Onto the Linux and Solaris compatibility for the Gigabyte 965P-DS3. This board's predecessor had a few issues with the JMicron controller that was integrated to the board, but luckily we did not have any major issues with the P35! However, we did have one issue with the Realtek RTL8111/8168B Gigabit Ethernet controller. Ubuntu was unable to turn on the controller after Windows set it to disabled state instead of Wake on LAN state (don't worry; we just used Windows for the BIOS flashing). The fix is to unplug your computer, press the power button to drain the power, and then boot it back. Then enable Wake on LAN in the Windows Device Manager and it should boot fine. Enabling LAN boot ROM in the BIOS might also help for some people. Those of you who will be planning to use this board (or any board with this controller) on a dual boot Windows machine will most likely have this issue; but those who simply plan to run Linux will not have an issue.
Fedora Rawhide 20070904 compatibility was very good. The LiveCD was able to boot and connect to the network flawlessly. It was also the only distribution out of the three (Ubuntu and Knoppix were the other two) that displayed the resolution correctly on the first boot (1920 x 1200) on an LCD display. The compatibility with Knoppix 5.1 was also very good. It was not able to boot on the default mode, however. It was forced to default to VESA mode in order to get the video started on the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS. This is an understandable issue and has little to do with the motherboard since GeForce 8 support was only added recently to the "nv" driver. Ethernet was activated automatically and we were able to connect to the network without any trouble. Sun's Solaris Check Tool was used to verify Solaris Compatibility. Solaris drivers were available for all components! The Realtek Ethernet driver, however, is a third party driver and so the Ethernet may not work out-of-the-box.
The system setup included an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300, OCZ Flex XLC DDR2 memory, Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTS 640MB, PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W, and four Western Digital hard drives. The performance of the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P was simply superb and this Intel P35-backed motherboard had no major Linux problems. We had run the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P motherboard with Quake 4, Doom 3, and our other motherboard benchmarks and ran into no problems or performance shortcomings. However, due to technical issues with the GA-965P-DS3 there are not comparative Linux benchmarks in this article, but we are looking at delivering additional benchmarks from P35 motherboards in the near future. With this also being our first Intel P35 motherboard review, we have focused largely upon the Linux and Solaris compatibility in this review.