Intel’s P45 chipset proves to be one of the best mainstream offerings ever created, and Gigabyte put it to good use on their EP45-EXTREME. The board offers sweet cooling ability (which the help of a lot of copper), amazing overclocking potential (500MHz stable with a Quad!) and fantastic power efficiency – all at a good price.
Checking Out the BIOS
I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the BIOS’ used on Gigabyte’s boards, but this one wasn’t too bad to work with. I do feel it was a little bit clunkier than it needed to be – something I really don’t think about when using a BIOS from ASUS. I’d love to see Gigabyte further improve their BIOS’ in the future, both for ease-of-use and slow page refreshing.
That complaint aside, the board offers a slew of tweaking options that will make the enthusiast happier than a peach… if a peach could somehow be happy. The simplest options to stick to include the clock ratio, host frequency, memory multiplier and then select voltages. These options are scattered all over, so you’ll have to scroll up and down constantly.
The voltage selection here is top-notch… better than any other motherboard I’ve ever seen. In some ways it’s a little overkill, but if you have the skills needed to properly handle all these, then you’ll feel right at home. I personally stuck with the CPU, MCH and DRAM primary voltages, which served me well in our overclocking tests, as we’ll tackle later.
I’ll let the rest of the images speak for themselves, since there’s nothing truly new here.
As I hoped, the EP45-EXTREME’s BIOS certainly delivered. Though it’s a little clunky, it offers an intense amount of tweaking-ability, and that’s sure to be appreciated by any overclocker.