The original EP43-DS3 motherboard features socket LGA 775 CPU support for compatibility with Intel Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium Dual-Core and Celeron processors. The DS3 supports a FSB (Front Side Bus) of 1333, 1066, and 800 MHz regularly as well as 1600MHz through overclocking. For memory it provides four 240 pin DIMM slots with support for dual channel DDR2 1200, 1066, 800 and 667 MHz up to a maximum of 16GB total.
The DS3 also sports the Realtek ALC888 codec providing audio support for 2, 4, 5.1, and 7.1-channel digital or analog high definition audio. Included expansion slots for hardware upgrades are as follows; 1 PCI-E x16 Gen 2.0, 1 PCI-E x4 Gen 1.0, 1 PCI-E and 4 PCI. The DS3 also includes 8 USB 2.0 ports with an extra internal header for up to 12 USB 2.0 ports total, ATA133 support, 6 SATA 3GB/s connectors, 2 system fan headers, 1 power fan header, 1 coaxial S/PDIF Out, 1 optical S/PDIF Out, 2 IEEE 1394a ports, and 1 RJ-45 port. Extra Gigabyte application support includes DualBIOS (2 onboard BIOS chips, one for backup), Easytune 6 overclocking software, and extra power saving functionality for all included hardware through Gigabytes dynamic energy saving technology. The Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3 was released on September 25, 2008 and has an MSRP of $149.99.