Five flavors of Intel's P35 Express compared

Motherboards from Abit, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI

WHEN WE FIRST REVIEWED Intel's P35 Express back in May, we called the chipset a solid successor to the P965. That might not sound like an enthusiastic endorsement, but the P965 Express has been a fantastic platform for mainstream users and enthusiasts alike, leaving the P35 with rather large shoes to fill. Part of what made the P965 so successful was the wave of motherboards based on it that offered competitive performance, loads of overclocking potential, CrossFire multi-GPU support, and thoughtful onboard extras while consuming relatively little power and operating largely in silence. Those boards came with relatively affordable price tags, too, making the P965 the darling of the enthusiast community.

To find out if the first P35 Express boards are up to the lofty standards set by their predecessors, we've rounded up five examples from Abit, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI. Each board puts a unique spin on the P35, whether it's with support for DDR3 memory, elegant heatpipe cooling, extensive fan-control and hardware-monitoring options, integrated Wi-Fi, or flexible eSATA support. The question, of course, is whether any of them can put together the mix of performance, features, and affordability that made the best P965 boards such standouts.

Join us as we subject the Abit IP35 Pro, Asus P5K and P5K3 Deluxe, Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6, and MSI P35 Platinum to a punishing gauntlet of tests in Windows Vista x64 to determine which boards measure up, which fall short, and whether one stands out as the pick of the litter.

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