We took a look at GA-EP31-DS3L, a motherboard from Gigabyte based on Intel P31 chipset targeted to the mainstream market, coming with a lot of features and a relatively low cost. Check it out!

Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3LFigure 1: Box.

The motherboard box announces the main features available on this motherboard:  support for the 1,333 MHz front side bus and support for DDR2-1066 memories (under chipset overclocking, since Intel P31 officially only supports memories up to DDR2-800), besides being “Quad-Core Optimized” (which, honestly, means nothing) and “Windows Vista Certified.” In Figure 2, you can see the big stickers that come attached to the board announcing that all the capacitors are solid and that this board has a feature called “Dynamic Energy Saver,” which promises to up to 70% in energy savings.

Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3LFigure 2: Motherboard with its stickers.

Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3LFigure 3: Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3L.

GA-EP31-DS3L uses the standard ATX form factor and a very simple passive cooling solution (i.e., no fan) on its chipset, both on the north and on the south bridge chips. In fact fancier cooling solutions are usually a feature exclusively found on high-end motherboards.

The silk screen layer from this motherboard announces the support for the 1,600 MHz front side bus through overclocking.

Now let’s take a closer look at this motherboard.

Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3LFigure 4: Overall view.

Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3LFigure 5: Another angle.