Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - The Overclockers Dream

Article Index
Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - The Overclockers Dream
Board Layout - Up Close
Board Features and Specs
An Overclocking Friendly BIOS
Overclocking the DQ6
Synthetic and Real-World Benchmarks
Game Benchmarking Begins
Wrapping Things Up - Conclusion

Product: Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 Motherboard
Provided By: MemoryExpress
Price: $279.95 CDN

Introduction:

We have been fortunate to be able to take a look at one the latest and greatest motherboards from Gigabyte today.  We are looking at one of the most expensive Intel 965P based motherboards on the market.  This board uses a very innovative cooling system and boasts the claim 6-Quad.  All these extras make this board one of the most features laden boards around as the price tag indicates.  This board is geared for the enthusiast and today we are going to see if it hits the market it's aiming for or if it falls a little short.

Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - Box
Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - Box

In the past, I've personally not been that impressed with Gigabyte boards as they have failed within the first year without exception.  Gigabyte has tried to improve the life of this product with an excellent cooling solution, exception voltage regulation and control as well as using all solid-state capacitors instead on electrolytic capacitors.  This should make the board stable, reliable and last a long time.  We will test a couple of these in our review, but only time will tell if this boards stands up to the punishment of an enthusiasts tweaking.

Bundle & First Look:

The motherboard comes in a very large box.  It is almost twice as thick as a regular motherboard box and comes with a ton of extras.  If fact, there are so many extras we had to set up a couple of pictures to shot off everything that came in the box.

Bundle #1
 Bundle #1

Bundle #2
Bundle #2

eSATA is becoming more popular so it's forward thinking for Gigabyte to include a couple of eSATA brackets.

 

eSATA Package
eSATA Package

 

Gigabyte includes a total of four internal SATA cables, two eSATA cables, and two eSATA add-on brackets.  If all of these are plugged in, they will occupy six of the eight SATA ports on the motherboard.  I personally don't have any eSATA devices, but if I did I'd be pretty happy about this add-on.  As it stands, it's kind of a non-issue for many users.

Below is a picture of the multi-color 965P-DQ6 for your viewing pleasure.

Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - Board
 Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - Board

The layout of the Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 is pretty good. Gigabyte keeps the 24-pin power connector over at the edge of the board.  This helps clean up the large cable clutter from over top of the CPU area.  Also beside the main power connector is an auxiliary 4 pin Molex connector.  The secondary power connector is an 8pin connector that is on the other side of the CPU socket toward the rear I/O panel.  This is not the perfect place for the power connector, but it's located toward the top of the board so it keeps things fairly clear of the heatsink.

The SATA and IDE connectors are all located at the bottom right of the board.  Two SATA ports and the IDE port are powered by the JMicron controller as Intel doesn't natively support IDE anymore.  This board has USB and Firewire headers available as well.

The DIMM slots are located a little close to the top 16x PCIe connector and it could cause a few issues when you have a long graphics card installed.  You will still be able to add and remove RAM without removing the graphics card, but the clearance would be very slim.

On the next page we'll take a look at this board up close.