within a series, just to capture a bigger slice of the market. Not that we're complaining though as this just means more goodies for the consumers.
So it comes as no surprise that their 'S3' line for the P35 is the largest of the whole S-series with a total of eight different board configurations altogether ranging from the true entry-level GA-P35-S3 to the performance oriented GA-P35-DS3P with dual PCIe x16 and CrossFire support. Like most other manufacturers, there is the hybrid DDR2/DDR3 model - GA-P35C-DS3R - as well, but what makes it different from the rest is that it comes with a total of six DIMM slots, four DDR2 slots for full flexibility of today's memory and two DDR3 slots if you plan on upgrading. But that's for review another day.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at what we think would be the more popular choice for the DS3 line up, the GA-P35-DS3R. If you're really looking for mainstream, but want something with a little punch, this single slot PCIe x16 board with RAID capabilities seems to be Gigabyte's perfect balance of price and performance. Let's have a look at the full technical specification of the board before continuing:-
- 4 x SATA data cables
- 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
- 1 x floppy drive data cable
- eSATA bracket (2 x eSATA ports, 1 x external power connector)
- 1 x eSATA cable
- 1 x external SATA power cable
- I/O shield
- Driver CDs
- User's guide and manual
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