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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R

3. The Package

We received the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R into a bare box, due to early shipping. Users will get the full retail package at a good price of 149$ (+shipping). The retail package follows the traditional design found in other Gigabyte motherboards. Below you can see what is included in the retail package

Our testing box was rather much simple:

Opening the retail box, we found only a driver disc and the motherboard.


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

We can see an 6 phase power design and low heighted MOSFETs for minimum switching loss & lower temperature. A passive copper heatsink covers the northbridge and hopefully it will not be as hot as we expect to be during overclocking. There are also four DDR2 DIMMs for up to 8GB memory configurations, properly colored for dual-channel installations:

At the lower left side of the board we find six (6) SATAII connectors and of course the ATA133 connector. The Southbridge is also covered with a small passive copper heatsink.

The newly adopted PCI-e v2.0 has higher bandwidth for the newly introduced graphic cards. There are two PCI-e slots 2.0 with x16 mode and support for CrossFire Technology. There is enough empty space between the three slots, allowing the easy installation of oversized graphics cards.

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

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

Belwo you can also see an array of leds called "Phase Leds". These light up according to the CPU load.

And of course, Gigabyte includes two BIOS in case a flashing procedure goes wrong... Motherboards that support DualBIOS have two BIOS onboard, a main BIOS and a backup BIOS. Normally, the system works on the main BIOS. However, if the main BIOS is corrupted or damaged, the backup BIOS will take over on the next system boot and copy the BIOS file to the main BIOS to ensure normal system operation. For the sake of system safety, users cannot update the backup BIOS manually.

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