Gigabyte EP45-EXTREME

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
 
Matching our previous reviews of P45 based motherboards, we used the same setup to guarantee a fair review.
  
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations.
 
Processor: Intel Core2Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz @ 3.6 Ghz
Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-Extreme
Memory: Cellshock DDR2 PC-2 6400 5-5-5-18 @ 800mhz
Graphics Card: ATI X1950 pro
CPU Cooling: Scythe Ninja
Power Supply: OCZ 780w ModXstream
Hard Disk: Hitachi 7K160 7200rpm 80Gb
Display: Dell 3007 WFP-HC 30" LCD
BIOS: F9
Chipset Drivers: Latest Intel P45 series.
Graphics Drivers: Cat 8.10
Operating System: Windows Vista 64bit SP1
 
To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06

3D Games
• Oblivion
• F.E.A.R
• Call of Duty 4
 
 
Overclocking
 
All of the motherboards on the overclocking test today have Intels P45 chipset as a base and thus far have performed pretty much on par. Kentsfield CPU's are tricky to get anywhere near 500FSB and out test Q6600 'G0' is no different. If ultra high FSB is your bag then you would be much better using a Wolfdale CPU but as we like to use the same system throughout our motherboard tests we will stick with our 'difficult' Q6600.
 
 
 
Predictably, the Quad core was very stubborn once 475FSB was reached and the motherboard took 1.65v on the Norhtbridge to stabilise the 485 FSB attained. Rest assured though as there are plenty of reports of this board hitting 600FSB+ with the dual core 45nm but as our results show, it is not the best board for the older 65nm Quads, at least where Front Side Bus speeds are concerned.
 
For the maximum overclock, as we are on air cooling, we prefer to use a maximum cpu core voltage of 1.55v. However, because of a 0.03v vdrop and a further 0.04 droop, we had to set the vcore to 1.62 in the BIOS to compensate when testing for stability. I ran a 'quick' 2 hour prime95 session to prove basic stability and once I figured out the vdroop problem, a maximum overclock of 3924mhz was attained.
 
Lets take a look at how this motherboard performs in our standard set of benchmarks against a variety of other chipsets on offer today.
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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.Quote

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.Quote

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.Quote
Reply
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