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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4

2. The Package

The Gigabyte EP35-DS4 is a medium-priced motherboard available online for around 135~150 Euro (+shipping).

The retail package follows the traditional design of Gigabyte motherboards with all the usual logos printed on the box

Inside the retail box we find cables, various connectors and adapters.

Gigabyta has included just the essentials in the box. Specifically, there are four (4) SATA internal cables and an eSATA bracket included that turns a couple of the internal ports into external ones. You will find a backplate for your case and of course a printed manual that explains in depth the various functions of the motherboard. In the included driver/utility CD you will find all you need in order to get things started with a single click.

Don't expect to find any retail game included since Gigabyte has chosen to keep the overall cost at fair levels.

The board's layout looks very "clean" as most parts can be identified easily.

Let's take a closer look at the CPU area.

In the picture above you can see a 6-phase power design and low heighted MOSFETs for minimum switching loss & lower temperature. The copper heatpipes connect the north/south bridge and are there to keep the temperature levels down under overclocking conditions.

The overall size is small enough allowing for easy installation of any additional big sized cpu coolers. There are also four DDR2 DIMMs for up to 8GB memory configurations, properly coloured for easy dual-channel installations:

At the lower left of the board we find six (8) SATAII connectors and of course the ATA133 connector. The Southbridge is also covered with a passive copper heatsink.

The newly adopted PCI-e v2.0 has higher bandwidth for the latest graphic cards. There are three PCI-e slots, two blue-colored using the PCIe2.0 x16 mode and a black one working at PCIe x4 or x1 modes.

The motherboard also supports ATI's CrossFire Technology. The available space between the slots could be useful in case you choose to install oversized graphics cards. However the location of the yellow/purple SATA ports could pose a problem if you try to install the lengthy Nvidia/ATI based graphics boards in dual cards setups (Crossfire in our case).

There are also several extra ports in additional brackets that can be installed on the rear side of the PC chassis.

The I/O panel has the following ports and connectors:

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 2 x IEEE 1394a ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)




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