Despite the fact that benchmarks showed a mixed bag in terms of performance, coming up with a conclusion for the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 turned out to be surprisingly simple. It is the most user friendly and feature packed (and I mean functional features) motherboard I have come across to date that will appeal to the gamer or overclocker and even the criticising hardware connoisseur. It may not be as quick as the 975 based offerings in 2D arithmetic intensive applications, but the difference on the desktop is defintely less tangible than when you are running around in Oblivion.
Gigabyte has struck a successful formula by packing in enough options for the users to tweak, and offered impressive 3D performance (for a mainstream chipset especially) for that weekend fragfest at your local LANParty. You can show it off there and elicit wows from your friends who can appreciate engineering overkill in the right areas. Despite that, I am glad to say that the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 does end off with a bloated design.
If I could get my hands on a Conroe CPU now and need to look for a motherboard to go along with it, the GA-965P-DQ6 should trick the money out of my pockets before I know it. Here is a motherboard which I have returned and I am still itching for, which is really quite a rare phenomenon indeed.
I do have complaints about the nonsensical layout of some connections. For one, some of the SATA2 ports are susceptible to being blocked by longer graphics accelerators (such as the nVIDIA 7950GX2) when such graphics accelerators are installed on the PCIe X4 slot. Dual Gigabit LAN would have been another nice-to-have which was not included. Then again, no motherboard is perfect, but the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 comes close. Close enough for it to garner 80 VRMarks from us. ;)
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