Gigabyte EP45-EXTREME

Introduction

IntroductionGA-EP45 EXTREME
 
All together now, shout EXTREME! Today we get the opportunity to review Gigabytes latest high end motherboard in the guise of the EP45-EXTREME. As its name suggests, the motherboard is based on Intel's P45 chipset and is sure to provide some goodies if the EXTREME part is to be believed.
 
Gigabyte have never been ones to fade away into the background. With their bright colour schemes and proven reliability along with exceptional performance, they have been at the forefront of PC component manufacturing since Bill Gates was popping spots. A firm favourite with enthusiasts and system builders alike, Gigabyte have always been seen as a brand you should consider before any other and most recently, Gigabyte have become very popular with EXTREME overclocking thanks to their no gimmick, hassle free and uncluttered motherboards, not to mention the great BIOS features Gigabyte provide.
 
So then may I present you with the EP45-EXTREME. Capital letters usually mean shouting on the Internet but I feel Gigabyte want to shout about this board. With the excellent overclocking abilities of the P45 chipset,  sumptuous copper heatpipe cooling (with the optional watercooling block) and a feature packed motherboard it is clear Gigabyte are aiming for the top of the pile with his release. With a price tag to match the EXTREME name, I hope that the Taiwanese manufacturer can justify spending such an extreme amount especially so close to i7. Lets see what the motherboard has to offer...
 
 
Specifications
 
The specifications were taken directly from the Gigabyte website:  
 
 
CPU
  • Support for an Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor/ Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor/Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor/ Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core processor/Intel® Celeron® processor in the LGA 775 package(Note) This motherboard is designed with VRD11.1 power phase, and cannot be compatible with VRD10 designed CPU. Please refer to "CPU Support List" for details.
  • L2 cache varies with CPU
Front Side Bus
  • 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz FSB
Chipset
  • North Bridge: Intel® P45 Express Chipset
  • South Bridge: Intel® ICH10R
 
Memory
  •  4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
  •  Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR2 1333+/1066/800/667 MHz memory modules (Refer to Memory support list for more information)
 
Audio
  •  Realtek ALC889A codec
  •  High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Home Theater
  •  Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  • Support for CD In
 
LAN
  • 2 x Realtek 8111C chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Support for Teaming
 
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (The PCIEx16 and PCIEx8 slots support ATI CrossFireX technology and conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  • 1 x PCI Express x4 slots
  • 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
  • 3 x PCI slots
 
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATAII0, SATAII1, SATAII2, SATAII3, SATAII4, SATAII5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
 
iTE IT8213 chip:
  • 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
 
iTE IT8720 chip:
  • 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
 
IEEE 1394a
  •  T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
  •  Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (via the IEEE 1394a brackets connected to the internal IEEE 1394a headers)
 
USB
  • Integrated in the South Bridge
  • Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
 
Internal I/O Connectors
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 2 x system fan headers
  • 1 x power fan header
  • 1 x front panel header
  • 1 x front panel audio header
  • 1 x CD In connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF In header
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 3 x IEEE 1394a headers
  • 1 x serial port header
  • 1 x chassis intrusion header
  • 1 x power LED header
  • 1 x power switch
  • 1 x reset switch
Back Panel Connectors
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x clearing CMOS switch
  • 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 2 x RJ-45 ports
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  • iTE IT8720 chip
 
BIOS
 
1. 2 x 8 Mbit flash
2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
3. Support for DualBIOS™
4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
 
Bundle Software
 
1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
 
Operating System
 
1. Support for Microsoft/ Windows/ Vista/XP
 
Form Factor
 
1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
 
Well the specification is certainly distinguished. Everything you could possibly want from a motherboard is there with a massive array of features included the EXTREME name is certainly showings its worth thus far.
 
Lets head over to the next page where we will take a look at the motherboard itself....
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Most Recent Comments

04-11-2008, 08:22:05

w3bbo
All together now, shout EXTREME! Today we get the opportunity to review Gigabytes latest high end motherboard in the guise of the EP45-EXTREME.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...205236526s.jpg

Read the full review here.

04-11-2008, 08:53:16

Rastalovich
That`s one heck of a cooling idea. It`s so simple, it`s crazy that dfi would go for that rediculous (imo) rear mounted solution over something similar to this. Is it as effective.. no idea.

I`m kinda willing to put forward also that these "designed for 45nm" mobos are perhaps doing an injustice to the Q6600. 35/38 series loved it, and sure the 4 series works well with them, but do they make more of the likes of Q9450 ? Perhaps by design. It`d be an interesting study. For sure there does come a point where we need to move on, and to base further reviews on past results, maybe a best pick of I45 & X48 mobos with a Q9450 would be a firm base. No disrespect to the Q6600. These boards are held back using ddr2 also, there`s another arguement for moving on. They need to do something to the setup of the mobo to tone it down for ddr2 use.

Still can`t stop thinking of that cooler.

Sure looks like a decent board. Does better than some in a few aspects and falls behind on other things.

I`d also like to see Biostar, MSI, Foxconn?? and some other less well know mobos get more of a look in (personal choice), the line ups of Gigabyte and ASUS in the sales lists are extremely numerous, to crazy levels imo. In between them we see 1 or 2 from other people and I do wonder if the object of the game is to flood the stores with ur name.

Great review, good mobo, I`d not buy it for 180 tho myself.

04-11-2008, 12:52:35

fusion1275
Cracking review and mental cooling on that thing!

Typo mistake on "Quake 4" graph title. States BIOSHOCK and not Quake 4.

04-11-2008, 14:46:03

w3bbo
Cheers Rasta for your comments, as always they are appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='fusion1275'
Cracking review and mental cooling on that thing!

Typo mistake on "Quake 4" graph title. States BIOSHOCK and not Quake 4.
Fixed, ta!

07-11-2008, 11:16:12

Jaster
The cooling solution gives me one major worry..... that gypsies may break into your house at night to take and melt the copper down.....theres just too much copper on that thing...jebus I think my house has less copper in it...

Nice looking, shame about the lack-lustre performance....hopefully other companies will follow there lead with the cooling solution, as it is nicely unique

08-11-2008, 02:38:56

Lynx
Funny how the nVidia boards got the worst fps and they are meant for gaming.

Silly.

Anyway i wouldnt get this board, there is no point of that cooling if the board isnt a capable overclocker.

08-11-2008, 07:04:44

PV5150
Put your extract into a quote box using the quote tags around the text. It's the 15th icon on the second row of buttons in the editor. Just highlight the text and then click the icon I've shown you below:

http://upload.overclock3d.net/dwn/08...1484/quote.jpg

You will get something like this:

Cream Sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan and stir in flour. On medium heat, gradually stir in chicken broth. Mix in salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheeses. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble.



Now add your source by hitting the insert link icon (4th one back from the quote tag one above) after highlighting the sources name.

Cream Sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan and stir in flour. On medium heat, gradually stir in chicken broth. Mix in salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheeses. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble.

San Remo

08-11-2008, 07:08:18

Jaster
ignore this...the random cookery quote disapeared
Reply
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