Gigabyte P35-S3L – Features
Now for the cheapest motherboard included in our roundup, the new Gigabyte P35-S3L costs just $90 making it $30 cheaper than the Abit IP35-E and ASUS P5K-SE motherboards. Interesting despite being so cheap this motherboard actually offers pretty much everything you will find on the more expensive Abit and ASUS motherboards. Gigabyte has managed to include a reasonable amount of features such as a single Gigabit LAN controller and 8-channel audio.
Audio is delivered by a Realtek ALC888 controller which is a reasonably high-end option offering 8-channel support. The storage abilities of the P35-S3L have been severely crippled when compared to the other high-end boards as support for just four SATA ports exist without the option of RAID. This is due to the use of the ICH9 southbridge which does not support Intel's Matrix storage technology.
The Gigabyte P35-S3L features a 24-pin power connector along with a 4-pin 12v power connector and four DDR2 memory DIMM slots supporting up to 8GB of either DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 memory in dual-channel mode. For expansion the P35-S3L includes a single PCI Express x16 port along with three PCIe x1 ports and three traditional PCI ports. This means Crossfire multi-GPU technology is not supported on this motherboard which is not an issue really. Given how much it costs to purchase two Radeon graphics cards I am sure anyone considering this option will be prepared to spend more on the motherboard.