GA-P35-DS3L the right one for me?

As we all know, the GA-P35-DS3L has a reputation for being a strong entry level board with excellent overclocking capabilities. Plus it supports the new 45nm processors. What I want to know is, what makes this board $90 and other boards $180 (or more).

I know the GA-P35-DS3L is lite on features and leaves out firewire, raid support, a 2nd PCIe slot and only has 1 IDE connector (not things I need anyway); but is there anything else I’m missing? What more do I get if I buy a higher priced mobo? I don’t have a whole lot to spend, but it would be even worse if I had to shell out more money for the mobo I should have bought in the first place.

All I’m planning to do is play games (Crysis, TF2, CoD4), surf the web, watch TV (with a TV tuner card) and do some basic homework/work type stuff.

Thanks for taking a second to read all that.
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More about ds3l
  1. P35 is being replaced by X38 currently, and P45 and X48 in the near future. By replaced I mean, the other boards are becoming mainstream. What P35 also lacks is PCI lanes. Currently it has only one PCI 16X slot operating in the full 16X mode. Also it is only PCI E1.0 compatible. PCI E2.0 is missing. Also RAID is missing. I also believe the number of SATA ports is also less compared to other boards (4 SATA ports)
    As far as games like Crysis go, IMO the current hardware cannot run the games under maxed settings. If you can manage to get in a 8800 GT, 8800 GTX or 3870 X2, it will give you playable frame rates .But these cards are also heavy on the power draw.
  2. Well the X38 boards still seem a little too expensive for me; and most use DDR3 which is hella expensive. The lowest priced X38 board on newegg is $200.

    It would be nice to have PCIe 2.0 though.

    I don't plan on running SLI, because by the time I save up for a 2nd card, a new one comes out that offers the same preformance.

    As far as Crysis goes, I know nothing out there can run it on max settings. I was gonna get an 8800GTS (G92) and hopefully run it at med-high with playable fps.
  3. DS3L is a great board. If you don't need the other features, get this board. If you do need some of them, consider an add-on card. PCIe 2 is all hype.
  4. ^^Agreed. Any video card available today works fine in PCI-E 1.0a slots.

    The GA-P35-DS3L is perfect if you buy any video card on the market today, can live with a single video card, one DVD burner, at most 3 hard drives, no RAID or FireWire. (Actually, you can add FireWire through a PCI card.)

    It pays to look at GA-P35-DS3R too. For $27 more you get the right to use something like 6 hard disks and two burners (don't laugh, it happens, I have 3 hard disks and 2 burners now and I will add more disks later), and you also get two more SATA cables (worth about $18 all by themselves).

    Maybe also look at aBIT IP35 Pro ($150 at newegg now, on sale). Compared to the DS3R, you get the second PCI-E slot (running at x4) and FireWire and eSATA. eSATA is very useful if you use external hard disks for backup, but you need a hard disk that can use eSATA (Seagate FreeAgent Pro, for example). The second PCI-E slot won't be much good for Crossfire because it's slow, but it can be perfect for a cheap second card. This way you can use 3 or even 4 monitors. No clue what kind of work you do and whether it would help you to have 3 monitors. I write Web apps and it's very nice to have two monitors. I haven't tried 3 yet, and I'll need a new mobo and a second video card for it, but I'd like to try it some day.
  5. I got the DS3L for the same reasons you have listed. Great board. Just plugged in a BFG 8800GTS (G92) yesterday and it's fantastic.

    If you can live without the extra features, I would definitely put this board at the top of your list.

    E6750 stock 2.66
    BFG 8800 GTS OC (G92)
    Corsair 450VX PSU
    2GB Corsair XMS DDR2-800

    No problems what so ever. Screams through LotRO DX9 High Def. Averages about 90 - 110 fps using ingame fps counter. Starting to dabble with OC'ing. Board will take DDR2-1066. No complaints.
  6. Ok, one more quick thing; does the GA-P35-DS3L support Blu-Ray?

    I don't see that it does, and that is a deal breaker for me as I intend to add a Blu-Ray player in the near future. So I might have to stretch the budget and go with the X38 like kaiser101 suggested.

    You see, I'm a starving college student so I don't have a lot of money. My current PC is 4 years old and doesn't have eSATA or firewire (or PCIe for that matter).

    I have about $1,500 for the build, which would be plenty if I didn't have to buy an OS, monitor, keyboard, speakers, anti-virus software, productivity software and a chair. So in reality I have about $1,000.

    8800GTS (G92)
    TV tuner card
    Sound card
    4GB RAM
    320GB HD
    Combo DVD/CD
    Corsair 620W PSU
    Raidmax Smilodon or NZXT Lexa case
    Total: $1,063

    If I leave out the tuner card and sound card, I could do the X38.
  7. I maybe 53 but your PC requirements are same as mine -
    "All I’m planning to do is play games (Crysis, TF2, CoD4), surf the web, watch TV (with a TV tuner card) and do some basic homework/work type stuff." - Minus the 'homework' , my son does his own. No, it's a great budget board , i run a 6750 overclocked at 3ghz (not a lot by some standards) but with a 8800GTX i picked up a couple of months ago for a real cheap price it plays Crysis on v.high settings (tweaked) for XP.
  8. Well I guess I just talked myself into an upgrade (lol).

    Thank you to everybody who replied and helped me make up my mind.
  9. DirtyDrummer said:
    Ok, one more quick thing; does the GA-P35-DS3L support Blu-Ray?

    I don't see that it does, and that is a deal breaker for me as I intend to add a Blu-Ray player in the near future. So I might have to stretch the budget and go with the X38 like kaiser101 suggested.

    The motherboard does not need to "support" BluRay. A BlueRay drive will work as long as you have an open SATA port to connect the drive (or USB 2.0 as my XBOX360 HD drive is connected), have a modern vid card that supports HDCP (all NVIDIA 8X00 and ATI HD series cards do) and have the software to play the HD content such as POWERDVD ULTRA. The same is true for the HD-DVD drives.
  10. Well that's what I thought (it's just another drive with a SATA connector)
    but the X38 says it has "ALC889A with DTS Connect enables high quality Full Rate Lossless Audio and support for both Blu-ray and HD DVD." whatever that means.
  11. You could save some money and not buy a sound card, save some more and only get 2gb of Ram. If you drop the chip to an E2180 you could OC it to 3+GHz and have enough for the blu-ray player. :ouch:
  12. The DS3L was the board I was originally going to buy, but then I did some checking and found out that it doesn't have the Ultra Durable 2 design. Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2 technology can deliver dramatically lower temperature which equates to a longer system lifespan. I want a board that will last a while so right now I'm trying to decide between the DS3R and DS4 models, both of which come with the durable design.

    PCIe 2.0 is backwards compatible with 1.1, and it's just a newfangled technology like the DDR3, neither of which interested me since you can put together a decent system without either one.
  13. @Dunkel Well I'm getting Vista 64-bit, so I want the 4GB. I might drop the sound card, as long as my TV card will work with just onboard sound. The Blue-Ray player isn't a priority, just a planned future upgrade. Just like a card reader.

    @ dcinmich Ya I was looking at the DS4 as well. But it's $180. For only $20 more I can get the X38.
  14. I thought you originally wanted a DS3L? Now you're going for a X38? Strange....
  15. Ya well, If I go from $90 to $180 I might as well go up to $200.
  16. But what exactly are you getting for $110 More?
    I'll wager that money is better spent on a better GPU or CPU.
  17. For the $110 I get:

    1600 FSB
    2 x PCIe slots (PCIe 2.0) both at x16
    6 SATA ports
    DDR2 1200 memory standard

    If there were better "bang for the buck" components than these
    8800GTS (G92)
    I would get them instead.
  18. DS3L is the board of can pay more, but in my opinion the more does not equate
  19. Hmmm.. The 8800GTS G92 and the GA-X38-DS4 are both excellent products. Together though, they make little sense. The X38 supports two ATI cards, not two nVidia cards. That is, it does Crossfire, not SLI. If slot #1 has a GTS card, the card in slot #2 will have to work on a different monitor. If you are sure you want the X38, you might want to change the video card to HD 3870 or HD 3870X2.
  20. DirtyDrummer said:
    Ya well, If I go from $90 to $180 I might as well go up to $200.

    Just remember everyone rushed out to buy the XBox when it first came out and there were nothing but problems (the infamous "red ring of death" comes to mind). Don't get too caught up in whats hot coming around the corner. Its a seductive path waiting to have the hottest tech but you can get caught up in this "mindset" like many people do. X38 is an emerging technology, just like DDR3, give them both time to mature and work out any problems. In the meantime I would highly recommend something like the P35-DS4 (which I just bought) or the Abit IP35 Pro.
  21. Well I don't want to spend $450 on the HD 3870 X2. I will acknowledge that it is a little weird getting an nVidia card with an ATI Crossfire board though. Perhaps in the future ATI will retake it's crown and then I will consider a Crossfire setup. (I was aware, but thanks for caring)

    Let's just be glad that Microsoft does't make mobo's then. ;) For me, the extra $20 is worth it.
  22. No problem. I just wanted to offer you some advice on buying the "latest and greatest" as soon as it comes out of the gate. It isn't always wise, as in the case of the XBox (as an example). Just so you know the DS4 board supports Crossfire with multi-GPU support and dual PCI-E connectivity.
  23. I strongly suggest a sli or crossfire type board. Oblivously one that supports the 45nm cpus and others on the market. Doesn't have to start with the best/fastest. I screwed up and got a single x16 pci-e just before the "fix" for the dual cards to run much faster. I have one game that needs the extra card, but i can't get it (no slot for it) and really not much choice for getting one faster (other then sli or crossfire).

    And with monitors (LCDs) getting much higher in resolution, it's nice having that extra little power for it.
  24. I just built my new PC three months ago using this board.

    ATI 3850 256
    2gb of that Gskill ram on newegg for $40
    250GB Western Digital SATA hard drive
    and a Lite-On SATA dvd burner.

    It is running great, I love it and I really like the Bios on this board.
  25. Well, it looks like I am going to go with the GA-P35-DS3L. It has everything I need (at least for the foreseeable future.)

    If I go with the GA-X38-DS4 then that also means I have to get a Crossfire rated PSU and perhaps different RAM (which means way more $$$) and that defeats the purpose of the amazing ~$900 Crysis PC.

    Plus, by the time I'm able to afford a 2nd GFX card, the old one will be so out of date I might as well just buy a new one.

    Ok, thanks for bringing me back to my senses everybody. Now if I could only get my hands on an E8400...
  26. Here's a good price for the E8400:\

    I have never bought from that company, so I can't say how long they take to ship, how much they charge for S&H, and how their customer service is, but I like the price ($50 less than newegg).
  27. Well, I guess I'm actually going to go with the X38. I found a great deal on a 750w PSU that *should* run Crossfire for me. I feel like a ping pong ball.

    I keep checking microcenter, but it always says they are out. Frys had a few in stock (in store) today for $125 and I almost bought one.
  28. $125??? As in, half of Newegg's price? Wow...

    All right, if you want Crossfire I suggest this: GA-X38-DS4 or Asus P5E, one HD 3870X2 now and another one in April (pointless right now because drivers for HD 3870X2 Crossfire will only be available in March), and a PC P&C Silencer 750W Crossfire Edition ($150 at newegg right now)

    There's also Silencer 750W quad at for only $140, but don't buy that one. You need the "Crossfire Edition" because it has 6/8-pin connectors (not just 6-pin) and you need the 8-pin connectors for the HD 3870X2.

    Were you thinking of some other 750W PSU? Which one? How much? Does it have the 8-pin connectors?
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