Pipe Dreams: Six P35-DDR3 Motherboards Compared

BIOS And Overclocking

Current BIOS provides only 500 MHz maximum bus clock (FSB2000) on a chipset that's easily expected to exceed this speed using certain processor models.

Voltage selection is far more liberal, with DRAM as high as 2.80 Volts and CPU Core voltage increases up to 0.7875 volts above standard settings.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
FSB Frequency 200-500 MHz (1 MHz)
Clock Multiplier Adjustment Yes
DRAM Ratios FSB clock x 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0
PCIe Clock 100-200 MHz (1 MHz)
CPU Vcore Default - +0.7875 Volts (0.0125 Volts)
CPU FSB Voltage 1.175-1.575 Volts (0.025 Volts)
Northbridge (MCH) 1.250 -1.625 Volts (0.025 Volts)
Southbridge (ICH) 1.50 - 1.70 Volts (0.10 Volts)
DRAM Voltage 1.50 - 2.800 Volts (0.04 - 0.17 Volts)
CAS Latency Range
tCAS: 5-8; tRCD: 3-8; tRP: 3-10; tRAS: 9-24

The P35 Diamond allowed an early-revision Core 2 Duo E6700 to reach the same 3.46 GHz limit previously seen on other high-end boards, and dropping the processor's multiplier to 6x allowed an increase to 459 MHz. The P35 Diamond set a new record for a processor that doesn't take well to high bus speeds.

Accessories

MSI shipped its board prior to developing an accessory kit, but promised an X-Fi card in addition to onboard audio. When asked why it was working so hard to keep its onboard audio solution, another part came to light:

What looks like a PCI modem is neither PCI nor a modem. The Realtek SkyTel VoIP card uses a custom connector below the motherboard's bottom PCI slot to interface the ALC888T codec, and functions as a VoIP-to-telephone switch. Users can dial directly from a standard telephone handset though the VoIP card for low-cost calling, and the second jack allows automatic switching between VoIP and a landline should your high-speed network connection fail (or your computer is turned off). Though MSI does not yet have a comprehensive list of programs compatible with its VoIP card, the company recently confirmed Skype support.

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  • Anonymous
    Dont get any biostar mobo, they all have capacitor problems in my experience.
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  • Anonymous
    Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R support up to 4GB DDR3 memory. However, could 8GBs 2x4GB DDR3 modules be used as long as it is within the top 1333 limit on the board?
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