Gigabyte continues to use Award Software's BIOS for their motherboards and the GA-P31-DS3L contained the usual options along with the Gigabyte Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker. The MB Intelligent Tweaker offers such options as a robust graphics booster, PCI Express frequency overclocking, C.I.A.2, system voltage adjustments, and other options designed to enhance the level of performance.
With the Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L motherboard we had used an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor, 2GB of OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2-800 memory, Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT 256MB graphics card, and Seagate 200GB SATA hard drive. Among the Linux distributions we had loaded up were Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn, Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon daily (2007-09-11), and Fedora 7 with the Linux 22.214.171.124 kernel. With all of these Linux distributions tested, this P31-backed motherboard had worked well without any compatibility problems like we had seen just after the introduction of Intel's 9XX Chipsets. With our testing thus far Intel's P series has worked out of the box with any recent desktop Linux distribution.
For seeing how Intel's P31 + ICH7 perform under Linux we had compared it to the ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv motherboard, which uses Intel's P965 + ICH8DH Chipset. Benchmarks had included Enemy Territory, Quake 4, LAME compilation, LAME encoding, timed disk reads, Gzip Compression, and RAMspeed. Both motherboards were compared with the Core 2 Duo E6400 running at its stock speed and the Linux distribution used was Fedora 7 with the Linux 126.96.36.199 kernel.