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Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L Review

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Closer Look:


PC Health Status:

In this tab, the critical temperatures and voltages can be monitored along with setting up fan control parameters to control the heat buildup in the system components.







Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker:

This section is where the enthusiast will spend the majority of his time as it contains all of the system overclocking options. Processor and memory speeds, voltages, memory subtimings and more are available. The memory timings are accessed by inputting the the command Ctrl+F1 at the main BIOS screen. These settings stay hidden unless the command is used to bring them up. I guess keeping them hidden is a good things when the P31-DS3L is in a novice's hands.



The P31-DS3L is equipped quite well for life as either an overclocking board or just the average Joe desktop system. The M.I.T. section of the BIOS is where the performance of this board can be increased dramatically. The CPU host frequency, or FSB, can be adjusted up to 700MHz giving enough overclocking headroom for even the most adventurous of us. PCI-E frequency can be taken from 100 to 150 MHz.



C.I.A.2 allows the novice to use preset overclocking options to dynamically adjust system performance to meet the computing needs of the user. The memory multipliers are preset and dependent on the FSB of the processor that is installed. High speed DRAM DLL provides two preset memory timing configurations to try before manually setting the timings.



The available voltage options on the GA-P31-DS3L are good enough to allow the enthusiast enough adjustability to make the most of his hardware. One thing I did not like about the voltage options was how the increase amount was set in the BIOS. Instead of allowing the user to see the actual voltage that the increase causes, Gigabyte has chosen to just show the amount of the increase. It leaves the user searching for the defaults. The system voltages can be set automatically or manually, with manual being the preferred method for the enthusiast. With that out of the way, 2.00 volts is available for the CPU core, more than enough to get the results you are after.



System Memory voltage is adjustable up to .7 volts above JEDEC spec of 1.8 volts for DDR2 memory, or a max of 2.5 vdimm. This should allow all but the most hardcore enthusiasts enough adjustability. The rest of the voltage options allow enough flexibility to gain significant performance from your hardware.



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