is based on the Intel P35
chipset which has won the hearts and minds of Enthusiasts ever since its release. In some respects the P35 is to the X38
(X48) what the 965 was to the 975X. Since Intel's release of the X38 and "X48 Reviewer Edition
" chipsets the P35 is still the market favorite. For those under the impression there is no multi-card support off the P35, this bit-tech.net article
is a must read. The article compared three CrossFire solutions based on P35 and X38 motherboard options. The Asus P5E3 X38 (2 x 16X PCI-E (via NB)) this was not PCI-E 2.0, Asus Blitz P35 (2x 8X PCI-E (via splitter - NB)) and finally MSI Diamond P35 (16X PCI-E (via NB) + 4X PCI-E (via ICH0)) the results will surprise you.
The P35C-DS3R is built on Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2
technology. Gigabyte led the industry sourcing new parts throughout their product line related to power and power distribution. Three essential ingredients have gone into the Ultra Durable concept. The parts themselves are seen below surrounding the Socket-775. Gigabyte chose a six-stage power solution for the processor (note the number of R50 chokes). The Ultra Durable devices are, Mosfet, Capacitors and Chokes. While seemingly benign, their quality has a direct affect on motherboard stability and longevity. Unfortunately the concept of "longevity" is rarely, if ever discussed in PC-reviews or articles. The problem, certainly for most Reviewers and for many PC-Enthusiasts, is that we've lost touch with what it feels like to expect our PC will last for years. In Ultra Durable 2
Gigabyte has not only extended the life of the average motherboard, the changes may aid in Overclocking as well.
In the photo below I intentionally captured the Swiftech Storm water block for a perspective on the size of the Mosfets. Gigabyte states Low RDS(on) Mosfet; "...are specially designed to produce lower switching resistance for faster electric current charging and discharging
..." The terminology Low RDS(on) describes a power mosfet with Low Drain to Source Resistance (...on resistance (RDSon)). Besides being much smaller they are not as susceptible to "hot spots" and "thermal runaway." The Mosfet run cooler, Gigabyte claims a 16% reduction in temps compared to typical Mosfets. This may explain the absence of heat sinks in the photo above, however; X38 boards from Gigabyte do employ Mosfet cooling.
Fundamentally your CPU is a collection of capacitance switches (transistors) it's not difficult to imagine why faster switching speeds, faster charge and discharge rates are essential to processor performance. More damage is done to a micro-processor from lack of current then current spikes. Chokes used are now Ferrite core, purportedly storing energy longer at higher frequencies, 25% longer by Gigabyte's claims. Solid state capacitors replace electrolytic fluid with an organic compound improving both overclocking and extending lifespan. The P35 is also popular for it's support of DDR3 the P35C version offers both DDR2 and DDR3.
The green DIMM are intended for DDR3 (4GB total, 1.5V) with supported speeds to 1333MHz. Orange DIMMs are intended for DDR2 (8GB total, 1.8V) supporting 1066MHz both offer Dual Channel operation. Clicking on this link
provides a supported memory list. Next graphics.
The board offers a single PCI-Express 16x slot eschewing ATI Crossfire and keeping costs down. In addition there are three PCI Express 1x and three PCI slots in all.