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GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6 Motherboard Review

Author: Wes Patison
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
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Features and Specifications

Specifications (from GIGABYTE.COM)

 
GA-EP45-DQ6 (rev. 1.0)

     Intel® P45 + ICH10R Chipset
  1. Revolution energy saving design with DES Advanced featuring hardware based Dynamic 6-Gear switching
  2. Supports 45nm Intel® Core™ 2 multi-core processors with FSB 1600 MHz
  3. Advanced power phase design with virtual 12 power phases to provides highly efficient operation for 45nm CPU
  4. Dual channel DDR2 1200 for remarkable system performance
  5. Embedded 2 power phases for NB chipset and memory power to excel at power efficiency
  6. 2 PCI-E 2.0 x16 graphic interface plus 2 PCI-E x4 with CrossFireX™ support for ultimate graphics performance
  7. Built-in TPM chip with 2048bits encryption to highest level digital data protection
  8. Smart Backup provides data backup solution with 4 serial ATA device attachment from 2 hardware RAID chip
  9. Diagnostic LED and ACPI LEDs on board to display system and power status
  10. 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN with Teaming functionality
  11. Supports Dolby Home Theater® audio to create a stunning surround sound listening experience.
  12. Quad BIOS solution gives a multiple security to the system
  13. Power/reset/Clr CMOS onboard button for easily operation on the workbench
  14. Hardware Overvoltage Control IC Provides more voltage control options on CPU, North bridge and memory
  15. Blu-ray playback outputs supported by high quality 106dB SNR ALC889A HD audio

(Note) This motherboard is designed with VRD11.1 power phase, and cannot be compatible with VRD10 designed CPU. Please refer to "CPU Support List" for details.

Specifications
CPU
  1. Support for an Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor/ Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor/Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor/ Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core processor/Intel® Celeron® processor in the LGA 775 package

    (Note) This motherboard is designed with VRD11.1 power phase, and cannot be compatible with VRD10 designed CPU. Please refer to "CPU Support List" for details.

  2. L2 cache varies with CPU
Front Side Bus
  1. 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz FSB
Chipset
  1. North Bridge: Intel® P45 Express Chipset
  2. South Bridge: Intel® ICH10R
Memory
  1. 4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR2 1200/1066/800/667 MHz memory modules

    (Refer to Memory support list for more information)

Audio
  1. Realtek ALC889A codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  6. Support for CD In
LAN
  1. 4 x Realtek 8111C chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  2. Support for Teaming
Expansion Slots
  1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
  2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8

    (The PCIEx16 and PCIEx8 slots support ATI CrossFireX technology and conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

  3. 2 x PCI Express x4 slots
  4. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
  5. 2 x PCI slots
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  1. 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATAII0, SATAII1, SATAII2, SATAII3, SATAII4, SATAII5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

GIGABYTE SATA2 chip:

  1. 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
  2. 2 x SiI5723 chips (Smart Backup): -4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GS0-Source, GS1, GS2-Source, GS3) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices - Support for Smart Backup (RAID 1)

iTE IT8720 chip:

  1. 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
IEEE 1394a
  1. T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
  2. Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports

    (via the IEEE 1394a brackets connected to the internal IEEE 1394a headers)

USB
  1. Integrated in the South Bridge
  2. Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports

    (8 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  4. 1 x IDE connector
  5. 10 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 2 x system fan headers
  8. 1 x power fan header
  9. 1 x front panel header
  10. 1 x front panel audio header
  11. 1 x CD In connector
  12. 1 x S/PDIF In header
  13. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  14. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  15. 3 x IEEE 1394a headers
  16. 1 x serial port header
  17. 1 x chassis intrusion header
  18. 1 x power LED header
  19. 1 x power switch
  20. 1 x reset switch
  21. 1 x clearing CMOS switch
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  2. 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  3. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  4. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  5. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  6. 4 x RJ-45 ports
  7. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control
BIOS
  1. 2 x 8 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Quad BIOS
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune
  8. Support for Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced
  9. Support for Ultra TPM
  10. Support for Time Repair
  11. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft/ Windows/ Vista/XP
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Note
  1. After creating the password(s) and key(s) associated the TPM, be sure to store them in a secure location and back them up. Loss of the password(s) or the key(s) will render the files encrypted via the TPM unable to be cracked or read.
  2. Though the TPM delivers the latest data security technology, it does not guarantee data integrity or give hardware protection. GIGABYTE is not liable for loss of encrypted data as a result of hardware damage.
  3. To enable Teaming or Bonding (IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation) feature, it is required the connected network switch or router device supports the IEEE 802.3ad LACP standard. Please refer to your network switch or router device manual for further details.

(Note)If you want to uninstall the Ultra TPM utility, be sure to insert the USB flash drive containing the TPM key into your computer before the uninstallation.

Remark
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
  2. Due to most hardware/software vendors no longer offer support for Win9X/ME. If some vendors still has Win9X/ME drivers available, we will publish on website.

 

 



Based on the new Intel P45 chipset, GA-EP45-DQ6 delivers a record setting 1600MHz Front Side Bus for the latest Intel® Core 2™ multi-core processors, including 45nm CPUs. With supporting dual channel DDR2 up to 1200MHz, GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboard provides the highest levels of performance and maximum overclocking potential. In additional, GA-EP45-DQ6 is further equipped to support ATI CrossFireX™ Technology with dual PCI Express 2.0 x8 interfaces, delivering double the PCI Express bandwidth of 5 Gbit/s for the ultimate in extreme gaming performance. GA-EP45-DQ6 delivers several advanced GIGABYTE innovations including the DES Advanced, Ultra Durable 2, Ultra TPM design which provide optimized power savings, ultra cooling and ultra secure data protection.
  Smaller, Faster and More Efficient

GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboards paired with Intel 45nm CPUs deliver the very best platform for multitasking, multimedia and high performance gaming. Not only do GIGABYTE's latest motherboards based on Intel Eaglelake chipsets all support Intel's new generation, 45nm multi-core processors.
  Dual Channel DDR2 1200

Experience the advanced technology of DDR2 1200 memory, featuring faster speeds and higher data bandwidth, which delivers superior performance for the most demanding applications. * Please refer "Memory Support List" for memory support information
  PCI-E 2.0 Graphic Interface

PCI-E 2.0 doubles the bus standard's bandwidth from 2.5 Gbit/s to 5 Gbit/s, meaning a x32 connector can transfer data at up to 16 GB/s in each direction. PCIe 2.0 also features improvements to the point-to-point data transfer protocol and its software architecture.
  ATI CrossFireX

With support for ATI CrossFireX, GIGABYTE pushes the envelope once again by delivering highly optimized performance and flexibility demanded by power users and extreme gaming enthusiasts. Designed to provide unmatched multi-GPU support with dual PCI Express connectivity, the GA-EP45-DQ6 allows users to take advantage of the ultra smooth 3D rendering, blazing-fast frame rates and enhanced visual quality possible with a dual graphics card solution.

Attention: When attempting to enable ATI CrossfireX Technology on this board. In case of unable to get Crossfire Technology working normally, please make sure to use ATI graphic cards that have hardware Crossfire bridge. (Please refer to ATI official website for more Crossfire Technology supporting details: ( http://ati.amd.com/technology/crossfire/charts.html)

  Dolby Home Theater® - Enjoy a Rich Home Theater Surround Sound Experience

Dolby Home Theater places listeners in the middle of the action, giving their PCs a powerful set of tools to deliver a cinema-style experience in vivid surround sound.

  • Delivers vivid surround sound for music, movies, and games, using two to eight speakers or any set of headphones
  • Designed to automatically deliver the best possible listening experience
 

Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced



GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced provides better energy saving capabilities and enhanced system performance. GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced is the world’s only motherboard energy saving technology with hardware-based Dynamic 6-Gear* Switching. With support for VRD 11.1, GIGABYTE’s DES Advanced allows the motherboard to switch to 1 Gear phase switching during idle, allowing for a dramatic increase in power savings.

GIGABYTE has also retooled Dynamic Energy Saver to allow overclockers to experience the benefits of multi-gear power phase switching while overclocking, providing ultra stable, ultra smooth overclocking performance.

* The 6-Gear feature may vary by model. Gear 1 phase switching requires 45nm processors with PSI signal enabled.

  Ultra Durable 2 -Designed with Top Quality Highly Efficient Components

Ultra Cooling - Low RDS(on) MOSFET Design

Low RDS(on) MOSFETs specially designed to produce lower switching resistance for faster electric current charging and discharging. .. more

Low Power Loss - Ferrite Core Choke Design

Ferrite core chokes comprised of a compound of iron oxide and other metal elements whose properties hold energy much longer than common iron core at high frequency... more

Longer Life - All-Solid Capacitor Design

Solid capacitors contain a solid organic polymer, while electrolytic capacitors use a common liquid electrolyte, hence, the terms solid capacitor versus electrolytic capacitors... more

  2 Power Phases for Both North Bridge and Memory

GIGABYTE P45 motherboards are equipped with 2-Phase power for the North Bridge and memory, allowing users to reach higher memory frequencies and enjoy better performance. Compared with only one phase solutions, this ensures longer power component lifespan and higher overclockability due to cooler working temperatures and better efficiency.
 

Ultra TPM - Industry’s highest level of data Security via onboard TPM


  • Maximum level of data protection with 2048 bit encryption
  • Security, manageability and flexibility that surpasses software-based encryption
  • Portable User Key to protect data when away from your system
  • Additional backup of user key in BIOS in case of misplaced key
 

  • After creating the password(s) and key(s) associated the TPM, be sure to store them in a secure location and back them up. Loss of the password(s) or the key(s) will render the files encrypted via the TPM unable to be cracked or read.
  • Though the TPM delivers the latest data security technology, it does not guarantee data integrity or give hardware protection. GIGABYTE is not liable for loss of encrypted data as a result of hardware damage.

(Note)If you want to uninstall the Ultra TPM utility, be sure to insert the USB flash drive containing the TPM key into your computer before the uninstallation.

 

High Velocity 4X Bandwidth Boost



The Quad LAN with Teaming functionality enabled allows 4 single connections to act as 1 single connection for Quad Bandwidth, improving overall throughput.

Prevents network downtime by transferring the workload from a failed port to a working port.

Receive Side Scaling balances the network traffic load evenly between 2 CPU cores in order to improve performance.

Adjusts power consumption automatically according to your LAN cable lengths, up to 10% power savings.

(Note) To enable Teaming or Bonding (IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation) feature, it is required the connected network switch or router device supports the IEEE 802.3ad LACP standard. Please refer to your network switch or router device manual for further details.

  Hardware Overvoltage Control ICs

Hardware Overvoltage Control ICs which provide more voltage control options than before for the CPU North Bridge and memory. The overvoltage controllers also provide hardware linear real-time voltage control. In addition, Hardware Overvoltage Controller ICs also allow for much finer voltage control, allowing power users to adjust voltage in as little increments as 20mV for better overclocking performance.
  EasyTune6

GIGABYTE has completely redesigned EasyTune6 from the ground up to make it easier than ever to manage and monitor your hardware resources as well as tweak your system settings in order to achieve maximum system performance. Whether you are an overclocking enthusiast, or a computer novice, EasyTune6 provides the tools you need to quickly and effortlessly fine tune your system
 

Smart Backup- Plug & Play Hardware RAID



GIGABYTE's Smart Backup allows users to connect up to 4 Serial ATA devices for effortless RAID data protection. Dual onboard RAID controller chips automatically configure RAID setup without user intervention, making it easier than ever for users to enjoy enhanced data transfer performance, low CPU utilization, real-time backup on-the-fly and protection against HDD failure.
  DualBIOS™ - Patented Dual Hardware BIOS Protection

DualBIOS™ is a GIGABYTE patented technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when main BIOS has crashed or failed. Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated onboard, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating.
  Onboard Diagnostic LEDs - Hardware Troubleshoot at a Glance

7 Onboard LEDs controlled by the system BIOS indicate if a malfunction is occurring, allowing users to directly see where the problem is occurring, so they can quickly take question.

  Onboard ACPI LEDs - Power Status Indicators to avoid improper hardware removal

The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) gives the operating system direct control over the power management. There are 4 embedded LEDs onboard to indicate system power status to prevent potential H/W damage due to improper plug/unplug actions.
  Onboard Quick Switches

Onboard Power, Clear CMOS and Reset buttons allow for quick and easy tweaking for power users working in an in chassis environment.

 

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