- Supports either DDR2 or DDR3 RAM
- Has only one graphics card slot, doesn't have FireWire
The Gigabyte P35C-DS3R is a well-performing, future-proof solution for any new Intel-based PC as long as you can live without FireWire and a second graphics slot.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
It's a somewhat transitional period for the PC market at the moment due to the fact that DDR3 memory has been introduced for the latest Intel Core 2 CPUs. Since it's still in its infancy, and still very expensive, when building a new PC with an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, a motherboard based on DDR2 memory is still a wise economic decision. In some cases, it's even a better performer. At the same time, a board with DDR3 memory will provide good future-proofing until such time that DDR3 memory becomes affordable and lower latency modules are introduced.
Gigabyte's P35C-DS3R gives you the best of both memory worlds. This board has DDR2 and DDR3 memory slots, so you can upgrade your motherboard now, for a reasonable price, yet you'll still be able to make the transition to DDR3 some time in the future.
The P35-DS3R runs Intel's P35 chipset and can accommodate the 1333MHz front side bus (FSB) of the latest Core 2 Duo CPUs, which have stormed onto the market with very affordable price tags attached to them. It has six memory slots -- four of them are for dual-channel DDR2 memory modules, and two of them are for dual-channel DDR3 memory modules. You can't mix and match memory; you can only use either DDR2 or DDR3 modules, but not both at the same time, and the maximum capacity for DDR2 is 8GB, while for DDR3 it's 4GB (in both instances, using 2GB modules).
We tested the board with 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 RAM (overclocked to 1333MHz) and 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM, using a Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU (which has a 1333MHz FSB) with a standard Intel cooler, an ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card and a 500GB Western Digital hard drive. On a side note, this configuration ran practically silently, even under heavy processing loads, thanks to the board's dynamic fan control.
In WorldBench 6, with DDR3 memory, this configuration scored 110, which is nifty. However, with DDR2, the board was even niftier, scoring 112. Our encoding tests using Cdex and iTunes racked up almost identical times for each memory type, which means that you're better off sticking to DDR2 memory, for now.
As for connectivity and expansion, this board isn't fully stocked. It can support up to 12 USB 2.0 devices, but only four ports are present on the rear port cluster, and no USB brackets are supplied to tap into the USB port pin headers on the motherboard. FireWire is also absent on this model. It does have serial and parallel ports, as well as PS/2, so it can support older peripherals.
The layout of the board is clean, and it's actually bare on the bottom-right corner. Eight SATA ports are available for storage devices, and three PCIe x1 and PCI slots are available for expansion cards. It has a single PCIe x16 graphics slot, so only one graphics card can be installed.
The BIOS makes it easy to tweak the CPU and memory settings. It allows for the memory speed to be set independently of the front side bus speed (via an FSB ratio), so you can run a faster FSB to overclock your CPU, without having to run your memory faster. This can help you achieve stable results at higher clock speeds. The clock ratio of the CPU can be changed only if your CPU has an unlocked clock (for example, if it's a Core 2 Extreme-based model).
Join the newsletter!
Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- 3 ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- 4 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 5 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
Latest News Articles
- Pre-orders open for 2nd-Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper
- Third party audit suggests AMD drivers are the most stable
- HP revamp Omen range with game streaming and hybrid keyboard
- QNAP Unveils the TS-1635AX 16-bay NAS
- Razer debut the first Opto-Mechanical keyboards in the form of the new Huntman and Huntsman Elite
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung officially debut the Galaxy Note 9
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- HTC U12+: Full, in-depth review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?