Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L Reviewccokeman -
Price: $ 78.99
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With each new upgrade, you have a few components that are an absolute must for the upgrade. The video card, processor, memory and last but not least, the base for the whole package: the motherboard. As enthusiasts, we tend to opt for the latest and greatest whiz bang motherboard on the market regardless of cost. Just because it's the thing to do does not always mean it's a smart decision. Sure, it's a guaranteed level of performance on average, but of course your mileage may vary. What about the mainstream folks? The ones who don't want the flavor of the week but just a good stable reliable board to last them for a few years? Is the Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L that board? It could be with features such as support for the latest Intel processors as well as the next generation 45nm products. Built around the Intel P31 chipset, this board uses solid capacitors for a long durable life, has support for DDR2 1066MHz memory, uses Realtek 7.1 sound, Gigabit LAN and a host of other features that are potent enough to last through the next few years. Will it perform as your average home computer or will it turn out to be an overclocking beast? I don't know, but let's find out.
The product box that the Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L arrived in has a no nonsense look. It shows the name and series of the product inside on the front of the box, as well as showing off the fact that it features all solid capacitors. The rear showcases the list of included software utilities that the manufacturer sends out with the board. Included are overclocking, system backup, BIOS updating tools, as well as monitoring software.
Opening the box, we can see the included bundle of accessories and how the board is packaged. The bottom of the box is foam lined to help with minimizing the damage to the motherboard in transit. The board is separated from the included accessories by a poorly fitting piece of cardboard.
You have seen the outside, now let's take a look at what makes this board tick.