Storage Performance and Conclusions
I didn’t expect anything less from Intel’s chipset department but we had to thrown in some SATA and USB storage testing to make sure those features hadn’t lost their touch while gaining on others.
The new P35 chipset’s power consumption is just SLIGHTLY higher than the NVIDIA chipset according to my testing and the DDR3 motherboard actually uses MORE power even though the memory itself uses less voltage than DDR2. Differences in motherboard features and manufacturing are probably to blame there.
My initial testing with DDR3 memory technology is promising; unlike the move from DDR1 to DDR2 where performance gains took months to realize, here we are seeing small, model gains at launch. In reality though, the need to move from DDR2 to DDR3 won’t really be reached until we hit the 1333 MHz memory speeds and maybe even 1600 MHz. Until then, the added latency of the new technology will probably cause some slowdowns in things like gaming and random-data tasks.
The DDR2-based P35 motherboard options appeared to be very robust as well and should you be on the verge of upgrading your system to a Core 2 Duo based configuration, picking the new Intel P35 chipset motherboards with DDR2 support is going to keep you going performance wise and still offer a durable upgrade forecast. Both the Asus P5K Deluxe and the Gigabyte P35-DQ6 motherboards were impressive, but the robust heat pipes on the Gigabyte motherboard paired with the added overclocking options that it has as well makes it my best choice for the first wave of P35 products.
We’ll have to wait and see how the prices work out, but since these boards are so new, we won’t be seeing retail prices for another week or two. After they are for sale we can take into consideration the pricing on these competing products to make a more well-rounded decision. The new DDR3 memory will certainly add quite a bit to the price and it could end up being VERY hard to find seeing how much trouble we had just getting samples in this late during the launch. But all things being equal, all four of the motherboards I tested today would make an excellent base for a new gaming PC.
Update: Prices are starting to show up for these boards already! The Gigabyte P35-DQ6 can be found here in our pricing engine priced for around $275.
If you have any questions or comments on this review of the product itself, join in the discussion at this thread of our forums!
Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on the Intel P35 motherboards, and anything else you may want to buy!