Gigabyte EP45-DS3R ReviewMakaveli - September 10, 2008
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The Gigabyte EP45-DS3R is a standard ATX motherboard that supports Socket LGA 775 processors. Gigabyte places some shiny stickers on the motherboard illustrating some key features. After pulling off the stickers, you can see that this motherboard uses the Gigabyte-standard of multiple colors on the motherboard, including green, yellow, white, blue, orange, and red. You can also see right away that the Northbridge and Southbridge aren't connected with a heatpipe or anything. Also, notice how there isn't a heatsink on top of the PWM. It appears evident that this motherboard isn't made for extreme overclocking.
The rear I/O panel features eight USB 2.0 ports, two PS/2 ports for older keyboards and mice, one each optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs, two Gigabit LAN ports, six audio ports, and two 1394a (Firewire) ports. This is a pretty standard rear I/O panel for the most part.
The DS3R supports ATI CrossfireX technology that, when taken advantage of, can produce much higher scores in almost every gaming benchmark. You will find six onboard SATA 3.0GB/s ports, a single 1394a (Firewire) port, and four USB 2.0 ports. Even though IDE isn't as popular as SATA, Gigabyte placed one IDE port on the bottom-right side of the motherboard.
The two Gigabyte motherboards that I've reviewed with the P45 chipset both support up to 16GB of 240-pin DDR2 RAM. I still haven't been able to comprehend this because I'm used to motherboards these past few years only being able to take 8GB of memory. Next to the memory slots you'll find a single floppy connector and a 24-pin power connector. This motherboard does need an 4-pin power cable as well to fully power it on. The connector is located just above the CPU socket.
As I mentioned earlier, the Northbridge and Southbridge have seperate heatsinks. Will this be a factor during overclocking? We'll have to find out.
Now let's take a look into the BIOS that's included with this motherboard.