INTEL‘S B65 CHIPSET is intended for affordable business oriented desktop PCs, but it seems like Gigabyte has figured that it should also be an attractive low cost alternative to Intel’s P67 and H67 chipsets for consumers. As such the company has launched the GA-P65A-UD3 based on the chipset which is a no-frills board, but without being featureless.
Although the B65 chipset includes support for the integrated graphics in the Sandy Bridge processors, Gigabyte has chosen not to include any display connectivity on the P65A-UD3 board. Instead we’re looking at what should end up being an entry level board below Gigabyte’s P67 models and the equally odd PH67 boards (H67 boards lacking display connectivity), as the B65 chipset is a “feature light” solution compared to the P67 and H67.
As such, the P65A-UD3 only sports a single SATA 6Gbps port – as the B65 chipset only supports one – and five SATA 3Gbps ports. There’s no RAID support either, although the B65 chipset has native AHCI support. The chipset also supports two USB 2.0 ports less than Intel’s other desktop chipsets so far, but overall it’s not as feature stripped as the upcoming entry level H61 consumer chipset, as it still has eight lanes of PCI Express bandwidth available. As with Intel’s other business platform chipsets, the B65 chipset also has native PCI support.
The slot layout of the P65A-UD3 consists of a two x16 PCI Express slots, although the secondary slot only offers four lanes worth of bandwidth, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots. Due to native PCI support, there’s no need for a PCI Express to PCI bridge which lowers the cost. The power regulation consists of a simple six phase solution, but as the B65 chipset doesn’t support overclocking, this is hardly going to be a limitation. The board also sports two USB 2.0 pin headers for four additional ports and a serial port pin header.
Around the back are a pair of PS/2 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and 7.1-channel audio jacks with coaxial S/PIDF out. Overall this isn’t an exciting motherboard loaded with cutting edge features, but if the price is right it could be an affordable alternative for those that aren’t interested in overclocking, but want to use a discrete graphics rather than Intel’s integrated solution in combination with an H67 board.S|A
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