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Gigabyte EP45-DS3R Review

Makaveli    -   September 10, 2008
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Conclusion:

The Gigabyte EP45-DS3R performs almost exactly the same as the Gigabyte EP45-Extreme when all settings are equal. It just does not have the additional cooling capabilities. This motherboard has many of the same features, performance, overclocking abilities, and a similar BIOS. As a bonus the non extreme overclocker can get this motherboard for more than one hundred dollars cheaper than the EP45-Extreme. On the other side of that cost coin is the fact that the Extreme is just that. A thoroughbred that is designed to be pushed to the limits, limits far in excess of what the DS3R is meant to reach. I was able to get an overclock of 500 x 6 which is quite good in my book. The only issue that I had with overclocking was that I couldn't run the CPU faster than the memory. With the CPU and memory locked together, you can only go as far as one component can go. For me, it was as far as the memory could go and unfortunately, that was only about 1000MHz after tweaking with it for a while. A shame since the EP45-DS3R now natively supports DDR2 speeds to 1333MHz. Gigabyte has fixed the issue of the Dynamic Energy Saver software not being able to work while the system is overclocked with the DES Advanced software and motherboards; now overclockers can use DES to its fullest extent. When it comes time to secure your data Gigabyte has you covered. The built in TPM chip uses 2048 bit encryption to make sure your encrypted data stays safe and secure. WIth easy to use features and multiple avenues to store your pass key, the Ultra TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is the way to go for securing your data.

Gigabyte now offers up support for the latest power standard from Intel VRD 11.1. This new standard is needed for the new E stepping 8000 and 7000 series CPUs from Intel. Like every Gigabyte motherboard, this EP45-DS3R comes with an abundance of accessories as well as software. You'll find all the programs and utilities you'll need on the included disc. If you don't have a water-cooling setup, then the EP45-DS3R makes a really nice alternative to the EP45-Extreme, heck even if you are water cooled the EP45-DS3R makes a nice alternative, just one less item in the water loop. Just by taking a look at the numbers from the benchmarks, almost every score in every test was very close to the performance of the EP45-Extreme's scores. This of course is the expected result. What is capable above the stock speeds is where the difference lie. Overall, I was impressed by the overclocking abilities of this motherboard, the included features and accessories but mostly the price. Definitely do yourself a favor and pick up a Gigabyte EP45-DS3R motherboard, you won't regret it the slightest bit.

 

Pros:

  • Overclocking ability
  • DES retooled for overclockers
  • Accessories
  • Features
  • Price
  • DDR1333 support
  • Built in TPM chip

 

Cons:

  • None
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