Motherboard Guide

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P review

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P

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Opening a New Front

Opening a New Front

The intense competition between the top tier motherboard vendors means that you're likely to find manufacturers touting new features with every chipset refresh or introduction. Some have worked better than others, becoming household names among enthusiasts and creating first mover advantage for vendors who got it right. Others have sunk in the market, to be removed quietly in the next revision.

Among the notable vendors, Gigabyte has had its fair share of such moments. Its recent successes, including the introduction of solid capacitors on its motherboards and its Dynamic Energy Saver technology for active phase power management have been taken up by other vendors and consolidated Gigabyte's status in the market. While some companies have been focused on cutting production costs to compete, Gigabyte has upped the stakes with high quality products that appeal to power users.

So it's with great interest that we examine another new development in this competitive segment. Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 'umbrella' of features will see an addition - the company is doubling the amount of copper in the PCB. The hence renamed Ultra Durable 3 (UD3) will lead to a cooler motherboard and greater power efficiency. At least that's what the marketing claims. We'll see how this plays out in Gigabyte's latest P45 motherboard enhanced with Ultra Durable 3, the EP45-UD3P.

Gigabyte has four models of P45 motherboards enhanced with UD3 at the moment, two are DDR3 and the other two are DDR2 models. As for the difference between the two (using the same memory type), it appears that the UD3P version that we received has 1 more Gigabit LAN port and more importantly, 2 PCIe x16 slots for CrossFire compared to the UD3R model.

There weren't any excessive extras in the Gigabyte package, no audio add-on module for instance. Here's the complete list of the items we found, followed by the technical specifications:-

  • 3 x SATA data cables
  • 1 x eSATA data cable
  • 1 x SATA power converter cable
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • 1 x eSATA I/O bracket
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CD
  • User manual
  • Hardware installation guide