Motherboard cooling accessories
Being a motherboard that is aimed squarely at the enthusiast market it should come as no surprise that Gigabyte have seen fit to include to shiny goodies to tempt you with this product.
First off is the waterblock. Being of a solid copper design it will fit in well with most any watercooling setup and unlike other motherboard manufacturers who took the cheaper route of providing aluminium/copper mix block, the Gigabyte block is pure copper throughout ensuring that there is no possibility of galvanic corrosion here.
The silver look top is simply a sticker and is not actually an integral piece of the block itself. I was disappointed to discover that there are no included adaptors for the barbs, so unless you already have a 3/8" watercooled loop you will have to purchase your own. The block is unrestricted, having a flat surface area so will have minimal effect on your watercooling loops flow.
Removing the waterblock is a very simple task as there are only four screws holding it down. You shouldn't need to do this however as the above picture shows, the contact area is near perfect and the paste used is not the usual thermal cement used. Taking the heatsink assembly off of the motherboard again is a pretty straightforward with 4 screws holding the Northbridge and Southbridge blocks and push pins around the Mosfet area. Top marks all round Gigabyte!
Above we see the heatsink assembly itself. Good contact was made all round with thermal tape covering the Mosfets and a solid paste TIM covering the P45 Northbridge and ICH10r Southbridge cores. So then we see that the EP45-EXTREME is a very well cooled motherboard if watercooling is to your tastes but what if you prefer EXTREME overclocking on air? Gigabyte have that base covered too...