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Thread: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Findings / Review




  1. #1
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    Default GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Findings / Review

    Hello,

    Originally posted at pcper but the thread is a little dead. Hello to all, i'd be happy to anwser any questions or learn more from everyone :)

    I'll fix all the coding tonight, sorry work calls :)



    Thought I'd get one more build in this year. This motherboard is currently 110 at newegg after rebate. The single PCIe Board is 105 after rebate. In the past two years since Core2 came out I've used P965, P35, x48, 750a motherboards from gigabyte. They have a consistent quality build with good layout and bios. Usually offering more useful features for less cost then ASUS.

    The Biostar tp45 HP is an excellent cheap OCing P45 motherboard missing raid features. With gigabyte at this pricing point its hard not to give this MB a whirl.

    Everyone should be pretty familiar with P45 features at this point. The most popular enthusiast chipset out right now. Gigabyte setting itself apart by offering Ultra Durable 3 with more copper for a Cooler MB(whatever that means :) ), Dual bios & Ultra TPM which I will not be trying.






    Build Parts:

    Case: Antec 300 (Nice Cheap Case)
    MB: As Above
    PS: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS (Great cheap PS $45.00 after rebate)
    CPU: E8400
    GPU: Powercolor 4850 (Good aftermarket cooling with HDMI)
    HD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB (Cheap & fast)
    CPU COOLER: Xigmatek HDT-S1283
    OD: DVD Burner & LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray DVD-ROM( HDMI anyone :) )
    MEM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000
    OS: Vista Prem 64 (Vista is much better then given credit IMO)
    Build Cost: $1128 (Incl. Shipping & Tax)
    Last edited by undersea; 11-19-2008 at 07:27 AM. Reason: additional copy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Findings / Review

    Got the stuff this morning. The motherboard is a little unbelievable to me. The features you get with this board for the price are excellent.
    Dual Lan
    1394
    8 USB on back
    Heat Pipes
    Crossfire
    Has a quality look to it up close. The only layout problems I see are for larger video cards with the memory slots close to the first PCIe slot.
    The SATA ports are placed well but if you run two large dual slot cards the second card could cover the wire connections and possibly the CMOS clear pins (This happens far to much IMO). I'm only running one video card so that shouldn't be a problem.

    HD BENCHMARKS:

    For those interested in what ACHI is read here: Serial ATA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    ACHI advantages are seen in servers, mostly. Additional reading: The AHCI thing? - PC Perspective Forums
    Please keep in mind these are synthetic benchmarks which don't always show the true speed in actual use, but they are helpful in comparing systems. For instance people killing AMD because they lose in benchmarks to Intel rigs. But in actual day to day use either AMD or Intel systems rock. Basically spend more for Intel and get a faster rig or save and get AMD. In actual use IMO almost no difference. For uses like folding Intel has an advantage, gives the tech pages something to write about :) . I can tell you a raptor hard drive in either system feels faster in actual use. Well enough of my ramblings.

    Chart Info:
    First Line = HDtune 2.55/ Second Line = HD Tach 3.04 | trmin= Transfer rate min / Trmax= Transfer rate max / Average = Average Transfer Rate
    Acc Time= Access Time / cppu = Cpu Utilization
    Part B = CrystalDisk Mark 2.2

    Gigabyte 750a @ Stock (Vista 32) CPU: 8750 HD: x2 Seagate 250 7200.10 Raid 0 w/16kstripe MEM: 2g
    Biostar 770 @ 3ghz (Vista 64) CPU: 5400+ HD: WD 320 AAKS MEM: 4g
    Biostar TP45HP @ 3ghz (XP SP3) CPU Q9300 HD: 150 Raptor MEM 2g
    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P (Vista 64) @ Stock CPU: E8400 HD: WD 500 AAKS Blue MEM: 4g

    CPU/GPU BENCHIES:
    The Computers:
    Nforce 3:
    Chaintech VNF3-250 9/15/05bios
    3200+ Venice 754 2604mhz 237x11
    2x512m Patriot 3200+ XBL 2.5-3-3-7
    ATI 9250(Soon to be updated to a 800XL)
    Old 2m IDE 7200 Maxtor
    XPHome SP2
    Nforce 4
    Epox Nforce4 Ultra
    3800+ X2 Toledo 2350mhz
    2x1g Patriot 3200+ LL 3-4-4-7
    850XT XPHome SP2
    74g Raptor
    Nvidia560
    Biostar 560 (10/29/07 Bios)
    5000+ Black 3000mhz(Still playing this is everyday setting right now)
    2x1g Geil(Orange) 4-4-4-12
    WD 320 AAKS
    Nvidia 7800GT VistaHome Premium 64
    690G
    Foxconn A690GM2MA-8KRS2H (Bios 12/7/07)
    X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.45GHz
    2x1g GSkill DDR2 6400 5-5-5-15
    HITACHI Deskstar 7K160 80g
    Built In Video(1250) XPHome SP2
    Core 2
    Gigabyte 965P DS3 (Bios F10)
    6300 @ 2.8GHz (Everyday Setting)
    2x1g OCZ DDR2 6400 Platinum 4-4-4-12
    8800GT XPHome SP2
    150 Raptor
    790FX
    DFI 790FX m2rs (Bios 3/10/08)
    5000+ @ 3.1GHz
    2x1g Geil DDR2 6400 Platinum 4-4-4-12
    3850 Vista 64
    Seagate 7100.10 320g
    Quad
    Biostar TP45 HP (Newest Bios)
    9300@ 3.0GHZ
    2x1 Geil DDR2 6400 4-4-4-12
    8800GT XPHome SP3
    150 Raptor
    Core 2 P45
    Gigabyte EP45-UD3P (Bios f5)
    E8400 @ 3GHz (STOCK)
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1000 5-4-4-12
    Powercolor 4850 Vista 64
    WD 500g AAKS
    750a
    Gigabyte m750sli-ds4 (Bios f5)
    8750 X3 @ 2.8GHz
    Patriot Viper 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 4-4-4-12
    MSI 9600SGO SLI (Vista 32)
    Seagate 250 7200.10 Raid 0
    770
    Biostar 770 A2+(Bios 6/11/08)
    5400+ @ 3.0ghz
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1000 4-4-4-12
    HSI 3850 (Vista 64)
    WD 320 AAKS
    amd 790fx//////////////////////////////(uddarts Spider :))
    msi k9a2 platinum bios 1.4
    9850-be 2951mhz 227x13
    2x1028 corsair c4 5-5-5-18
    1950pro ultimate
    hitachi 160 sata xp///////////////////


    ACHI was easy with Vista, no preload drivers needed. I have no idea if it offers an advantage and I'm slightly worried if the Blue-ray drive will work with it, I don't have a Blue-ray movie to test yet.
    I'll post HD scores with ACHI and you let me know what you think, please. I might just reload again with-out and compare:
    Here is ACHI readings with:
    WD 500G AAKS Blue
    Vista 64
    4g
    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P
    All Stock settings
    e8400
    Gigabyte P45 @ stock:

    Gigabyte p45 @ 3.6
    Last edited by undersea; 11-19-2008 at 07:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Findings / Review

    Update:
    Updated the first couple of posts with many benchies, bios screens.
    Man that was allot of work.
    Interesting the 4850 gets beat in crystalmark (video) by 8800GT. Again take these bench marks with a giant dump truck of salt :), especially these with nothing being the same :)
    OCing to come :)
    I think something is holding the GP45 rig back, Reload :|
    Update:
    OK,
    Before I reloaded windows I uninstalled drivers & Gigabyte programs. I just left easy tune.
    I had noticed shuddering during 3D06. I also noticed long starts after welcome which I think was a gigabyte program.
    The Dolby function does not work with Vista 64. Teaming appears not to work but I need to plug in another cat 5 cable and see if it loads then.
    I'll try and reload the HDMI driver after more tests.
    Driver load order:
    1) ATI 8.11
    2)Hydra Vision
    3)Realtek 2.08 (4 would be the 2.03 HDMI driver but unsure if I should use this as the driver alone or with 2.08. Noticed drver was at 2.03 after loading HDMI.)
    UPDATE
    OCing is fighting me.
    From Bit-tech on the DS6
    Overclocking
    First off, we tried our favourite QX9650 which instantly hauled itself up to 470MHz FSB – sadly, when we tried to load it in Windows it just wasn't stable. Playing with it a little more to make it stable, we found the GTL reference changes weren't as fine as we'd like – the feature is sensitive to small changes and 0.02V jumps just didn't provide the finesse we needed. With a 1.3V CPU termination voltage, 1.66V CPU PLL, 0.74V GTL Reference 1 and 2 and 1.308V MCH core voltage we achieved 450MHz FSB on this quad-core fully stable at default voltage.
    We found that despite changing the CPU voltage quite considerably in the BIOS to 1.4+V, CPU-Z read only 1.2V in Windows. Curiously we checked in EasyTune 6 and the same thing was reported – the CPU was left at its default voltage yet all the other voltage changes mirrored the BIOS settings exactly. We upped the CPU voltage to 1.4125V in ET6 and this reported an increase to 1.387V in both CPU-Z and ET6.
    We increased the frequency to 470MHz again with the same settings as above, although now using ET6 to increase the CPU voltage and FSB. This left the system rock solid, but when we increased the system to 480MHz FSB it finally locked up again. After some time playing, we found ET6 needs gentle, simple increases to coax the system to play ball since everything has to keep ticking over in Windows while you do it. When we then tried booting in at stock settings and overclocking/overvolting all in one go using ET6 to do all the settings above in one go, the system locked up instantly.
    Trying for maximum CPU MHz and we came into the same problem above – we had to set everything bar the FSB and CPU voltage because the two could only be set successfully using ET6. The problem we found was that changing the multiplier on an unlocked Extreme Edition above the usual maximum confused the hell out of the software and the clock speed went everywhere.
    Overclocking our E8500 was a very "average" experience – we could get the system to 388MHz x 9.5 which is only 3,686MHz, but any higher and ET6 locked up. When trying to attain the highest front side bus we also ran into similar problems hitting 470+MHz using ET6. We can only hope future BIOS revisions are better suited to applying all the settings correctly so we can overclock more easily, at the time of writing the current F3h BIOS doesn't do what we need.
    I'm having the voltage issue where I but in 1.275 and monitors show 1.2. Trying to figure out what CPU terminal voltage is.
    I wonder if its not an easy tune item like the phenom AOD that resets volts by itself.
    Fires up no problem at 400mhz 3.6 but I need volts :) I'm sure this chip will run much faster just need to work out volt issue. Upgraded to f6 with no effect.
    Install the neck bolts :D
    UPDATE
    Finally getting somewhere. The board seems to undervolt but putting CPU Termination to normal seems to help allot. I found something on an asus board about what exactly this is but I'm not really sure.
    Testing @ 3.6 now and 1.26 volts. Motherboard set for 1.2875 I believe. This computer is wicked fast at this speed.
    Easytune 6 is a solid utility. Look at the xbit labs link in the first post.
    Well that's about it. I'll post some new screenies & finish build pics in the next few days baring mishap. See if I can get 4ghz. All in all a sweet motherboard. Still like the biostar board a little better but this one looks better and has lots of merits including the 99.00 price you can buy it for now :)

    UPDATE
    Added hardfoums link, lots of stuff, lots of reading :) Also added a new Firingsquad review
    FiringSquad says:
    With high-end dual-GPU motherboards slowly rising in price, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good motherboard for less than $150. The latest flagship motherboards often sell for $300 or more!
    Therefore the EP45-UD3P is a refreshing surprise from Gigabyte. Its extra ounce of copper is a feature you’d expect to find on a $200+ motherboard, not to mention the motherboard’s fully-equipped back plate. Gigabyte also outfits the board with dual PCI Express graphics slots for CrossFire, and dual Gigabit LAN.
    For cooling, Gigabyte incorporates heat pipe cooling on the North Bridge of the chipset, as well as three of the motherboard’s six power phases (the remaining three power phases are cooled by a large aluminum heatsink). This allows the motherboard to run silently while still running cool.
    The motherboard’s BIOS should be more than enough for most enthusiasts. FSB speeds up to 1200MHz are available in BIOS, that’s up to 4.8GHz FSB quad-pumped, while voltage options run high enough for the air and water-cooled crowd. Everything is laid out really well with all the settings you need for OC’ing on one page. Performance is also good.
    Bottom line -- if you’re looking for an inexpensive CrossFire-compatible motherboard based on Intel’s P45 chipset, you owe it to yourself to check out Gigabyte’s EP45-UD3P. The motherboard incorporates high-end features without resorting to the high-end price tag.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Findings / Review

    Some more reviews listed above.
    Reading some of Hard OCP thread the vtt setting called into question. Some claiming no more then 1.4. Then a thread showing it might be false.
    If anyone could get Dolby working with Vista 64 let me know, it appears not to work.
    I also noticed last night getting a weird lag/studder in 3D06 again. I have found that Easytune 6 or HW monitor, or both are causing it. If they are both closed no more lag.
    Won't have a blue ray movie till tomorrow. I'll test the HDMI port tomorrow on my TV. I watched some hitman DVD last night and its a really nice picture with this 4850 & a Samsung 19" widescreen, best I've seen on a PC.
    1.35 Vtt works fine at fsb of 400.
    UPDATE
    I had forgotten that some Gigabyte boards including this one set volts corresponding to your OC if volt values are set on Auto. Auto setting seems incredibly heavy handed. I knew nothing about CPU PLL and the fact it might be beneficial to keep this value lower, there are arguments for keeping this value lower on 45nm and that high volts are safe, take your pick.
    At 400fsb with CPU termination set on normal and all else auto except vcore and dram, auto sets PLL value at 1.7.

  5. #5
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Findings / Review

    Nice review! I need to get my Review on GA-EP45-DS4P done up but this forum and work takes up so much of my time!

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