Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 provides many overclocking options, including dynamic overclocking, which is called C.I.A. 2 by Gigabyte, and can be set in five different levels: Cruise, Sports, Racing, Turbo and Full Thrust. During our review we disabled dynamic overclocking.
On Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (F7 BIOS) you will find the following overclocking options:
- FSB clock: Can be adjusted from 100 to 700 MHz in 1 MHz steps.
- PCI Express clock: Can be adjusted from 90 MHz to 150 MHz in 1 MHz steps.
- Memory Multiplier: Auto, 2, 2.5, 2.66, 3, 3.33 and 4+.
- CPU voltage: auto or from 0.51250 V to 1.59375 V in variable steps and also 1.6 V, 1.8 V and 2 V.
- Memory voltage: +0.1 V to +0.7 V in +0.1 V increments.
- PCI Express voltage: normal or +0.1 V.
- FSB voltage: normal, +0.1 V, +0.2 V or +0.3 V.
- Chipset voltage: normal, +0.1 V, +0.2 V or +0.3 V.
The PCI Express clock configuration is very important, as you can lock the PCI Express clock at a given value (100 MHz, for example). Usually when you increase the FSB clock you will automatically increase the PCI Express clock as well, and sometimes your overclocking will be limited not by the CPU but by the devices connected to the PCI Express bus. Thus with this option you can increase the probability of setting a higher overclocking.
We could only one feature missing: a separated clock configuration for the x16 PCI Express slot. But we think that the features present will satisfy almost all users. Of course if you want even more overclocking options, you will need to buy a high-end motherboard.
A very obscure thing about this motherboard is that to adjust memory timings you need to press Control F1 at the setup main menu. Only after doing this memory timings options will be available on the same screen shown in Figure 5.
With this motherboard we could increase the FSB clock of our Core 2 Duo E6700 from 266 MHz to 308 MHz and the system worked just fine. We locked the PCI Express bus at 100 MHz and configured the memory as DDR2-800 in order to keep them under their specs.
The overclocking we achieved represents a 15.79% increase on the CPU internal clock, making our 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo E6700 to run at 3.08 GHz. The performance measured by PCMark05 increased 8% and the performance measured by Quake 4 increased 3.87% with this overclocking.
This was a better overclocking than the one we achieved with MSI P965 Platinum (306 MHz) but worse than the one we could achieve with ASUS P5B (316 MHz).
It is very important to keep in mind that our overclocking is limited by the overclocking capability of the CPU we used, a Core 2 Duo E6700. Also, the CPU overclocking capability is not only defined by the CPU model, but also by its production batch. You may achieve better results with different CPUs and even with the same CPU model but from a different batch.
We didn’t play with voltage adjustments or any other fancy adjustments, so you may achieve a better overclocking than we did with more time and patience.