Unlikely that any new P35 mobo will be coming out give the 775 is coming to the end of its life cycle and new mobo will be coming out. DDR3 simply isn't worth the money and not likely to come down until the new mobos and CPUs come out, likely not till near the end of the year. 8GB is really overkill Overall nice machine
I think the P35 is the best, prices are good and run the Penryn. I don't think it's worth it to put a boat of money into an end of cycle mobo. From a $100 or so for a Gigabyte P35 DS3L to $140 for a fully feastured P5K E, you really can't go wrong
Right now, DDR2 memory is king. It is MUCH less expensive than DDR3.
4gb of DDR3 costs $540.
4gb of DDR2 costs <$100.
The C2D processors are not very sensitive to memory speeds.
Real world application tests(vs. synthetic benchmarks) show
no difference in performance between DDR2 and DDR3 memory. In fact,
there is less than 2% difference between the slowest and the fastest modules.
If you are trying for record overclocks, then all bets are off, and faster is better.
In my opinion, it is unwise to build a system around DDR3 today.
The P35C models from gigabyte have two slots for each type. That limits your max ram to 4gb. In the future when ddr3 becomes economic, nehalem will be upon us and new mobo's will be needed.
You want to get one of the revision 2.1 motherboards from gigabyte to support the 45nm quads. So far, they only show support fot the Q9300, but the Q9450 should not be a problem.
I would make no other changes. With a quad, and lots of memory, the strength of your pc will be outstanding multitasking. Gaming will be near top notch. With a evga vga card, you will have 90 days in the step-up program to evaluate any new vga card offerings. I'm betting you will not feel the need for more vga capability.
I really like that DS4, thanks for the links. Compared to the DS3R, it adds FireWire, it allows you to put in a cheaper video card in the x4 slot and use it to power a third monitor, it has more USB ports. The only disadvantage I see is that it has one PCI slot less. That's not so bad, with modems, tuners and sound cards all available as USB external devices too. Yeah, I think the DS4 is well worth the price difference.
If you go to the gigabyte web site, you can create a comparison of three boards. If I compare the ds3r and ds4, both at the current revision of 2.1, I see very little difference except:
The ds4 has a second pci-e(x8) slot. This is useful if you will add a high powered card such as a raid controller, pr physics card, or a decond vga card. It can't hurt, but is it worth it?
The ds4 has only 2 pci slots vs 3 on the ds3r.
The ds4 has 3 firewire ports. This would be a $8 add-in card on the ds3r if you needed it in the future. If firewire is needed now, then get the ds4.
In the 2.1 revision, each board has 8 usb ports on the back, and two internal dual headers, for a total each.
On my 2.1 ds3r, there is an onboard header for serial and parallel ports, and I guess you can order a cable for them. I would presume the ds4 has the same.
The chipset cooling heat sink on the ds4 is different, and it looks more capable to me.
Performance will be indistinguishable between the two. I looked at the pcstats review, and they reviewed an earlier revision. Also, the benchmarks used a E6750 for the ds4, and a handful of other boards, but the results also included a number of comparisons when they used a E6600. When I look at the results with the same cpu, I see identical results. What this tells me is to buy a mobo based on the features, price, and quality.