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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

Overclocking Test Report & Test System Specs

Overclocking Results:
stock max. oc
motherboard speed: 333 mhz

525 mhz

if you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Intel's P45 Express chipset is as overclocking friendly as they come, but PCSTATS has seen a range of overclocking results from the P45 Express motherboards we've tested thus far - so we're eager to see just how the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboard stacks up in this respect.

As usual, PCSTATS dropped in a 45nm 1333MHz FSB Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor and a 2GB set of Corsair's DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory, then powered the board up. The Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU replaces the Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 for our overclocking tests because the E6750 won't go past 475MHz any longer. Overclocking can be murder on hardware... and it's always the luck of the draw!

Let's begin, first we changed CPU clock multiplier from 8x to 6x, and set the memory to run at the lowest possible divider (DDR2-800). Starting at 333 MHz FSB the speed was increased in 15 MHz jumps.

Overclocking progressed quite smoothly between 333MHz FSB and 400MHz, and after that it wasn't difficult to push the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboard to 450, 475, 485, 495 then 525MHz. As the clock speed approached 540MHz the system crashed at POST. We tried upping the CPU/memory voltage a little but with little gain switched those setting back to Auto.

After a while trying this that, we eventually settled on an overclocked speed of 525MHz which booted into Vista just fine. With some more time, and more tweaking I suspect you could push the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboard further, but for our purposes a maximum overclock of 525MHz is a good indicator of what to expect from this platform.

BIOS Tweaking Tools

The BIOS controls how the motherboard communicates with all the peripherals connected to it, and is a crucial component for any good well rounded motherboard. PCSTATS is only going to highlight the tweaking features so you'll know what to expect.

The main CPU and RAM frequencies on the Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 motherboard are easily adjustable, and put the more common tweaking elements close together. More specific aspects of latencies and timings are buried within their own sub-menus.

Like this menu right here. The individual channels of memory can also get their own timings, which can at times compensate for using RAM with mismatched timings.

Smart LAN functionality turns off power to the additional LAN ports when they're not in use. Given Gigabyte's push to make this board save as much energy as possible, having this option makes a lot of sense.

Voltages can be adjusted in increments as small as 10mV at a time. The maximum voltages are displayed here, and they're more than enough to fry most computer components at these levels. Be careful before changing any power settings on a motherboard.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboard test system was configured for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this Intel P45 Express based system is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
test system reference system #1
processor: intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (65nm)
OC tests with:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (45nm)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (775)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 (P45 Express)

Asus P5NT Deluxe (NF 780i)
MSI P6N Diamond (NF 680i)
Biostar TF7150V-M7 (GF 7150)
Asrock Penryn1600SLIX3 (NF 680i)
Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 (P35 Express)
MSI P35 Platinum (P35 Express)
Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe (P35 Express)
Asus BLITZ Formula (P35 Express)
Foxconn MARS (P35 Express)
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (X38 Express)
Asus Maximus Extreme (X38 Express)
Biostar TPower I45 (P45 Express)
ECS P45T-A (P45 Express)
MSI X48 Platinum (X48 Express)

Videocard: MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E
Memory: 2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-8888C4D (DDR2)

2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4 (DDR2)

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W
Heatsink: Intel E6600 Reference
Software Setup:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25


SYSMark 2007
SiSoft Sandra 2008
PCMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage

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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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