Gigabyte EP45-EXTREME


ConclusionGigabyte EP45 EXTREME
When the Gigabyte board first landed on my doorstep, I was amazed at the size of the package. I was eager to rip the box open to see what Gigabyte had included with the board and I was not disappointed. The board is smothered in copper and with the additional HUGE Northbridge cooler it is clear where most of your money has gone in purchasing this board. Suitable for both aircooling fans and watercoolers, this board seems to want to cater for everyone.
Sure enough the board cooled very well but sadly it never really got the chance to get hot enough to be considered useful. Herein lies my confusion with the EP45 Extreme. Managing very little performance over the DS3P, I do wonder why anyone would pay double for this board when the perfectly adequate DS3P gives more or less very similar results. Gigabyte then, seem to be a victim of their own success, releasing such a good budget board makes buying the top end EXTREME board all the more difficult. 'Surely I am missing something' - This is something that played on my mind throughout the testing and writing up the conclusion I think I have finally got it. Wolfdale.
This board was born to have EXTREME voltages slammed through the chipset. The EXTREME Northbridge cooling depicts that excess heat will be developed there. Wolfdales, with their new 45nm fabrication, can reach some EXTREME FSB's but sadly, the Q6600 is not the best for FSB overclocking and is now getting a little tired when compared to the current crop of dual cores. I would bet my bottom dollar this board would scream along with a dual core Wolfdale but for the tried and tested 65nm Quads, I would think very carefully before splashing out so much on a board when there are other, cheaper models that can do the same for much, much less.
The Good
- Best cooling on a motherboard to date
- Optional air or watercooled northbridge
- Excellent Packaging
- On board switches
The Mediocre
- Hit and miss performance
- Price
The Poor
- SATA port positioning
Thanks to Gigabyte for providing the EP45 EXTREME for todays review. Discuss in our forums.
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Most Recent Comments

04-11-2008, 08:53:16

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

Cracking review and mental cooling on that thing!

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

04-11-2008, 14:46:03

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

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!Quote

07-11-2008, 11:16:12

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 uniqueQuote

08-11-2008, 02:38:56

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


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

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