Covering the Intel P35 Northbridge is Gigabyte's Silent Pipe cooler. This passive cooler may obstruct some larger water blocks or heatsinks so ensure compatibility with your cooling solution before using this motherboard. In the upper left hand corner of the motherboard is the 8-pin ATX12V power connector.
We felt Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2 deserved some extra attention. Back in the 965P-DS3, they touted a feature called Ultra Durable. This meant the motherboard used All-Solid Capacitors. These were high quality Japanese-made capacitors made of solid organic polymers instead of the electrolytic ones that go pop and spew toxic chemicals everywhere (yea been there done that). They are also supposed to last longer. A solid capacitor with Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2 is supposed to last up to 18x longer than an electrolytic capacitor while a solid capacitor without Ultra Durable 2 has an operation lifetime a third of that.
Ultra Durable 2 adds upon Ultra Durable by adding two new features: Low RDS(on) MOSFETs and Ferrite Core Chokes. Low RDS(on) aims to solve the problems we had with the flaming hot 100+ °C MOSFETs. Basically these transistors have lower "on" resistances and thus dissipate less heat. Lower resistance also facilitates faster current charge and discharge for better performance. A Low RDS MOSFET should run 16% cooler than a standard MOSFET. Ferrite Core Chokes improve energy efficiency by using a different compound, which holds energy for much longer than Iron Core Chokes at high frequencies. The Ferrite Core Choke should lose 25% less energy than an Iron Core Choke. If you remember, Gigabyte made a display of the temperatures on each of these components and showed them to be much lower than the competition, an Asus P5K board.
Installation was straightforward. The back plate of the P35-DS3P is actually exactly the same as Gigabyte's 965P-DS3. After everything was installed, it simply booted, unlike the dead 965P-DS3. The 965P version did not like the OCZ Flex XLC RAM one bit because of the high voltage (2.3V). We had to trick it into booting by using one stick and then set the voltage. Apparently they fixed this issue in the P35-DS3P! The BIOS is very intuitive, but just remember after you get into BIOS, press CTRL + F1 for all of the advanced tweaking features.