Shootout at the Core 2 Corral: Seven P965 Motherboards Compared


Beginning overclockers may appreciate Gigabyte's C.I.A.2 automatic overclocking, which can be set to Disabled, Cruise, Sports, Racing, Turbo and Full Thrust modes, but serious overclockers will probably ignore them. Gigabyte extends the FSB frequency selection to an unrealistically high 600 MHz, and is the least expensive board in our lineup to support CPU multiplier adjustment.

Also noteworthy are the full selection of memory speeds, and a broad memory latency selection.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
FSB Frequency 100 - 600MHz (1MHz)
Clock Multiplier Adjustment Yes
PCIe Clock 90-150MHz (1MHz)
CPU Vcore 0.5125-1.6000V (0.0625V), 2.0000V
Memory 1.80 - 2.40V (0.10V)
FSB Voltage 1.20-1.50V (0.10V)
Northbridge (MCH) 1.25/1.45/1.55V
Southbridge (ICH) N/A
PCIe Voltage default, +0.10V
Available Memory Ratios (DRAM:FSB)
DDR2-533 (1:1) Yes
DDR2-667 (5:4) Yes
DDR2-711 (4:3) Yes
DDR2-800 (3:2) Yes
DDR2-888 (5:3) Yes
DDR2-1066 (2:1) Yes
CAS Latency Range
tCAS: 3-6; tRCD: 1-15; tRP: 1-15; tRAS: 1-31; Command Rate: N/A

Our Take

Potential buyers shouldn't be fooled by the wide range of adjustments when some of them obviously won't work. More insidious, however, is the fact that this particular board wouldn't reach the same stable speed as other brands using our Core 2 Duo E6700's default 10x multiplier. After being stopped at a stable 338 MHz rather than the expected 346 MHz, we tried dropping the multiplier. We were able to increase our bus speed up to 358 MHz before the system again became completely unstable.

All failed overclocks required a BIOS reset.

Documentation & Software Quick Installation Guide
Intel CPU Installation Guide
User's Manual
Driver & Tools CD
Hardware 4x Serial ATA cables
1x 80-conductor ATA cable
1x Floppy Cable
1x Case Badge/Sticker Kit
1x I/O Panel Shield

Special Features

Gigabyte's EasyTune 5 application provides manual and load-sensitive automatic overclocking tools, manual and automatic fan setting controls, and hardware monitoring. If things go seriously wrong, Xpress Recovery2 hard disk backup and recovery tools can restore the drives.

Most companies now support updating BIOS from Windows, and Gigabyte also adds its "FaceWizard" application for customizing the boot screen image.

Create a new thread in the UK Article comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
No comments yet
Comment from the forums
    Your comment