GA-EP35-DS3P or GA-P35-DS3P?

I am confused somewhat of the different versions but it sounds like the GA-P35-DS3P mb, if ver. 2.1, is practically the same board as the GA-EP35-DS3P. The differences might be revisions and enough changes for Gigabyte to want to brand a new name with the DES?

Also, I noticed on the Gigabyte web site that the boards use different BIOS versions.

Could someone explain any differences so that I might lean towards one of the boards? I will be using a Core 2 Quad Q6600 cpu with a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme cpu cooler. I have read that these boards are able to hold these setups (cpu cooler) with not much problem despite the heat pipes. Is that true/accurate?

Which board would you go for or does it matter?

Also, are these boards good at keeping cool? What about the DS4 boards? I don't think I have to go for a more expensive board than the DS3P boards but I'd like to know if there is any significant difference.

I am leaning towards either the DS3R or DS3P boards but I like that the DS3P has a larger PCB.

Any other comments or info to add?
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  1. I have a GA-P35-DS3R (rev. 2.1) and like it. When they came out with the GA-EP35-DS3R (rev. 2.1) I was trying to figure out what was different about it and I couldn't find anything. I am not planning on using more than one graphics card so I didn't see any reason to get the DS3P. I have a Scythe Ninja on mine and it fit with no problem. I did have a hard time getting to the 4 pin power connector after I mounted the board in my case. The ulta 120 should fit fine also.

    If you want two graphics cards I guess you will have to go with the DS3P or DS4 models. Or if you need Firewire but Firewire add on cards can be found pretty cheap.

    I hope that helps.
  2. The ep35 is more are less power hungry than the p35 version of the same board.
  3. You can also update the BIOS in a GA-P35-DS3R to make it a EP.
  4. I found the DS3P (EP ver.) for $40 more than the DS3R. Do you think it's worth the increase?
    I like the DS3P since it's a Linux friendly board, it has a larger PCB (I was told this may be important), and it has extra options compared to the DS3R.
    But, the DS3R is very similar. Anybody here know about pcb sizes on the motherboard and whether it makes a difference for it to be larger than another motherboard's? Is it a factor in keeping the mb cooler?
  5. The difference is the feature level. The DS3P has the heatpipe cooling.
  6. Okay. So, does that hardware actually help the motherboard to run cooler and/or does it really contribute to better cooling than, say, DS3R boards? I thought I read somewhere that some people take off the heatpipes. What's that about?

    Cooling is important to me since I'll be running a Quad Core cpu and I've witnessed people having problems with their computers/motherboards. My theory is that it is often related to overheating or poorly arranged hardware (not enough cooling, fans, too much dust, poorly arranged cabling etc. etc.).

    Gigabyte has a good rep for cooling hardware with their motherboards so I thought I'd go after the one best equipped.
  7. I would not advise removing the heatpipes. They are there for a reason. They do seem to cool better, but the DS3R has been a solid overclocker for a while now. I get an excellent overclock on a DS3L.

    The main thing to remember with heat pipes, check out any aftermarket cooler you might buy to make sure it will fit. Some will not work on the heat pipe MBs whether they be Gigabyte or ASUS. I general the Zalmans are pretty godd.(See the Tom's Hardware reference system article on the front page.)
  8. I already bought the Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 cpu cooler. On the Thermalright site, it states that the 'Crazy Cool' backplate has to be removed on some Gigabyte motherboards. I still am unsure what this part is. Do the later revision Gigabyte boards not have this? I went to the Gigabyte home page and to the most recent P35 motherboard pages and there is no mention of 'Crazy Cool' (backplates).

    I might just consider the DS3R and P5K-E as cheap alternatives with the Gigabyte board being slightly cheaper in that series. I don't want to mess with taking hardware parts off if they are there for a reason. I prefer good cooling so I thought I'd go for the best board at cooling if the price wasn't much more compared to another board.
  9. Never really heard of a "Crazy Cool" backplate. Sounds more like something that would come with the cooler.

    You can always go to Newegg and click on the picture. The will have a backview of the board along with a view of the included extras.
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