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Gigabyte 970A-DS3P review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £50
inc VAT

It doesn't have many ports, but this ATX AM3+ board is a good foundation for an AMD FX processor


AM3+, ATX, AMD 970 chipset, supports: FX, Phenom II, Athlon II

If you’re looking to build an AM3+ system, Gigabyte’s 970A-DS3 could be the ATX motherboard for you. It’s compatible with AMD’s AM3+ FX processors as well as AM3 Phenom II and Athlon II models and uses the AMD 970 north bridge chipset and AMD SB950 south bridge chipset.

Gigabyte 970A-DS3P

Measuring 225x305mm, there’s plenty of room for expansion, as the 970A-DS3 comes with two PCI-E x16 slots. The first slot runs at the full x16 speed, so it should be the first choice for a single graphics card installation; the second slot runs at x4 speed. This is only likely to cause a bottleneck if you run dual high-end graphics cards in CrossFireX mode. In addition there are three PCI-E x1 slots and PCI slots.

You’ll need to install at least one graphics card, as the 970A-DS3 has no display outputs. A lot of PC users will do this anyway as most processors’ on-chip graphics aren’t good enough to run games or watch 4K video footage, for example, but it does mean you’ll have to factor in the extra cost of a graphics card if you don’t have one already.

Gigabyte 970A-DS3P

Instead, all you get on the rear panel are six USB2 and two USB3 ports, two PS/2 ports for older mice and keyboards, a Gigabit Ethernet port and three 3.5mm audio jacks. Bear in mind that it doesn’t have any USB3 headers for adding more USB3 ports at the front of your PC, so you’ll have to make do with its three USB2 headers if you need more ports, or install a USB3 card.

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Basic Specifications

Processor socketAM3+
Form factorATX
Processor supportFX, Phenom II, Athlon II
Processor external bus100MHz
Chipset north bridgeAMD 970
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB950
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory speedPC3-16000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory32GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information


Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots3
PCI slots2
Fan headers4
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports0
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB950 (6x SATA III, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek High Definition Audio (3x analogue)
USB2 ports / headers8/6
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports1x PS/2
Other portsnone
Cables included2x SATA
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment7,900MHz

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