Gigabyte EP45-UD3P

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TheAtomicKid
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Gigabyte EP45-UD3P

Post by TheAtomicKid » Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:07 am

Have just replaced my evga 780i as a somewhat 'needed' sidegrade. It has taken up residence in one of my pair of antec 300 mid-tower cases...

Lot's of good to report, so I'll just tote them out one at a time... couple minor possible issues in here as well.. time will tell.

1: Big one here. There's _just_ enough room around the cpu socket, to allow me to mount my thermalright hr-01 plus crosswise across the top of the board, putting the airflow path through the cpu, directly in line with the 140mm blowhole fan. The 780i, as I reported before somewhere iirc, had just enough clutter around the cpu socket, to prevent this from happening with the default mounting hardware. When I just, I mean the mounting bracket for the hr01 is actually touching both the northbridge, and the loan (mosfet? I think) heatsink. But it does fit, with a little work.

2: Damn, it's quiet. Passive onboard cooling leaves me with just the case fans.(and the video card) Sadly, for now, the antec tri-cools are staying... but they're set to low, and it's not too bad. As I've posted before, I do prefer a little bit of white noise, but... we'll see. In the front fanslots, are two 120mm scythe
slipstreams, with the sony bearings. I'm pondering, but haven't decided, whether to replace these with a pair of the noctua NF-P12, downvolted to 7 volts for more quietness, with hopefully a little greater pressure/airflow, to help push air through the unit and over all the passive cooling.

3: Still running the nvidia 8800 gts/320 for now. It's relatively quiet, although I've yet to test it in gaming mode with the current build. Possibly it will be getting replaced this year, come income tax time. Depends on the state of the world, the economy, etc etc etc.

4: Niggling detail. The power led connector for the front panel, isn't quite compatible with the motherboard pinout... the panel uses a three pin socket, and the motherboard uses two pins adjacent... which could normally be adjusted by redoing the pins in the socket... but.. there's a protective wall around the pinout area on the board, so I need to either pull the pins from the socket, or replace the socket with a two-pin from somewhere. All other connectors fit, although I've left both led's off for now.

5: No in-depth testing of the realtek 889 sound solution yet, but I'll be listening to it closely over the coming days, both for anime/movie playback, and gaming (warhammer online, mostly). So far, no problems. Drivers actually installed without a fuss.

6: Network drivers are 50/50. Got one port working easily, but the second port is refusing to activate for some reason (not even listed in device manager.. gonna have to fuss with it when I have time to putter). For the record, I don't have it set in the bios to turn off automatically if it's unused.. at least it shouldn't be. I'll check it again later.

7: Pretty quiet for a 'passive' cooled Q6600 folks. Once I got that frackin 780i excised from the case, everything calmed down nicely. I probably could have modded the northbridge fan (in fact I did, but the replacement was only a 60mm ys-tech, and it was noisier than the stock fan... damn sure cooled off the northbridge though... hehehe)

8: All the good reviews around the net about this board are NOT lieing. It has tons and tons of options in the bios, and the build quality is pretty dang good, right out of the box. For those of you familiar with some of my postings, you'll note I like to fuss with the stock cooling a lot, mostly because usually it comes from the factory in pretty poor shape, thermally. I'll eventually get to this one too, but for now, it's running very nicely.

9: Temperatures... hehehe... this is idle, mind you...

Realtemp: 29/29/27/32
Coretemp: 34/34/32/36

That's with an HR-01 Plus, with arctic ceramique, using just the case ventilation. It ran a bit warmer on the 780i board due to the 'incorrect' orientation relative to the case fans.

10: Just a note... even though I couldn't (easily) get it stabilized on the 780i board.. the gigabyte includes a load line calibration option in the bios. Toggle that, and it boots right up at 400/3.6 Ghz. No muss, no fuss. At least not yet. It's currently running at defaults until I have time to 'play' with it more, and me wanting to be sure on the cooling capacity before I try to roast it.

That's all for now. I'll try to add more later. Time to reboot, tickle it some more, and reinstall Warhammer.

Atomic

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:20 am

Very nice mini-review, i'm interested in the little sister EP45-UD3R, similar features. I will use my conroe e6400 and 2GB pc5400 corsair, hope they work on it :roll:

gabeyd
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Post by gabeyd » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:39 am

_MarcoM_ wrote:Very nice mini-review, i'm interested in the little sister EP45-UD3R, similar features. I will use my conroe e6400 and 2GB pc5400 corsair, hope they work on it :roll:
I have an EP45-UD3R with an E8400 @ 3.6 and 4G of pc6400. Anything you want to know about it?

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:30 am

Oh yes, i have some questions :)

First of all, can i mount a Noctua NHU9B on this motherboard? Is there enough space?
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=prod ... =17&lng=en
In your opinion, is it too heavy for this motherboard? It weight 550g with fan.
I have an antec P150, is there enough space between cpu and psu?

And last but not least, what happen if i put 4GB ram under winXP pro? :wink:

TheAtomicKid
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Update:

Post by TheAtomicKid » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:31 am

Did some stress testing tonight for a bit. Absolutely no crashing. Tried the cpu in 400x6 mode to up the memory bandwidth... no problems (completely stable)... retaining the cpu in this mode I think.

Prime95 testing lets the cpu get quite warm, even in default mode. It's not the best stress test, I know. However, it works in the short term. Due to the confusion that abounds with multicore cpu temps (at least for intel), I will simply report that the Tjunction temperatures, which are the temps of the individual cores, will run roughly 60-62c in default mode with prime95 running. This is not, if I understand things correctly, the actual safe operating temp of the chip, which is, iirc, reported as 60-65c Tcase, which is another sensor at the center of the chip. The recommended thermal max for Tjunction, which is what I've been measuring so far, is being listed as 100c, so _plenty_ of legroom left there.

Did more testing at 400x9 mode as well. I still need to check it at low fan settings, so I can't report that atm. I wasn't brave enough. But with the fans up at max, which would probably be tolerable for gaming, but not for long term computing, the temps still remain comfortably in the low 60's, even with the 50% overclock.

Testing at more than 400 mhz fsb did not occur. I'm quite sure my ddr2/800 won't actually do much more without getting really funky with the ram timings, and unless you go to extreme speeds, it won't get you much of a return. My simple method of upping the fsb to 400 mhz, gives me a fair boost in memory performance, whilst still being within normal parameters, for everything except the cpu externals. Suffice to say, I'm happy with my ram performance running it sync'd to the 400 mhz fsb.

Did notice that, with the cpu boosted to 3.6, it made a major difference in framerate for warhammer. At default speeds, it runs 70-80 fps, unless it dips due to moving around, loading/unloading textures, etc. In which case it will dip down to say, 40-50, then shoot back up quickly.

With the cpu boosted, it pegs the counter and pretty much keeps it pegged, at 99fps, with brief dips below into the 80's sometimes as you move and turn, etc. No noticeable difference with either 'high quality', or 'fastest framerate' settings enabled. In both cases, the texture cache was set to max, and with fastest framerate, I do max the draw distance. (having a low draw distance is a bad disadvantage in pvp, though I haven't experimented much with the setting)

All of this is really sorta convincing me to invest in a bay fan controller, in particular I've found a lovely lamptron unit with 5 independant switches... I like the styling on it, it matches the 300 styling from the case. 7v for everyday work, and 12v for gaming. Or somesuch. To be honest, I don't think gaming stresses the cpu that much atm, since most games only utilize a single core. So in reality, the lamptron is more of a 'feel good' upgrade, than something that's needed.

I don't run anything in the background on this machine anyways.. at least not right now.. if I did, like say folding, or whatever, I'd want to keep it quiet(er) anyways, so... hmm.

In any case, testing continues. This is by far, the best motherboard I've ever owned, especially compared to the 780i, which literally cost twice as much. The ep45 has been utterly and completely stable so far, and it has TONS more options for tweaking in the bios. AND it's passively cooled.

I could probably ditch the top fans entirely (the antec tri-cools) if I wanted to brave the higher temps. If I did that, I'd probably be better off with replacing the scythe slipstreams with those noctuas like I mentioned.. I think they'd improve my airflow, even at 7 volts, especially if I remove the top fans and let the cpu run completely.. err.. 'passive', as we call it.

I think, of everything so far, the only thing that really bugs me, is I could wish for another 1/4 inch in the cpu socket area, so the thermalright could fit without putting any pressure on the other heatsinks in the area around the socket. At some point in the future, I may look into modding them by cutting some of the aluminum vanes away in the immediate areas to allow that. It wouldn't do much to the heat dissipation, and I could replace the thermal paste at the same time.

Atomic

My q6600 is a stepping G0 SLACR if anyone wants to chime in with advice. Thanks in advance :)

TheAtomicKid
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Post by TheAtomicKid » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:59 am

_MarcoM_ wrote:Oh yes, i have some questions :)

First of all, can i mount a Noctua NHU9B on this motherboard? Is there enough space?
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=prod ... =17&lng=en
In your opinion, is it too heavy for this motherboard? It weight 550g with fan.
I have an antec P150, is there enough space between cpu and psu?

And last but not least, what happen if i put 4GB ram under winXP pro? :wink:
It looks like it will fit. You might have trouble with the mounting mechanism, depending on orientation. The tower itself should go just fine.

Too heavy? Not sure. The board isn't flimsy though. If the backplate is solid, and you use all the standoffs, you should be fine, even at half a kilo.

P150... top mounted psu. I'll answer by saying that the cpu socket is further inboard from the edge than the 780i is... that's what let me rotate the cooler 90 degrees for my particular setup. It will _probably_ fit. Does Noctua publish a compatibility listing?

WinXP Pro... If you use the 64bit version, you end up with something like 3.8 gigs of useable ram, with a bit of the paging file used :)

Personally, I'm 'evaluating' windows server 2008 again. Check out http://www.win2008workstation.com/wordpress/ for details...

Atomic

TheAtomicKid
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Hmm...

Post by TheAtomicKid » Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:14 am

This made for some interesting reading... looks like my target Tcase is 71c or less. More less being better than less less. Err... you get the idea. I'd forgotten they upped the Tcase Max when they updated to the G0 stepping for all of the Q6x00 series.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/22174 ... ture-guide

Atomic

(edit: Tcase runs right at 70c or so...... Tjunction temps hover around 75c or so... looks like my previous claim of low 60's was a fair bit off.. blame it on lack of sleep... this is at 400x6 settings, low fan speed on the tri-cools... maybe not too far off though.. I recall upping the fsb (which also ups the speed of the externals on the cpu), upped the femps a few degrees each as well...)

mkk
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Post by mkk » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:59 am

Seems nice, I'm getting one. But since I'm a couple of weeks away from holding it I have a pondering. Those two fancy metal tops with print that cover the northbridge+VRM heatsinks, does it look like they could be removed without much violence? They seem thin and might be blocking a wee bit of airflow for nothing else than some added looks.

Image

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Post by CA_Steve » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:57 am

"Did notice that, with the cpu boosted to 3.6, it made a major difference in framerate for warhammer. At default speeds, it runs 70-80 fps, unless it dips due to moving around, loading/unloading textures, etc. In which case it will dip down to say, 40-50, then shoot back up quickly.

With the cpu boosted, it pegs the counter and pretty much keeps it pegged, at 99fps, with brief dips below into the 80's sometimes as you move and turn, etc. No noticeable difference with either 'high quality', or 'fastest framerate' settings enabled. In both cases, the texture cache was set to max, and with fastest framerate, I do max the draw distance. (having a low draw distance is a bad disadvantage in pvp, though I haven't experimented much with the setting) "


What's your screen resolution?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

FuturePastNow
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Post by FuturePastNow » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:44 am

What about fan speed control? Could you use a 3-pin fan and Speedfan to test all of the fan headers? That has been a big problem with a lot of Gigabyte boards.

FuturePastNow
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Post by FuturePastNow » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:53 am

mkk wrote:Seems nice, I'm getting one. But since I'm a couple of weeks away from holding it I have a pondering. Those two fancy metal tops with print that cover the northbridge+VRM heatsinks, does it look like they could be removed without much violence? They seem thin and might be blocking a wee bit of airflow for nothing else than some added looks.

Image
Bit-Tech reviewed the board and found that the heatsink covers were just taped on.

link: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/1 ... p45-ud3r/2

TheAtomicKid
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Price drop at Newegg...

Post by TheAtomicKid » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:19 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128358

For 99$ this board is a steal...

Can't do any fan testing atm... I normally avoid using motherboard fan headers anyways due to potential problems in the past. Mind you with low speed fans, it's not an issue (excessive power draw can blow your fan headers)...

note: the bios only offers smartfan options for the cpu fan... the other three fan headers aren't referenced.

speedfan seems to find _5_ fans... not 4, for some reason? <-- not really proficient with it though... perhaps I'm misunderstanding what it's showing me.

Atomic

ps: I'd have sworn I posted earlier responding to the screen res question... 1680x1050. Not the highest of high end, but it's nice. I use a 20inch gateway model with an s-pva substrate, and it's very nice for watching movies, though the backlighting isn't as perfect as it could be. All hail the advent of organic led technology :D

mkk
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Post by mkk » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:55 pm

FuturePastNow wrote:Bit-Tech reviewed the board and found that the heatsink covers were just taped on.
link: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/1 ... p45-ud3r/2
Neat. A good review too. Thanks.

specular
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Post by specular » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:36 pm

gabeyd, how's the fan control on your board? Is the Gigabyte utility any good for this?

oakdad
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Post by oakdad » Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:11 am

I would like to know if the easytune software is used to update bios, drivers and utilities, or is it used just for monitoring and tweeking them.

gabeyd
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Post by gabeyd » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:13 pm

specular wrote:gabeyd, how's the fan control on your board? Is the Gigabyte utility any good for this?
Speedfan can control 2 of the fan headers. The board has 4 total, but I can only get control on two of them. That is the two 4 pin ones. My CPU fan is 4 pin and controls from speed fan. The other 4 pin connector I have a 3 pin Nexus 120 on, and it also controls from speed fan. The two 3 pin headers don't seem to have speed fan control.

However, I'm not using speed fan at the moment, because the BIOS does a good job of controlling the two fan headers that work.

I have not tried the gigabyte utility.

gabeyd
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Post by gabeyd » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:17 pm

_MarcoM_ wrote:Oh yes, i have some questions :)

First of all, can i mount a Noctua NHU9B on this motherboard? Is there enough space?
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=prod ... =17&lng=en
In your opinion, is it too heavy for this motherboard? It weight 550g with fan.
I have an antec P150, is there enough space between cpu and psu?

And last but not least, what happen if i put 4GB ram under winXP pro? :wink:
I have a Xigmatek S1283 CPU cooler. It's fairly big and it's 600g, and it seems sturdy enough. THough I bought the Zalman backplate for it, as the Xigmatek only comes with push pins. This is an an Antec Solo, which I think is the same case as the P150? It all fits in the Solo...

I'll boot WinXP Pro later (I have dual boot setup, but usually run Vista 64-bit). I have 8G of RAM though, not 4, but I think the answer in both cases is about 3.2G seen by the OS. But, I'll try next time I reboot and let you know.

gabeyd
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Post by gabeyd » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:19 pm

oakdad wrote:I would like to know if the easytune software is used to update bios, drivers and utilities, or is it used just for monitoring and tweeking them.
Just for monitoring and setting the Overclocking options.

I actually couldn't get the windows based bios flash to work - a different program, and had to setup a boot floppy to flash the bios. But I run Vista 64-bit, so that could have been the problem.

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Post by mkk » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:40 pm

With these Gigabyte boards it's easiest to just put the new BIOS file onto a USB stick and flash with the motherboards built in POST screen flash feature QFLASH. Flashing a motherboards BIOS from inside Windows has a higher degree of failure anyway.

_MarcoM_
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Post by _MarcoM_ » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:51 am

gabeyd wrote: I have a Xigmatek S1283 CPU cooler. It's fairly big and it's 600g, and it seems sturdy enough. THough I bought the Zalman backplate for it, as the Xigmatek only comes with push pins. This is an an Antec Solo, which I think is the same case as the P150? It all fits in the Solo...

I'll boot WinXP Pro later (I have dual boot setup, but usually run Vista 64-bit). I have 8G of RAM though, not 4, but I think the answer in both cases is about 3.2G seen by the OS. But, I'll try next time I reboot and let you know.
Thank you very much gabeyd for the useful infos :)
So the Noctua will fit for sure, because it's small than the Xigmatek, and my Antec P150 is a white Solo. Nice :wink:

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Post by gabeyd » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:13 pm

gabeyd wrote: I'll boot WinXP Pro later (I have dual boot setup, but usually run Vista 64-bit). I have 8G of RAM though, not 4, but I think the answer in both cases is about 3.2G seen by the OS. But, I'll try next time I reboot and let you know.
Yes, booting my 8G machine into XP Pro 32-bit shows 3.25G of Memory.

Vista 64-bit shows all 8G, and its nice!

mkk
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Post by mkk » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:27 am

After a long wait I finally got my board, and it's everything I hoped for. For instance with the Load Line Calibration setting the VCore sits sharply at the set value and doesn't fluctuate with CPU load or otherwise. This makes overclocking at relatively low voltages easier to achieve. For now I'm running my E7200 at 3.7GHz with 1.36V and 8x463MHz.

A tip on removing the decorative plates on the boards two largest heatsinks. Grip the corrugated side(not the side with holes) of the plates with your fingernails, pull up carefully and the quite strong glue will start to give way. Before seeing the board first hand I was also somewhat concerned with how close the northbridge heatsink was to the nearest memory slot, but there proved to be ample space when installing so there was no real risk of scratching the components.

Image

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Post by alecmg » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:13 am

Thanks for great review.

I'm in a middle of deciding whether to switch from Gigabyte EX38-DS5 to this one. EP45 has more voltage options and bit less power consumption, but the gain (10W tops?) hardly justifies the price

I had great experience of overclocking while retaining working speedstep voltage drop with this gigabyte board. CIA automatic overclock allows you to have both, while upping FSB to 400+.

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Post by aristide1 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:45 am

Can you undervolt with this board :?:
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Post by mkk » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:02 pm

You can undervolt lots of things on the board if you wish to try it. The voltage settings cover wide ranges. My E7200 can be undervolted down to 0.5V, though I wonder if that would be stable at any speed. ;)

Edit: Here's a shot of the tuner software. All settings are available in the BIOS.
Image

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Re: Update:

Post by appletree » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:52 pm

TheAtomicKid wrote:I think, of everything so far, the only thing that really bugs me, is I could wish for another 1/4 inch in the cpu socket area, so the thermalright could fit without putting any pressure on the other heatsinks in the area around the socket.
So how much of a problem is this ? I've already ordered HR-01 plus and I now consider using it with this mobo (though I will order mobo only after HR-01 arrives). Will HR-01 Plus with installed 120mm fan fit perfectly or do the heatsinks prevent it from optimal fit ? Or will removing the heatsink covers help to solve the problem ? (in that case - how much does removing of covers affect temparatures ?)

Edited: And also if someone owns the board, have you tried the second PCIe x16 slot with something else than video card ? I know that in theory it should work but I need to know for sure. I am pretty cofident that I will never need to run crossfire but I almost definitely will be adding some HW RAID card and I would like to konw if it will work or if I should opt for another board.
Last edited by appletree on Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by aristide1 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:13 pm

MKK, re: your pic.

:shock: <- I don't know how to make the eyes bigger.
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Re: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P

Post by jolynsbass » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:42 pm

TheAtomicKid wrote:4: Niggling detail. The power led connector for the front panel, isn't quite compatible with the motherboard pinout... the panel uses a three pin socket, and the motherboard uses two pins adjacent... which could normally be adjusted by redoing the pins in the socket... but.. there's a protective wall around the pinout area on the board, so I need to either pull the pins from the socket, or replace the socket with a two-pin from somewhere. All other connectors fit, although I've left both led's off for now.

Atomic
Atomic, there is a 3 pin LED power connector just above the array of two pin connectors. I just bought this board a few days ago, and I've liked it so far. Nice review you gave here!

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