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Does anyone know how to decipher the name of Gigabyte motherboards? For example, what does GA-EP35C-DS3R stand for?

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GIGABYTE use a special system for naming their motherboards. For example the GA-P35-DS3R. The first segment, GA, simply denotes that it's manufactured by GIGABYTE. The second segment indicates what chipset it is using, in this case Intel's P35. The third part shows what features the motherboard has. This segment mostly contains a number of abbreviations.

Available 1st segment abbreviations:

  • If "M" appears behind the chipset code, it is a mATX board.
  • If "M" appears in front of the chipset number it means it is for an AMD processor, but has a non-AMD chipset. If the abbreviation in front of the chipset is "MA", it is for an AMD processor and has an AMD chipset.

Available 2nd segment abbreviations:

  • E - (Dynamic Energy Saver) - Energy saving features
  • T - Only DDR3 SDRAM support
  • C - Both DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM support
  • No T or C abbreviations mean that the motherboard only has DDR2 SDRAM support.

Available 3rd segment abbreviations:

  • D (Durability) - Indicates that the motherboard uses only solid state capacitors.
  • UD (Ultra Durable 3) - Introduces 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers.
  • S2 (Smart, Safe) - Various features such as Q-Flash BIOS etc.
  • S3 (Smart, Speed, Safe) - Same as above, but includes overclocking features.
  • S4 (Silent Pipe, Smart, Speed, Safe) - Same as above, but uses heat pipe cooling.
  • S5 (CrossFire, Silent Pipe, Smart, Speed, Safe) - Same as above, but with CrossFire support.
  • Q6 (Quad BIOS, Quad Cooling, Quad E-SATA2, Quad Triple Phase, Quad-Core Optimized, Quad DDR2 Slots) - Indicates quad-core optimiziation.

Available 4th segment abbreviations:

  • R - 2 extra SATAII ports and possibly RAID support. May have FireWire port. May not have ATI CrossFire support. (i.e GA-P35-DS3R)
  • G - Solid capacitors for the CPU Volt Regulator Module.
  • H - HDMI port.
  • L - Probably "Lite". Fewer SATAII ports. No RAID support. No FireWire ports. No ATI CrossFire support. Heatsink cooling. (i.e GA-P35-DS3L). It could also indicate Gigabit LAN (as in GA-G31M-S2L, versus GA-G31M-S2C which has support for 10/100Mbps Ethernet).
  • P - Silent Pipe, RAID, Extra PCI Express slots, extra SATAII ports. (i.e GA-EP45-DS3P)

So a GA-EP35C-DS3R would be:

  • A Gigabyte manufactured board (obviously)
  • Has energy saving features
  • P35 chipset
  • DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM support
  • Uses only solid state capacitors
  • Smart, Speed, Safe - Various features such as Q-Flash BIOS
  • 2 extra SATAII ports and possibly RAID support. May have FireWire port. May not have ATI CrossFire support. (i.e GA-P35-DS3R)

Source - Gigabyte Motherboard naming conventions.

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