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Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6

Gigabyte’s DQ6 family has been well known for some time, as it represents the highest-end configuration in each chipset series. Like most of the other boards, this one utilizes DDR2 memory at up to DDR2-1200 speeds; 1600 MHz front side bus speeds are officially supported as well.

Gigabyte’s DQ6 comes with a massive heat pipe that connects the southbridge, northbridge and the voltage regulators to distribute heat evenly and to dissipate it efficiently. Like Asus and MSI, Gigabyte also has an energy-saving feature called Dynamic Energy Saver (DES). Briefly, it helps to reduce power consumption by only activating as many of the 12 voltage regulator phases as are required for a given processor load.

The board can accept two ATI CrossFireX-compliant graphics cards and it comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Both Asus and Gigabyte drive the northbridge and the memory slots through two-phase voltage regulators to increase stability. Thanks to the ICH10R, all common RAID modes up to RAID 5 are supported. In addition, we found an extra UltraATA/133 controller to support two channels, an ITE controller for floppy disk drives, and the same Silicon Image SteelVine controller found on the Asus board. Firewire is there, as are a plethora of enthusiast features as well. Check out the Gigabyte website for more details.