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Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 4

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R

http://www.giga-byte.com/
$108
By: Thomas Soderstrom

How does a company like Gigabyte improve on something its buyers already thought approached perfection? By taking its Ultra Durable features to the next level, of course. Ultra Durable 3 uses an extra-thick layer of copper within the PCB to reduce hot spots, increasing efficiency of heat-sensitive components and adding what Gigabyte claims to be a little more stability for extreme overclockers.

Buyers previously considering Gigabyte’s DS3R version will notice that the improved UD3R version actually costs less—and wonder what features they’re giving up? Unlike its predecessor, the GA-EP45-UD3R has only a single Gigabit network port, as the second port is something most buyers never use. More durability and fewer unused features are a boon to cost-conscious consumers. After all, the rest of the board’s features remain robust. You get the P45/ICH10-R chipset combination, support for any Intel Core 2-based CPU, including Core 2 Extremes on a 1,600 MHz front side bus (Gigabyte unofficially adds support for this feature on P45), and four DDR2 memory slots able to take 16 GB running at up to non-standard DDR2-1366 speeds.

Though PCI Express connectivity is limited to a single x16 slot (so pick your graphics card carefully), storage is much more scalable. The board includes six SATA 3 Gb/s ports from Intel’s ICH and two more through Gigabyte’s own re-branded SATA 2 chip. A Texas Instruments controller adds FireWire 400 support, and 12 USB 2.0 ports originate from the Intel southbridge.

With Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 enhancement, the GA-EP45-UD3R is sure to be a hit with frugal overclockers. And there’s nothing wrong with being a frugal buyer for the overclocker on your list.

  • snotling
    The model is way too skinny. she makes the hardware look cheap.
    Reply
  • snotling
    SnotlingThe model is way too skinny. she makes the hardware look cheap.I did notice there were two girls in there, but even if you add them up you still get too little meat to call that a woman.
    Reply
  • wicko
    Wow, I can't believe I'm reading complaints about these girls. They are skinny, but not anorexic, they look like they're in very good shape. My girlfriend is getting jealous :p
    Reply
  • blackened144
    I personally like the brunette for the articles.. Something about her reminds me of Christmas.. The blonde, not so much..
    Reply
  • LSoares1
    Wait, Did I miss something? What happened to part 2 and 3 of the 2008 Holiday Guide? All I see is part 1 and now this one....
    Reply
  • LSoares1
    nevermind - I see the links in this article, but I didn't notice them on the Guide section.
    Reply
  • antiacid
    SnotlingThe model is way too skinny. she makes the hardware look cheap.Were you looking for "fat girls gone wild" when you opened this review? Seriously, this had to be the dumbest complaint of the year.
    Reply
  • WINTERLORD
    Of course, you’ll void your warranty in the process,

    does anyone know if intel really can tell if your CPU has been just mildly overclocked? with no burn marks ect. i wonder about that cause id love to overclock it's fun to tinker with, but could not afford getting a bum chip, and it not be under warranty.
    Reply
  • Nice to see the update about the Seagate fix, finally.
    Reply
  • WINTERLORD
    That "the Gigabyte’s board with 2 graphics slots" is a sweet looking motherboard. and for anyone who just needs one graphics card slot i bet this be an alswome rig as well. a deffinit choice if i upgrade to the core 2 quad route. prolly go nehalem core i7 though
    Reply