GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard Review

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GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard Review

Using the GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard for a good low end or Small Business server, low cost, high quality product.

The reason for purchasing this motherboard was to upgrade my main server, the sever had a PIII 999MHZ dual processor/motherboard in it since 2001.GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard

The GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard was a second choice see the Intel™ DP43BF Motherboard review.

The old motherboard was not failing it was just getting slow, the memory capacity had been maxed out about ten years ago when I first built the computer.

This motherboard will accept a CPU from the Pentium D all the way through the Core 2 Quad Extreme. Unlike the Intel™ DP43BF it will not accept the Xenon processor.

One of the reasons for picking the GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard over other motherboards in the same class is the number of slots.

It has 5 PCI slots and 4 DDR 3 memory slots, most other ATX form factor motherboards have 2 PCI and 2 to 4 PCIx or PCIe slots instead. Although this motherboard does have one PCIx or PCIe slot and the USB is version 2 so adding a USB 3 will be an add on card.

At this time I have the motherboard configured with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor and 8 GB of DDR 3 1066 MHz memory I may upgrade the processor to a Quad.

Using this motherboard as a server has not caused any configuration conflicts as the Intel™ DP43BF  motherboard did.

Specifications for the GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard:

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CPU Socket Type LGA 775
CPU Type   Core 2 Extreme/Quad/Duo / Pentium D/ Celeron
FSB Chipsets 1600(O.C.)/1333/1066/800MHz 
North Bridge Intel™ P43   
South Bridge Intel™ ICH10  Memory  
Number of Memory Slots   4?40pin 
Memory  Standard DDR3 1600/1333/1066 
Maximum Memory Supported  16GB 
Channel Supported Dual Channel  Expansion Slots
PCI Express x1 1  s 2.0 x16 1 
PCI Slots 5  Storage Devices
PATA 1 x ATA133 2 Dev. Max 
SATA 3Gb/s 6  
Audio Chipset Realtek ALC888   
Audio Channels 8 Channels  
LAN Chipset Realtek 8111D  Max LAN Speed 10/100/1000Mbps  Rear Panel Ports
PS/2 2
COM 1   
LPT 1   
USB 1.1/2.0 6 x USB 2.0   
S/PDIF Out 1 x Coaxial   
Audio Ports 3 Ports  Onboard USB  
Onboard USB  6 x USB 2.0  Physical Spec - 3x USB Power Boost
Form Factor ATX   
Dimensions 12" x 8.27"   
Power Pin 24 Pin  Features  
Features On/Off Charge Technology   

Problems:

One of the reasons for upgrading the motherboard in the server was to increase the "bandwidth" of the network from 100 MBPS to 1 GBPS over all connect speed.

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The embedded NIC (Network Interface Card) on the motherboard would have been fine except it would not connect to the switch which was a 100 MBPS, auto detect and the setting of 100 MBPS with Full Duplex locked up the network after a few minutes, disabling the embedded NIC and installing some spare NIC's I have caused other problems. ( The only thing I can think of is there is a hardware architecture change on the PCI bus since these NIC's were manufactured, pre 2003 for most of them) because with two new 1 GBPS NIC's the problem has been resolved.

When I change over from the Intel™ DP43BF motherboard due to Server OS incompatibilities all I had to do was run the cd that came with the motherboard to install some new drivers, the chip set is the same one as on the Intel™ DP43BF motherboard.

After that I ran the Windows Update service and the server was ready to use. Pretty easy considering the troubleshooting and work I had done with the Intel™ DP43BF motherboard.

Rating:

I am rating the GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard 9 out of 10. A 9 because of the real estate on the board is used to the full capacity, the board has plenty of PCI and one PCIe/x slots. It lacks embedded video, this may be a concern if you don't have a video card when doing an upgrade, you will have to add that cost to your upgrade.

It does have a floppy drive controller and an interface connector, how ever be aware that it is on the left hand edge of the motherboard and if you have a tower case the floppy may have to be moved for a conventional floppy drive cable to work. With the PS\2 connectors you can use either the PS\2 mouse and keyboard ports or a USB mouse/keyboard setup.

With a 3 year Manufacture's warranty and having dealt with GIGABYTE in the past I think I have a motherboard that will last another ten years or better.

Other Notes:

I am using this motherboard for a server Operating System, I chose this motherboard after the Intel™ DP43BF motherboard had conflicts and incompatibilities with the Server Operating System. With the exception of the 1 GBPS NIC and the lack of backward compatibility with the PIC NIC's I find this motherboard a very good value, mind you not a great value, a good value.

Update: 07/27/12 Upgraded the processor to an Intel™ Q6600 with out any problems.

Update: 07/16/14 Upgraded the processor to an Intel™ Q8400 with out any problems, this motherboard is capable of using overclocking but I have decided to use the default settings because the computer has a server Operating System installed and runs 24/7. This processor ran at 3.17 GHz for over three years so I know it is capable of that speed.

Update: 02/12/15 Upgraded the processor to an Intel™ Q9550, with default settings, the speed difference is noticeable with a few of the Server programs.

If you need or are going to build a server this GIGABYTE P43T-ES3G Motherboard is a good choice.



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