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EP45-DQ6 Onboard Devices

11-Way P45 Motherboard Shootout
By

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 (Revision 1.0)
Northbridge Intel P45 Express
Southbridge Intel ICH10R
Voltage Regulator Twelve Phases
BIOS F10a (07/16/2008)
333.3 MHz (FSB1333) 333.4 MHz (+0.02%)
Clock Generator IC2 9LPRS914EKL
Connectors and Interfaces
Onboard 2x PCIe 2.0 x16 (Modes: One x16, One x8)
2x PCIe x4, Open Ended (Accepts x16 Cards)
1x PCIe x1
2x PCI
2x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector)
3x IEEE-1394 FireWire
1x Serial Port header
1x Floppy
1x Ultra ATA (2 drives)
10x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s
1x Front Panel Audio
1x CD-Audio In
1x S/P-DIF Out
2x Fan 4 pins (CPU/System)
2x Fan 3 pins (Chassis)
1x Internal Power Button
1x Internal Reset Button
1x Internal CLR_CMOS Button
IO panel 2x PS2 (keyboard + mouse )
2x Digital Audio Out (S/P-DIF Coaxial, Optical)
4x RJ-45 Network
8x USB 2.0
6x Analog Audio Jacks (8-ch out, Mic+Line In)
Mass Storage Controllers
Intel ICH10R 6x SATA 3.0Gb/s (RAID 0,1,5,10)
Gigabyte SATA2 (by Jmicron) PCI-E 1x Ultra ATA-133 (2-drives)
2x SATA Host for SteelVine Controller
2x Silicon Image Sil5723CNU SATA 4x SATA 3.0Gb/s (RAID 0, 1, Cascading)
Network
4x Realtek RTL8111B PCI-E Quad Gigabit LAN with Teaming
Audio
Realtek ALC889A HD Audio Codec 7.1 + 2 channel Multi-Streaming Output
Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 PCI 3x IEEE-1394a (400 Mbit/s)

Gigabyte uses all six of the ICH10R’s PCI Express lanes for a single x1 slot and five onboard devices.

Gigabyte’s port panel is filled with USB and Gigabit Network connections, but that means it lacks several other key elements such as eSATA and FireWire. Few users will have eight USB 2.0 devices that they want to be plugged into the back, and we’d have preferred to see a couple of these ports moved to a third front-panel header. At least the full set of audio connections is provided, with digital optical and digital coaxial connections, plus enough analog channels to support 7.1 surround output, line-level input, and a stereo microphone simultaneously.

We didn’t mention that the number of internal Serial ATA ports totaled ten on the previous page because four of these are meant to be used with included eSATA breakout cables. Of course they can still be used internally, but the four we speak of now have a couple other things in common. Two Silicon Image SIL5723 “SteelVine” port multipliers connect the four ports to two SATA links supplied by the Gigabyte SATA2 controller. That means that each drive pair relies on a single 3.0 Gb/s link, and that each pair will appear as a single SteelVine drive to the chipset and OS. Furthermore, both SteelVine controllers are limited by the SATA2 controller’s PCI Express x1 interface to only 250MB/s, which is a significant handicap for RAID 0 configurations of more than two drives.

SteelVine controllers have a few additional features, such as drive cascading and hardware RAID 1/0 capability, as we discussed in our technical analysis

Gigabyte uses PCI Express to provide the best possible performance to four Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit Ethernet controllers. The first two are easy to find at the EP45-DQ6’s rear edge.

The fourth Gigabit network controller is located beneath the chipset-to-VRM heatpipes. Due to the high number of onboard devices Gigabyte had to get stealthy with the third controller, hiding it beneath the battery! All four controllers can be combined in teaming mode for network speeds of up to four gigabits per second.

The Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 three-port IEEE-1394 FireWire controller is hidden with a little less stealth beneath the extended portion of the x16 length, x8 mode secondary graphics card slot.

Gigabyte uses the Realtek ALC889A to provide eight channel output (7.1 surround) with separate headphone channels for audio multi-streaming. The codec is rated at an impressive 107db signal-to-noise ratio.

Summary
  1. Introduction
  2. ASRock P45R2000-WiFi
  3. P45R2000-WiFi Onboard Devices
  4. P45R2000-WiFi BIOS And Overclocking
  5. P45R2000-WiFi Software And Accessories
  6. ASRock P45TS-R
  7. P45TS-R Onboard Devices
  8. P45TS-R BIOS And Overclocking
  9. P45TS-R Software And Accessories
  10. Asus Maximus II Formula
  11. Maximus II Formula Onboard Devices
  12. Maximus II Formula BIOS And Overclocking
  13. Maximus II Formula Software And Accessories
  14. Asus P5Q Deluxe
  15. P5Q Deluxe Onboard Devices
  16. P5Q Deluxe BIOS And Overclocking
  17. P5Q Deluxe Software And Accessories
  18. Biostar TSeries TP45 HP
  19. TP45 HP Onboard Devices
  20. TP45 HP BIOS And Overclocking
  21. TP45 HP Software And Accessories
  22. Biostar TPower i45
  23. TPower i45 Onboard Devices
  24. TPower i45 BIOS And Overclocking
  25. TPower i45 Software And Accessories
  26. ECS Black Series P45T-A
  27. P45T-A Onboard Devices
  28. P45T-A BIOS And Overclocking
  29. P45T-A Software And Accessories
  30. Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6
  31. EP45-DQ6 Onboard Devices
  32. EP45-DQ6 BIOS And Overclocking
  33. EP45-DQ6 Software And Accessories
  34. Jetway HI04
  35. HI04 Onboard Devices
  36. HI04 BIOS And Overclocking
  37. HI04 Software And Accessories
  38. MSI P45 Platinum
  39. P45 Platinum Onboard Devices
  40. P45 Platinum BIOS And Overclocking
  41. P45 Platinum Software And Accessories
  42. MSI P45D3 Platinum
  43. P45 D3 Platinum BIOS And Overclocking
  44. P45D3 Platinum Software And Accessories
  45. Test Hardware
  46. Benchmark Configuration
  47. Benchmark Results: 3D Games
  48. Benchmark Results: Applications
  49. Benchmark Results: Video Encoding And Synthetics
  50. Performance Analysis
  51. Onboard Audio Quality
  52. Power Consumption And Temperature
  53. Overclocking
  54. Conclusion
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