PCGH exclusive: Gigabyte EP45-DS4 with Intel P45-Chip previewed
Two Intel P45 boards arrived at our place today - you can find a lot of pictures here. Unfortunately we are only allowed to keep the Gigabyte board for just a single day. Because of the short amount of time we have, we can only make a preview of the board and focus on the BIOS, power consumption and the features of the board.
The test sample of the Gigabyte EP45-DS4 with Intel's new mainstream chipset P45 is still in pre release state and is labeled revision 0.2 with a beta BIOS (F2B) - final conclusions about the features, the BIOS and the OC behaviour cannot be made yet. The cooling is not in the final state too and will be changed: Our test sample is equiped with two simple alu blocks, whereas the final version of the cooling will include heatpipes.
Nonetheless our EP45-DS4 sample shows pretty well what is about to come: The board features three PCI-E slots for video cards - in Crossfire mode two of the slots are split into eight lanes each (the bandwidth of 16 PCI-E-1.0 lanes equals the bandwidth of 8 lanes PCI-E-2.0). The third mechanical PCI-E-x16 slot is electrically connected to the chipset with only four lanes. Furthermore the board has four DDR2 slots, six SATA ports and a PATA connector are onboard. New for a board from Gigabyte are a on/off button, a reset and a CMOS clear button (they look exactly like the ones Asus uses). Unfortunately there is no E-SATA port at the backpanel. But the panel is not empty: Two GBit-LAN, eight USB ports and digital audio outputs (both coax and optical). The sound chip (Realtek ALC889A) is the already being used on the EP35-DS4.
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