Gigabyte EP45-EXTREME


Being an AWARD BIOS and possessing the M.I.T (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section, overclockers will feel right at home. Skipping past the usual deluge of BIOS options we head straight for the jugular, in particular the M.I.T section itself.
POST Screen
The initial splash screen is attractive enough with a camouflage theme. This screen can be changed via windows software to any picture of your choosing though which is a nice feature. Personally, I prefer the standard boot up screen confirming your overclocked settings but for those who like a splash of colour the option is there for you.
M.I.TCPU Ratio
Like all high end enthusiast motherboards, the first section in the BIOS is where you will usually find the overclocking settings, in the EP45 Extremes case, the M.I.T (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section. From the top, you will find frequencies and clock ratios as well as C.I.A.2, which is Gigabytes automatic overclocking utility. Settings can be input either manually or via the scroll method. The sheer number of tweaks available will most likely force you to use the manual input though as it is less time consuming than scrolling down through the array of frequencies and voltages available.
FSBClock Drive
Memory performance, can be enhanced either automatically via Standard, Turbo or Extreme or again you can configure the memory yourself using a massive settings list which covers every possible divider and CPU to Northbridge strap.
Performance EnhanceMemory Multiplier
Memory DividerMemory Subtimings
Onto the voltages, I was very pleased to see that there is almost every possible voltage setting you could wish for along with GTL (Gunning Transceiver Logic) reference voltages to fine tune those voltages in the hope of gaining stability at the highest frequencies available. Below are the maximum voltages available, which if you intend to utilise would no doubt kill your hardware without some extreme cooling. Still, it is nice to have that option available if you fancy a dabble with some liquid Nitrogen!
VoltagesHealth Status
All in all, the EXTREME BIOS is a very thorough and well laid out BIOS from AWARD. Notable by its absence is the omission of  Vdroop compensation setting. With our test Q6600 overclocked to 3.6Ghz and a Vcore of 1.5v set, the actual voltage reported in windows was 1.43v under 100% load which, while abiding by Intels specification may be a concern for those who like a stable Vcore. 
Navigating the M.I.T section can also be a little frustrating as the page does not refresh smoothly and can make navigation a little jerky. This maybe resolved with an updated BIOS in the future (BIOS version F8 used for this review) but I felt it was noteworthy at the time of the review. 
Lets see if we can put the EP45-EXTREME BIOS to some use in the overclocking tests...
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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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