Gigabyte 650SLI-DS4 Appreciation/Over-clocking/Information ThreadPrice: $139.99 Newegg, $143.49 ZipZoomFly *Free Shipping*
Seeing as how some people appreciate ASUS 6 series Nforce boards, I decided a good board I've seen in action deserves a little appreciation and information considering the performance it has and the incredibly competitive price.
My first notice, and I know it's a bit minuscule, but it's the IDE connectors. It's a 650i board with two IDE connectors, which means people with IDE hard-drives or more than one optical drive aren't in too bad of shape.
The second thing I noticed is the very nice northbridge heatsink.
Not only is it a 30 row heatsink with the most cover space than any other 650 board, but it also has this:
On the back of the C55 chipset is this copper base heatsink. The cooling of this board literally puts most other 650i boards to shame. Even some that are as much as $20-50 more than the Gigabyte version.
Next thing I noticed was, all solid capacitors. Something that's a bit of a rarity on budget boards, but seems to be graciously present in most of Gigabyte's budget enthusiast boards.
Another thing you'll notice is that this board has a 6 phase power base for the CPU with 2 mosfets splitting load for the CPU.
Over-Clocking/ BIOS / Enthusiast features
Reading the reviews closer, I noticed a few stand-out features about this board, even compared to 965P enthusiast boards and even 680i boards:
Up to 2.375 Voltage for the CPU in BIOS
Frequency adjustment up to 150mhz for PCI-Express lanes
Saving and Loading BIOS profiles
Southbridge and VTT Voltage adjustments
VR-Zone managed to get an amazing 520mhz FSB under no physical modifications of the board.
This board at the moment, doesn't support E4300 with strap mods, so if you do the silver pencil mod with the E4300, you won't get the 266 FSB strap, it'll boot at 200 FSB.
HTT and Southbridge adjustments play a huge role in reaching 520mhz FSB.
This is going to be the board of my choice in my next build, and I'd love to start getting some information going so maybe we can steamroll its popularity on the board a bit. I kind of binge when I see people recommend ASUS P5N-E which costs more than the Gigabyte and it doesn't have solid caps, a 3 phase PWM, basic voltage control and a lower FSB max.
Pictures of the box for you guys-