Page 12 - Overclocking and Conclusion
I'll keep this section to the point. The maximum frequency I was able to attain was 3.29GHz (76.3% overclock) at 1.45V before vdroop -- which is, pretty decent, but not necessarily impressive by today's standards. The CPU can handle 485MHz*7 for 3.4GHz on motherboards like the Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 and Asus' Striker II NSE. I tried increasing voltages to the Northbridge, loosening RAM latencies and frequency, increasing Northbridge strap frequency, as well as disabling any motherboard performance enhancements and nothing really helped. I dropped the multiplier to 6x and the FSB cannot be increased stably. Basically, our Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 cannot make it past 470MHz FSB. Again, it's "pretty decent", but I would expect a little more from a motherboard at this price range and designated market.
I thought the Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 was pretty good, at least on paper. The layout is mostly decent, and loaded with tons of features that was once only found on exclusive high end motherboards. It's built with quality components that Gigabyte DQ6 series motherboards are known for. The BIOS is very configurable and easy to overclock with. The audio performance is also surprisingly good. At first glance, everything is as it should be and a bit more. But appearance and reality could be really different. Performance is decent in most tests, but memory performance is certainly not quite up to par. Overclocking performance is below what I would expect from motherboards in this price range. The motherboard's initial stability with the BIOS is not quite acceptable. But it could be excused as a quick BIOS flash fixed most issues and this is, in fact, a new product. To be honest, I really wanted to like the Gigabyte EP45-DQ6. Well really, I do like it for the many positive aspects it has, unfortunately it missed the mark in the performance/overclocking segment. For a motherboard in this price range, I definitely expected it to excel in this area, but it has fallen short.
Special Thanks to Angela over at Gigabyte for making this review possible.
Starting from April 30, 2007, Number Ratings has been dropped for motherboards, RAM, and graphics cards. This is to ensure the most appropriate ratings reflected without the limits of using numbers. Everything else will continue using the Number Rating System.
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The Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 appears to be very nice, and it is very nice, but performance and overclocking could use some work!
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