GIGABYTE produces several models with the P45 chipset. For this particular review, we will be taking a look at the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R (DDR2) version. This is one of GIGABYTE’s mainstream P45 variants. The board is stuffed full of hardware and software features, including their DES (dynamic energy saver) with 6-gears. There’s the standard “Ultra Durable 2” moniker, which according to GIGABYTE stands for excellent stability and longevity. Does this board stack up in the current mainstream market? Read on to find out.
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R Motherboard Review
Enthusiasts have experienced a rash of motherboard chipset releases as of late, with no shortage of such releases coming from the Intel camp alone. The new introductions have ranged from the X38, X48 and the P45. Compound that with the fact that both DDR2 and DDR3 flavors generally exist for each, and you have a large number of models making their way to the market. The P45 can be considered the spiritual successor to the P35(die shrunk from 90nm to 65nm), while playing host to a slew of new features. Intel’s P45 chipset, codenamed “Eaglelake” is designed and aimed at the mainstream and performance market. The P45 chipset also brings Intel’s ICH10R Southbridge to the table, and supports the latest Intel 45nm processors. Rounding out the P45 feature list is support for 1600 FSB, and DDR2 ram up to 1200Mhz, and DDR3 ram up to 1600Mhz. The only potential downside to the P45 variant, is that while two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots are provided, as soon as you utilize a dual GPU configuration, the x16 slots will work at the speed of x8. However, this is most likely not a limiting factor, as most Crossfire configurations will not oversaturated a dual X8 bus.
GIGABYTE produces several models with the P45 chipset, among these are the GA-EP45T-DS3R (DDR3) and GA-EP45-DS3R (DDR2). For this particular review, we will be taking a look at the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R (DDR2) version. This is one of GIGABYTE’s mainstream P45 variants. The board is stuffed full of hardware and software features, including their DES (dynamic energy saver) with 6-gears. There’s the standard “Ultra Durable 2” moniker, which according to GIGABYTE stands for excellent stability and longevity, by utilizing 100% Japanese made solid capacitors, Low RDS(on) MOSFETs and Ferrite Core Chokes.
The feature list expands even further with with “Hardware Overvoltage Control IC”, which provides more voltage control options on CPU, North bridge and memory. Also, they present us with a new and unique feature, consisting of onboard DES LED’s placed on the board, that light up according to power phase load.
GIGABYTE pulls another rabbit out of its hat, by providing two Gigabit LAN’s that can be combined and act as one network connection. If your one of those insecure types, that worries about drive data theft, GIGABYTE added a built-in TPM feature for extra security. Believe it or not, the feature list continues on from here even further.
So lets move on and take a look at the official feature rundown on this board…