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Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 Intel P45 Express Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 Intel P45 Express Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: In addition to the P45 chipset's inherent PCI Express 2.0 and dual videocard Crossfire support, Gigabyte's EP45-DQ6 motherboard boasts no less than four gigabit network ports, ten SATA channels, three IEEE1394 Firewire and twelve USB2.0 ports!
 83% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jan 13 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6

Intel P45 Express and ICH10 Chipsets

Intel's P45 Express is the companies latest mainstream-performance chipset, replacing the P35 Express. The two chipsets are very similar, with the only real difference from a feature standpoint being the inclusion of the PCI Express 2.0 spec and pairing with the ICH10 series southbridge. The Intel X48 Express officially supports FSB 1600MHz processors, but many Intel P45 boards do too (check the mobo specs to be certain). In most other respects the feature lists of P45 and P35 chipsets are identical. Intel's 4-series chipset family includes the P45, G45, P43 and G43 Express.


The Intel P45 Express Northbridge chipset.

The Intel P45 Express supports Intel socket 775 processors with a Front Side Bus of 800/1066/1333/1600MHz, and incorporates a memory controller that accomodates up to 8GB of DDR3 1333 MHz or DDR2 1066 MHz speed memory (depending on what the motherboard manufacturer implements). It has sufficient PCI Express lanes to accommodate a single videocard with 16GB/s bandwidth, or two videocards running in Crossfire with 8GB/s bandwidth each. PCI Express 2.0 compliant graphics cards are supported natively in either configuration.

There continue to be six PCI Express lanes associated with the ICH10/R Southbridge. Between the Intel P45 Express Express Northbridge and ICH10/R Southbridge is a dedicated 2GB/s Direct Media Interface (DMI).

The Intel ICH10R Southbridge chipset supports six 3GB/s Serial ATA II channels (RAID modes 0, 1, 5 and 10) as well a 7.1 channel Intel high definition audio, 12 USB 2.0 ports, six PCI Express x1 lanes, and an integrated Intel GigABIT MAC that runs through the PCI Express bus.

Intel Chipset Feature Breakdown
Intel P45 Express Express Intel P35 Express
CPU LGA775 Core 2 Duo/Quad LGA775 Core 2 Duo/Quad
Front Side Bus (FSB) 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz 1333/1066/800 MHz
Intel Fast Memory Access Yes Yes
Dual Channel Memory Support DDR2 1066/800/667
DDR3 1333/1066/800
DDR2 1066/800/667
DDR3 1333(unofficial)/1066/800
Maximum Memory Capacity 8GB 8GB
Integrated Graphics - -
PCI Express x16 PCI Express 2.0 1x16, or 2x8 PCI Express 1x16
PCI Express x1 6 6
Intel Matrix Storage Technology RAID 0,1,5,10 RAID 0,1,5,10
SATA/IDE HDD 6/0 6/0
SATA Speed 3Gb/s 3Gb/s
Southbridge ICH10/R ICH9/R
USB 2.0 Ports 12 12
PCI Masters 4 4
Audio High Definition Audio High Definition Audio

Parallel IDE has been dropped completely, so motherboard makers rely upon a stand alone IDE controller. Without this there would be no way to hook up a legacy DVD-ROM or HDD. Now that we covered all of that, it's time for some overclocking action!

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 Intel P45 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Gigabyte Dynamic Energy Saver Advance - Energy Efficiency
 Pg 3.  Total System Power Draw Comparisons
 Pg 4.  Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 Hands On Impressions
 Pg 5.  Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 Highlights Gallery
 Pg 6.  — Intel P45 Express and ICH10 Chipsets
 Pg 7.  Overclocking Test Report & Test System Specs
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra XII 2008 Processor
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra XII 2008 Memory
 Pg 11.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 12.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, FEAR
 Pg 13.  Is the Feature Bonanza Worth it?

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