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Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (Intel P45)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Tuesday, 11th November, 2008
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  

Opening a New Front

The intense competition between the top tier motherboard vendors means that you're likely to find manufacturers touting new features with every chipset refresh or introduction. Some have worked better than others, becoming household names among enthusiasts and creating first mover advantage for vendors who got it right. Others have sunk in the market, to be removed quietly in the next revision.

Among the notable vendors, Gigabyte has had its fair share of such moments. Its recent successes, including the introduction of solid capacitors on its motherboards and its Dynamic Energy Saver technology for active phase power management have been taken up by other vendors and consolidated Gigabyte's status in the market. While some companies have been focused on cutting production costs to compete, Gigabyte has upped the stakes with high quality products that appeal to power users.

So it's with great interest that we examine another new development in this competitive segment. Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 'umbrella' of features will see an addition - the company is doubling the amount of copper in the PCB. The hence renamed Ultra Durable 3 (UD3) will lead to a cooler motherboard and greater power efficiency. At least that's what the marketing claims. We'll see how this plays out in Gigabyte's latest P45 motherboard enhanced with Ultra Durable 3, the EP45-UD3P.

The bright and colorful Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P, now with more copper in the PCB than before.

Gigabyte has four models of P45 motherboards enhanced with UD3 at the moment, two are DDR3 and the other two are DDR2 models. As for the difference between the two (using the same memory type), it appears that the UD3P version that we received has 1 more Gigabit LAN port and more importantly, 2 PCIe x16 slots for CrossFire compared to the UD3R model.

There weren't any excessive extras in the Gigabyte package, no audio add-on module for instance. Here's the complete list of the items we found, followed by the technical specifications:-

  • 3 x SATA data cables
  • 1 x eSATA data cable
  • 1 x SATA power converter cable
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • 1 x eSATA I/O bracket
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CD
  • User manual
  • Hardware installation guide

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Technical Specifications
CPU Support
  • Supports all 65/45nm Intel LGA775 processors (Conroe or later)
  • Quad-Core ready
  • Northbridge: Intel P45
    • 800/1066/1333/1600MHz front side bus
    • PCI Express 2.0 x16 for graphics
  • Southbridge: Intel ICH10R
  • Supports 4 unbuffered DIMM of 1.8 Volt DDR2 SDRAM
  • Supports up to 16GB memory size
  • 667/800/1066/1366MHz (O.C) dual channel DDR2 memory architecture
  • Intel ICH10R Southbridge
    • 6 x SATA 3.0Gbps interface
    • Intel Matrix Storage Technology
    • Support AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
  • Gigabyte SATA2 chip
    • 2 x SATA 3.0Gbps ports with support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD
    • 1 x IDE connector supporting up to two ATA-133 IDE devices
  • iTE IT8718 chip
    • 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy device
  • Intel High Definition Audio
  • Realtek ALC889A CODEC
  • 2 x Realtek 8111C Gigabit Ethernet chip
  • Support for teaming
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
  • Texas Instrument TSB43AB23 FireWire controller
  • Up to 3 x IEEE 1394a ports @ 400 Mbps speed (2 x rear, 1 x header)
I/O Interface
  • 1 x Floppy connector
  • 1 x Ultra ATA IDE connector
  • 8 x SATA connectors
  • 1 x parallel port header
  • 1 x serial port header
  • 12 x USB 2.0 ports (8 x rear, 4 x header)
  • 3 x FireWire-400 ports (2 x rear, 1 x header)
  • 2 x RJ45 LAN port
  • 8-Channel Audio I/O ports
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF output
  • 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF output
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
Expansion Slots
  • 2 x PCIe x16 slots (PCI Express 2.0) (2-way CrossFireX capable, dual x8 config)
  • 3 x PCIe x1 slot
  • 2 x PCI slots
Special Features
  • Q-Flash
  • @BIOS
  • Virtual Dual BIOS
  • Xpress Install
  • Xpress Recovery 2
  • Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced
  • EasyTune
  • Ultra TPM
  • Time Repair
  • Q-Share
  • ATX Form Factor, 12" x 9.6" (30.5 x 24.4cm)

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