The Gigabyte DS3 and D9 Issue

Some people know what I’m talking about when I say the Gigabyte DS3 has an issue when it comes to running D9 RAM. Others of you don’t know what I’m talking about, so I’ll start from the beginning

When people refer to D9 RAM, they are referring to any brand and model of RAM that has Micron D9 IC chips. They are those little black things you see on the RAM, if you don’t have heat spreaders. The D9 series of microchips are considered the best for us overclockers. They tend to always overclock the farthest on tighter timings than anything else.

The Gigabyte DS3 has an issue when it comes to running this RAM. Anything over 450 FSB is hit and miss. Some people get higher, while other are stuck at 450 FSB. Until a few days ago, I ran my DS3 at 470 FSB orthos stable and 475 was the max I could boot from the BIOS. I could run 4-4-4-10 timings at a 1:1 ratio or 5-5-5-12 at a 4:5 ratio. I’m using Team Group Xtreeme DDR667 1 gig kit. I now have since sold my DS3 for a P5B-Deluxe.

From the F1 BIOS to the F8 BIOS, Gigabyte has brought much improvement to overclocking and working on the issue with D9. The release of the F8i beta BIOS brought greater overclocking to all. That is how I got to 470 FSB from 450 FSB with the F6. F7 only caused problems, so I never used it. There is a new BIOS out now, the F9, and over at Anandtech they report over 500 FSB overclocks now.

Gary Keys from Anandtech reported that after a conference with Gigabyte, the issue with D9 RAM has been linked to a problem resistor on the board. It’s been a few months since Gary first made the statement and there has been no word since. I sent Gary Keys a private message asking him if he had any more info. He responded by saying “We are still trying to figure out which resistor it is, there are three that we believe it could be at this time. Gigabyte has not provided the information yet.”

To that I am going to conclude that if you think that a rev.2 of the DS3 will have fixed the D9 issue, I’m not sure it will. It seems Gigabyte still does not know exactly which resistor is the problem. Unless Gigabyte has replaced all three resistors, which they might have, then the issue is yet to be solved.

The idea behind knowing which resistor is so that a) Gigabyte can fix it, and b) to make a hard mod possible. The Gigabyte DS3 boards are really the only board in its price range. The Asus P5B-E is a great board but its limit of 2.1 Vdimm really constrains it. I don’t think the new revision of the P5B-E that has 2.4 v is out yet so unless you have low voltage RAM, the DS3 is still the only board that overclocks like mad for ~$140-150.

You can see my thread I had made on my DS3 experience HERE.. I loved my DS3 – it was a great board. I’m not trying to persuade anyone from buying the board – I am just trying to inform everyone about this issue.

Not many people know about this issue and I’m finding after the holidays more and more people are looking to buy a new C2D setup. Since the E4300 is not out yet, if you go with an E6300 you are going to run into some issues when you approach high FSBs.

Feel free to email me or post up on the forums if you need or want any more information on D9 RAM and the DS3 issue.

Steve Shelnutt

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