In this section we take the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 and install it in a standard, very popular ATX case in order to see if any of the design decisions made by the Gigabyte engineers will affect the installation process or accessory usage. This section was started with my Asus A8R32-MVP motherboard review and received a lot of positive feedback.
As you can see here, the 965-DS3 is a bit shorter than some other recent motherboards we have looked at. After the initial installation, there aren’t any issue that have popped up yet and if anything there is more room thanks to the motherboard’s size.
Installing the case light and switch connectors was a bit of pain because the markings on the PCB are difficult to see with the board already installed in the case. Also, the connections for the audio front panel are located just to the left of the north bridge and might get in the way if your case is setup differently than ours. Again, we were able to connect the additional USB headers the case has but not the FireWire header: this board has none!
Here you can see what I am talking about — three available USB connectors on the motherboard in yellow, but nada on the IEEE1394 connections.
Adding in the memory and CPU heatsink (forgot in the previous installation shots), and attaching the power connections shows no immediate problems.
Adding in the video card and sound card, in this case an X1900 XTX 512 MB card using a dual slot cooler, you can see there is still TONS of room for additional items. Keep in mind that in our other recent motherboard reviews, we were either running SLI or CrossFire setups, while this motherboard does not support either, so extra room is inevitable.
Looking at the back of the case after installation, you can again see the amount of extra room. There are still two x1 PCIe slots and two legacy PCI slots open, so the expansion area is a big plus looking at the Gigabyte 965P-DS3.