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Pipe Dreams: Six P35-DDR3 Motherboards Compared

All the boards in today's review were so close in performance that benchmark results can't accurately determine a winner, because the differences are smaller than the benchmark's degree of accuracy. There must be a better comparison method.

Overclocking results for the top four boards were also very close. Very few people will be willing to sacrifice a favorite feature for a bus speed difference of a few megahertz. So that leaves features as the only good measure to determine a leader.

Asus offers the "killer feature" of a wireless card that doesn't consume a card slot, on a board that also features dual gigabit networking. MSI provides the killer feature of VoIP through the sound system to a standard telephone handset, and intends to add an X-Fi audio card for audio enthusiasts. Gigabyte's killer feature is its 8+2 channel DTS Connect enabled audio codec, which allows live multi-channel system sounds to be encoded to a single digital audio output in addition to the independently-streamed headphone and speaker channels of other high-end parts. Which feature is most impressive? All of the above.

And that's why I can't pick a board for you. Each buyer must determine which "killer feature" set best suits his or her needs.

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