Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P - P45 at its Finest

by Gary Key on 2/3/2009 12:15 AM EST


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  • Norm VH - Monday, August 17, 2009 - link

    I am rebuilding in an old computer case using the Gigabyte EP45-Ud3P motherboard. Have new e7500 cpu. New evga 9500 Gt video card. new Corsair ddr2 ram and a new antec earthwatts psu. Before I add all the rest of the items I am checking fan features. Board lights come on. Case fans work. video card fan works. But the Zalman 9700 fan just jumps a little and stops. The Intel fan that came with the CPU does the same thing. Tried cpu fans in both cpu_fan 4 pin and the sys_fan2. Is this normal? Is the fan waiting for the CPU to heat up? I returned a motherboard to Fry's for the same behavior. They said fans should start. I tested the fans on an old asus motherboard and they are working. Reply
  • Isme - Thursday, December 03, 2009 - link

    Yes On my EP45-UD3L there is a warm up time before the CPU fan needs to turn on. Its not long for most heat sinks. Maybe 5-10 seconds. You see the CPU fan twitch then sit idle for a time related to how big the heat sink itself is.

    For modern CPUs you should not need to worry about CPU overheat while messing around with the CPU fan unless you already have cranked voltages for extreme overclocking. The CPU should shut itself off within 10C and 30 seconds of reaching maximum normal operating temperature. I would not do any overclocking until you get fans and other basics working.
  • lancerocke - Friday, July 24, 2009 - link

    so there is no fix for this crackling audio?
    i kinda want to return this board now.
  • Voldenuit - Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - link

    Sadly, I just got an EP45-UD3P Rev1.1, and the onboard audio still crackles. :(

    Running Win7 Ultimate RC.
  • syseng - Friday, June 12, 2009 - link

    My second Gagabyte board of this model has died. The first one was DOA and this second one died more gradually. The problem is that it woudl sometimes refuse to turn on or off with the power button. Pressing the button mutliple times or holding it in sometimes worked. Finally, it would not power up at all. I have grounded the pin 16 of the system power connector to start and run the system until I can get a replacement. I have read many comments from varous forums of people having power control problems with this board. Mine was never over-clocked and no power management control was on.

    Gigabyte will not ship a replacement until they receive the dead board and test it. Estimated round trip time to get the board back is about 3 weeks. Probably the last Gigabyte for me. When I built this system in March, I ordered a Gigabyte 4850 graphics card (all from Newegg) and it was DOA too.

    I am just wondering if I am incredibilty unlucky with Gigabyte or if they really have a quality problem. They certainly have a customer service problem if they think it is acceptable to have a system down for 3 weeks.
  • keithh - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    I decided to give Gigabyte a shot for my latest system build and purchased the EP45-UD3L for the kid's linux desktop. I was using a PATA DVD drive to install to an older IDE HD. After the installation started, the system abrupty died. After resetting, the bios was unable to see the drives. Cutting a long story short, I concluded that the motherboard was bad and exchanged it.

    The second board had exactly the same problem.

    After switching to an ASUS motherboard, I had no problems.

    I eliminated the following possibilities during my investigation:
    - master/slave settings
    - IDE cable
    - DVD drive
    - IDE drive (tried a SATA drive from another machine)
    - RAM test
    - BIOS revision (F2 -> F4 didn't make a difference)
    - installing Windows XP from a disk that is known to be good
    - installing two different Linux distributions including Fedora 10.

    It uses the JMicron 368 PATA chipset which has a dodgy reputation so conceivably using a SATA DVD drive and a SATA HD would have worked.

    The power supply was a brand new Corsair.

    That doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation - I was 0/2 on the Gigabyte MB. I wasn't impressed.
  • syskin - Saturday, February 21, 2009 - link

    Hi, I have one question which is very important to me.
    If I:
    - overclock FSB and
    - set a higher Vcore voltage and
    - activate EIST/speedstep,

    ...will this motherboard still lower Vcore at idle (as per speedstep) or will it keep it at bios setting all the time?

    Thank you in advance.
  • foofoo - Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - link

    I have 2 x 2GB RAM installed and winXP pro 32 bit only sees 2.5GB. The BIOS (f7) sees all 4GB. Changed RAM and slots with the same results. I put in a trouble ticket to Gigabyte support and got the following response (or non-response)

    "You will need to use 64 bit OS in order to see the full 4gb capacity or higher
    Windows will automatically reserve an certain amount of memory being used and there are no way to adjust it"

    All other gigabyte boards that I have used (965 and P35 chipsets) show 3.5GB with 4 installed under XPpro. This is actually a game stopper for me since losing that much RAM affects the usefulness of my PC.

    Fair warning for all wanting to use a 32 bit OS with this board.

  • Isme - Thursday, December 03, 2009 - link

    Make sure you are looking at BIOS RAM reports especially the POST. Or I'd use the Task Manager Physical Memory report or the built-in Windows Accessories-System Tool-System Information-System Summary tab-Total Physical Memory line before I panic about hardware issues. Note that on one of my computers I have only 1.19GB available out of 2029MB. Application reports of RAM are pretty much useless except for that application at that point in time with whatever else happens to be running. Know how 3rd party utility tools define available RAM.

    Well the amount of RAM visible varies. Depending on OS and reporting tool 1GB may be reserved for the OS. That is the standard 32-bit Windows OS only has 3GB RAM for user purposes. With older very basic peripheral devices and XP that often included memory mapped IO space. But with newer larger OSes and huge numbers of motherboard ports and video cards sporting 1GB+, dedicated SATA port buffer frames, dedicated buffers for fancy network ports...

    Remaining RAM space, especially user space, may be more dependent on how much of the 4GB space is mapped for peripherals in your particular setup. I would not be surprised if some video cards are mapping 512MB or more to main memory as a window now that 1GB+ video cards are common. I suppose a less considerate video BIOS might even automatically reserve space for an X-fire setup even if you are not using one.

  • pudlglum - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    Thanks for all the excellent knowledge on the AnandTech Forum. I believe this is my first post on any forum, and I've been into PCs since purchasing my brand new Compaq Portable 286, with 256K ram and a single 1.2 Mb floppy.

    I've had a GA-EP45-UD3R running for about a week. All components are conventional, all good quality, nothing is "bleeding edge", and I'm not overclocking. I have an ATI Radeon HD 4350 PCI-e graphics card, connected to a Hitachi CM751 CRT monitor. Two WD SATA hard drives are connected to the Intel (yellow) connections, configured in the BIOS to IDE mode. My reliable Plextor PX-760A CD/DVD burner is connected as "master" to the single IDE connection.

    Everything was smooth except for two things: occasionally the screen resolution was corrupted when resuming from standby, and I was getting disk write failures from both an old (4X) CD burner and my recent Plextor PX-760A CD/DVD burner.

    I downloaded whatever recent drivers I could find; the video problem hasn't recurred, but ImgBurn or CDBurnerXP both froze while attempting to write an iso image (Windows 7 Beta) to a DVD. ImgBurn locked both itself and Explorer, and required a forced reboot. CDBurnerXP Pro provided the following error message:

    Writing Error: (3) Error occurred writing data to disc.
    The SCSI/ATAPI bus was reset and caused a write failure (1026).
    Error Sense Data: SENSE KEY: 6 ASC: 29 ASCQ: 0

    Apparently both IDE and the purple SATA2 connectors are controlled by the "Gigabyte SATA2" chip, enabled in my BIOS in IDE mode. It is listed in the Device Manager "SCSI and RAID controllers" section as "GIGABYTE GBB36X Controller", with driver provider "JMicron Technology Corp". I was distracted by several suggestions that the JMicron driver was buggy, but that was just a wild-goose-chase.

    I then pursued some marginal comments about DPC latency. The comments were typically in the context of audio crackling issues, which I had not (yet) noticed. However, several posts also referred to the Gigabyte Energy Saver service. I had not knowingly installed that package from the Gigabyte motherboard CD, but I found the GSvr.exe service running, with description "GEST service for power management". It also appeared in my Start menu, under GIGABYTE > EnergySaver.

    I downloaded DPC Latency Checker V1.1.0 and discovered that my latency was averaging around 500µs, with all "foreground" applications closed, and with Windows Desktop Search and Avast Antivirus disabled. Running ImgBurn in this condition resulted in a another DVD coaster.

    After hard-rebooting, I disabled the GSvr.exe service, and confirmed that the DPC latency dropped to around 5µs. This time, ImgBurn successfully wrote the iso file to the DVD (yay!).

    I have now uninstalled GSvr.exe (GIGABYTE > EnergySaver > Uninstall), and re-enabled Windows Desktop Search and Avast. In the last half hour or so, my DPC Latency has continued to average about 5µs, with an absolute maximum of 177µs. I suspect removing the Gigabyte EnergySaver service will solve both my disk burning and standby/wakeup problems.
  • Nickel020 - Saturday, February 14, 2009 - link

    many people including someone who posted here in the comments have the problem that the board won't boot in dual channel but everything is perfectly stable in single channel and the RAM sticks have all been verified to be working.
    Did you experience this problem when reviewing the board? The standard Gigabyte tech support guy has no clue how to fix this problem :( Could you maybe contact someone at GB to see if they're aware of this issue and if there is a fix for it?

    Would be great if you could do that!

  • Nickel020 - Saturday, February 14, 2009 - link

    I've been working on it and it seems that the RAM runs fine in single channel mode and slots 1 & 2.
    Trying DIMM clock skew now to check whether this may fix it.
  • GhettoFly - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    DFI's UT P45-T2RS isn't getting a lot of press coverage, but it's making some noise on enthusiast forums. Given Anandtech's excellent articles in the past on DFI boards, I was just curious if you guys planned to take a look at it, or was this Gigabyte the last P45 board you're going to review? Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    I have the EP45-DS3R and it performs very well. I have the Q6600 up to 3.42Ghz with ST 800Mhz memory. OC much better than the dead IP35E MB it replaced and I had thought I bought a lower performing board since it cost me $95 at frys :) Reply
  • Believer - Monday, February 09, 2009 - link

    I'm personally having major issues with this board and with my set of 4x2048MB OCZ Reavers.

    But then I don't receive cherry-picked products or have a hot-line to their tech support either.

    Reading up on a quite a few tech forums now have shown me I'm far from the only one with similar issues too.

    I suffer from the endless reboot cycling, the inability to boot with 4 memory modules installed and nonworking dual-channel support at either default, fail-safe or optimized BIOS settings.

    Upgrading BIOS to F7 didn't solve anything either.

    In order to get anything booted up I need to first install only 1 memory module, change in BIOS with upped Voltages to the MCH and DRAM, lower the FSB and/or memory to 800 and up the latencies.

    With such a change I can boot with all 4 of my Reavers installed.

    I have a friend with this board and Reaver memory too, and he can't OC the board the slightest without it crashing... not even slightly past the default PC2-1066 memory speeds, with FSB 333. But he doesn't have the other basic memory issues I'm having though. His and mine CPU temperature readings are low into the 30ish degree Celsius area too.

    Oh, and I might add I'm into my second RMA of the board without much of an improvement. The 2 boards showed two very different kind of memory issues though. But my memory runs just fine as long as I install them one and one, or 2 without dual channel config, I've stress tested them endlessly on default settings like that without problems.

    Anyone with similar issues that know what could be the fault?

    I have not get any response from Gigabyte's own tech support regarding this. Me and a few others with similar issues are being ignored on one of their own official support threads. That's service...

    I'm having a tech support from OCZ to help me sort out the problems too however, but he's leaning that it would seem to be my boards fault... again.

    Seem like third RMA might be getting closer.
    ... or I sit and drum my fingers waiting for Gigabyte to finally address the issues.
  • Jynx980 - Friday, February 13, 2009 - link

    Mine wouldn't even boot up. The CPU fan would not spin. A couple of other people on the Newegg reviews mention this problem also. How long did it take you to get your RMA approved? Mine is still "open" after a week. Tech support was ok. It took a couple of days but they did respond. Also haven't heard anything about the mail in rebate, and that's been about a month. I sent in a mushkin rebate on the same day to the same rebate center and I already have gotten the check. Reply
  • syseng - Friday, June 12, 2009 - link

    Gigabyte is obviously having financial problems. After 4 months, I do not have the rebates for my motherboard or graphics card. The companyhandling the rebates said Gigabyte has not released rebate checks in "quite a while". Resellers like Newegg should just drop them if they are not going to honor their commitments. Reply
  • Isme - Thursday, December 03, 2009 - link

    Gigabyte has had "financial" problems for 15 years. Quality has varied from time to time though it has usually been cases of bad engineering rather than bad workmanship.

    I think the "financial" problems aspect is that they are just cheap skates who intend that if anyone gets shafted on a deal it won't be Gigabyte. That is to say that direct exchanges have never been pleasant for private individuals. You really want to be buffered through a retailer or wholesale who is doing mass returns...or be an important reviewer...or just very patient.

  • Believer - Monday, February 09, 2009 - link

    Correct that, I just got a generic response from one of Gigabyte Tech Support.

    Looks like they're trying to pin-point it to the memory modules as no ordinary combination of 2 memory pairs are ever specifically supported to work together.
  • Isme - Thursday, December 03, 2009 - link

    Hmmm...does that mean the board really only supports a single dual channel pair? That would mean the other 2 slots are basically there is nice looking decoration only.

    Or was that response simply saying that Gigabyte never tested the motherboard with all 4 slots filled with off-the-shelf memory rather than hand-picked laboratory measured memory modules? Thus their answer could be more accurately paraphrased "we haven't got a clue and its your problem now sucker". With the whole overclocking fad I can sort of see this as a corporate answer (HObbyist know as much as we do and are willing to spend time -- so why should we waste our time providing a solution).

    Still it would be nice if they proved their claims using at least a couple sets of stock hardware in an non-overclocked configuration BEFORE releasing and advertising to the general public.
  • NimitzHarrington - Monday, February 09, 2009 - link

    Hi Gary,

    Excellent review. I'm glad I chose this board when I built my new system a couple of months back.

    However, I have not managed to get eSata fully working on this board. When I plug in an eSata HDD, Vista picks it up but it's listed as an internal disk. Therefore, I cannot remove it from "Safely remove hardware".

    I tried the latest Intel Storage Manager, but that did not help. I have had to resort to using HotSwap.

    Have you come across this during your testing (or has anyone else using this MB experienced and fixed this issue)?

  • Lazlo Panaflex - Thursday, February 05, 2009 - link

    An 8600 @ 5Ghz+...very nice o/c! I reckon that setup would fetch a pretty penny on Fleabay (unless Gary's using it as his main gaming rig...hehe ;) Reply
  • vlado08 - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    I expected core i7 architecture to use less power than core2 Quad in "idle" mode because it can switch off unused cores. So if I have a computer which is 24/7 in "on" state then the best power efficiency will be to use core 2 Duo. For example if it is used for downloading/uploading from internet.
    It seems I was wrong. Or may be it is a Vista problem failing to switch off unused cores of core i7?
  • jzodda - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    Have had it since october running my E8400@ 4.2ghz and 525 FSB 24/7

    This board is really a pleasure to work with once you get the hang of the various bios settings. Took awhile back then. Now there is an 1800 post thread at X-treme so info is no longer lacking on any setting.

    This board is a throw back to the good old Abit days of the BH6 and boards like it. Lots of fun.

  • SixOfSeven - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    LoneWolf15, what 4GB DDR2's are you using? Any problems setting things up? Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, February 05, 2009 - link

    "LoneWolf15, what 4GB DDR2's are you using? Any problems setting things up? "

    I apologize here. I used two 2GB modules, not two 4GB ones, and couldn't go back and re-edit.

    I'm using G.Skill Pi DDR2-800 modules which work at 1.8-1.9v with 4-4-4-12 timing. They're available at the `Egg for $45-50 a set with free shipping, and they're hassle free. Almost tempting to get a second set for Windows 7 x64 when it comes out.
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    Just wanted to add (even though you didn't ask) I'm using the 2X2gig Reaper ram that has the heatpipe with a huge heatsink on top (making the ram 2-3" taller than it would normally be). There are no clearance issues at all. Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Time to break out the LN2 and see how far it really goes ;) Reply
  • Freak Out - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    I was wondering if you could post a picture of the test setup? Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    Let me get one before I tear it down today. Reply
  • Archeon - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    I've used this board in my main rig now for about two months. I found this board has ONE major downside, which is not mentioned in this review I think.

    The problem is this: there is one electronics component VERY close to one of the holes which is used to hold to cooler onto the board. You can see the component I mean when you look at the second pic on page 4 (board layout) of this review. It's the hole surrounded by all the caps. If you look closely, you'll see that right above this hole, there's some sort of flat, slightly elevated electronics component.

    Why is this a problem? Because this hole is preventing me from mounting about any other cooler than the stock Intel cooler! I've tried both a Scythe Infinity (Mugen) and Ninja. I simply cannot install these coolers without pushing off the electronics component, which surely would not be a good idea. Even the stock Intel cooler of my old E6600 CPU doens't fit!! (Luckily the stock cooler of my E8500 does!)

    So now I run my rig with the stock Intel cooler, which is a shame since I have such a nice Mugen cooler readily available here, but it just won't fit!!! This is bad board design INHO, nothing less, nothing more.

    Apart from this issue, I absolutely love this board: rock solid, and all the features I need (and then some!)
  • The0ne - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    Looks like an oscillator to me and it does appear to sit too close to the locking hole. However, the photo might be deceiving my eyes. But judging from the pics alone I'm pretty sure my Artic Freezer 7 fan wouldn't fit on there. The clips will hit the component as well. However, my fan does sit fine in my EP45-DS3R but it's a bit different board. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Hmm, that is odd as the reviews seemed to say that most of the common high-end coolers had no problem. I have the Xigmatech 120mm Rifle cooler and it installed with no clearance issues (pushpin pieces of $hit are another story). Is it that you want to mount the cooler in a specific orientation and it won't work, or that there is no way that any direction would work? Reply
  • Archeon - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    No specific orientation. It didn't work in either way. I even bought [url=">]Scythes CPU Cooler stabiliser[/url] in the hope that would work, but again, no go... Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    and I have to say, this board is the best I've ever owned. Tons of features and ports, (including two PS/2 ports for you KVM users, yes, I'm talking to you ASUS) a great layout, loads of BIOS options, rock-solid stability --about the only things I could nitpick about are Gigabyte's funky color scheme, and perhaps not having right-angle front-mounted SATA ports. Both very minor details. It's working well with two 4GB DDR2 modules and a Q6600.

    I'd recommend this board to anybody, it's a quality part. Thanks for the review, AT.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    I just built a rig using the R (single GPU) mobo and have had some problems upgrading my rig from an old 80gig PATA drive to a new 320gig SATA drive. Here is my problem:

    -I installed Vista 64bit on the new rig with my old 80gig drive and then decided I wanted to rebuild my old rig (replaced everything but case and HD) using the old drive. I need to clone my 80gig onto my 320gig so I can swap the old drive out. Problem is when I connect the SATA drive using the 90 degree elbow SATA cable that says HD, it is not recognized in windows. I can find it in the device manager, and it says it is working properly, but there is no way to copy/format/etc. to it?

    I've tried using both the 6 orange SATA ports, and also the 2 purple ports (I don't know if there is a difference here or not), but no luck. Should I try a no 90degree elbow cable? I'm unfamiliar with SATA tech and so wonder if the 90degree cable designates the SATA drive as master, and I need to have it as a slave? When I go into the bios BOTH drives come up as MASTER, but seem to be on different channels so I didn't think this was an issue.

    Sorry to take this off topic but I spent a couple hours this past weekend and got nowhere.

    I have another issue that seems to be related to some power saving thing with this board. Before I turned off the power saving features in the bios it would seem to randomly not like to start from a cold boot (I'd have to turn it off and on, or restart if it got to the bios screen). It almost seemed like it was cutting power too quickly on shutdown and startup. Most of the issues seem to have gone away since I turned off the power saving functions, but I still get some squirly things happening when turning on for the first time. I'm currently using optimized defaults in the bios so it's not a wierd overclocking issue.

    Thanks for the advice.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Wanted to mention this is with the latest chipset drivers and the F7 bios. I LOVE the online bios update. No more floppy flashes for me! Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    Yeah, that's an old Gigabyte feature. When I used it on my old AMD based GA-K8U-939 it worked flawlessly then. People rip on Gigabyte's BIOS support and complain about bad flashes but I've NEVER had any of those problems with them.

    However on less popular boards BIOS support is slow.
  • Glenn - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    I suggest you review the owners manual and make sure which SATA controller you are connected to and ensure that it is properly set in the bios for your configuration. I suspect you have whichever controller you are connected to, to AHCI or Raid and it isn't recognized. I know it's confusing until you get used to it, but SATA doesn't use the old master slave ...! Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Wanted to also add I tried both the G-SATA (purple connectors) and the standard orange Intel ones with no effect. It wasn't until I quit and removed the SATA drive that I thought to try the non 90 degree elbow one that says HDD on the cable. Can you comment on whether there are specific SATA cables that denote HD's or whether they just had the 90 degree bend to facilitate placement in the case without stressing the connectors (I have read many complaints on breaking off). Reply
  • Glenn - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    On second reading of your original post I wonder if you need to "initialize" that disk within Administrator Tools/computer management/Disk Management ? If it's showing up in device manager that is likely the problem. The cables provided by gigabyte work in any motherboard slot to any internal sata device (HD or Optical Drive) in either orientation. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    You solved my problem! I am now in the process of formatting the drive after initializing. I have NEVER had this issue before as I guess this issue is Vista specific.

    I cannot thank you enough. I wish this article (and hence my question) had been up a couple days ago and saved me the several hours of wasted life. :(

    Now anyone have a good (free?) ghosting program that will allow me to clone my current 80gig drive to the 250gig so I can get rid of the old PATA to use in my old computer build?
  • semo - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    you've probably never had this problem because your drive already came with an os or the first thing you've done with a new hard drive is to install an os on it. either case, the initialization was done for you.

    to mirror a hard disk -->">

    to take a snapshot -->">">

    get the source and destination right. you only get one chance!
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    I've never directly swapped drives out like I'm trying to do here, but I have added additional drives before (all old IDE) and other than the Master/Slave issue the drives were always recognized upon reboot (with a drive letter already given). I'm sure this Vista method gives more flexibility (can have multiple drives installed but not actually recognized), but it was new and annoying to me.

    As for the ghost program I think I'm going to use HDclone. While the free version has slow copy times (~1gig/min), I only have an 80gig HD I'm cloning from so I don't mind a bit extra time. And according to their website they claim they now support the extra space when cloning (previously all the freeware ghost programs had the annoying habit of not adding in the rest of the space on the new HD and so you were left with creating another partition, or getting a program like partition magic to do the job the ghost program should have in the first place.

    Once again than you very much for all the help and quick advice!

    I'll be interested to compare boot times of Vista and games with the new drive. My current 80gig is a 7200rpm Maxtor from several years ago and while the new drive is the same spindle speed I'm assuming that the higher density will allow for quite a bit of an improvement. I'm sitting on the sideline for another year or so before jumping on the SSD bandwagon. Too rich for my blood at the moment, but I drool over them.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    In XP when adding SATA drives IIRC it was normal to have to format the drive before it could be used. I don't remember initialization being a separate step though, just format the unformatted space and it would work. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    Just wanted to say I am no running my system on my new Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive, after a 2hour HDclone that worked flawlessly (and free). Not only that but the new/current version of HDclone also expanded the partition for the new larger drive so I literally just unplugged the old drive after the clone and Vista isn't even complaining to validate again (a fear I had since my copy is Vista Home Premium OEM). I didn't want to try to explain why after building my system 2 weeks ago I'm already swapping the HD....

    Thanks again!
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    no = *now* Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    That sounds exactly like something that may be the culprit. As I mentioned I just made the big switch from XP to Vista, and am not used to some of the Vista policies.

    I thank you very much for the advice and I'll have to try this ASAP!
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    The bios is pretty confusing when it comes to this (and the manual also doesn't help). I have made sure the SATA bios settings are NOT set to AHCI or Raid, I believe the "off" setting is for it to be seen as IDE.

    I kinda figured SATA didn't use the Master/Slave, but my concern is that since my primary OS drive IS a PATA drive, that there is an issue with trying to recognize a Master SATA (it shows up as master in the bios, whatever that means).

    Another thing is since trying to install the SATA drive (I've since taken it out until I can find some answers) right before Vista loads the windows icon and the logon screen my HD now makes a 5-6 second grinding noise like it's searching the entire drive or something. This never happened before trying to get the SATA drive hooked up, and while it doesn't seem to have affected performance once in windows, it is a bit annoying during bootup (I keep my system off most of the time so on average boot up 2-3 times per day).
  • The0ne - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    I'm not entirely sure of this myself not having gone through reliable tests but I've been having similar problems with HD's as of late.

    Make sure you only have one primary HD. If you have multiple HD set as primary, doesn't have to be active, you will run in problems. Vista chokes up as well. Make sure your HD's are labled properly when partition, Simple, Basic, Primary, etc. And then there's the odd external drive like my WorldBook 1TB that, if connected and power on, will 100% prevent XP or Vista to load up fully to the desktop (on my IP35E MB) or 100% crashes and resets the BIOS when XP/Vista tries to load (currently my EP45-DS3R MB). This WorldBook can only be connected once you're on the desktop.

    I have a hate relationship with WD external drives, they just want to die in my arms for no apparent reasons.
  • GhettoFly - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    I'm guessing the 1250 kit you guys managed to clock at 1300 was Corsair's TWIN2X2048-10000C5DF. I have a set of those, but haven't tested with my UD3P yet; however I got my Geil DDR2-1160 C4 kit up to DDR2-1333 C5 on this board with only 2.48V using the 1333 OC profile:">
    This board is too much fun!
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    Yes, it is the Corsair kit and it was an early review sample to boot. Corsair sent us a new SPD and I managed to hit 1333 this morning at 2.50V on it, so I can report that 1333 is stable on this board now after a few runs of Crysis and PCMark Vantage. :) Reply
  • GhettoFly - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    It just seems a bit odd advertising DDR2-1366+ OC capabilities when the ICs needed for such clocks (D9GMH/GKX) are EOL :p Reply
  • x86 64 - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    I'm still seeing some around and very cheap compared to what they used to be. You can pick up two 2x1GB (4GB) kits of PC2-10400 or PC2-9600 for under $275-$300 US.

    I think there are third party manufacturers who are still making the D9GMH\GKX, etc, because companies like Cellshock (now recently defunct) and Team Group (active) are still selling both of the most popular flavors of D9. Team is very big in Asia so it's not like they are some small niche company like Cellshock moving a small quantity of old stock. All of Team Group's Xtreem memory (not the "Dark" branding) is either GMH or GKX. How else to explain the constant flow of Micron D9 IC's to certain companies? Could there be that much stock still left over in Asia where they are selling them this long after they were discontinued?? I would be surprised.

  • GhettoFly - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    It has to be old stock of the ICs at least; when you look at the codes on the ICs themselves (not the D9Gxx code, but like 7KD22) I'm pretty sure the first number indicates the year of manufacture, 7 being 2007, 6 being 2006, etc. I haven't see any Micron RevD chips that have those codes staring with 8 even on sticks with a 2008 production date, for example my Geil 1160 C4 and Team Xtreem 9600 kits, the ICs on both have that code starting with a 7. Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - link

    I don't know what the number is on the IC's themselves but you can check the manufacture date of your memory using a monitoring program like Everest.

    I have a set of Team's and using Everest they say the 14th week of 2008 as the date or manufacture.

    Whether or not the IC's were made then or the modules themselves is debatable.
  • x86 64 - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    I think you might be right. I just pulled the spreaders off my Team 1200Mhz and sure enough it starts with a 7. I hope they don't run out anytime soon because it's so much fun to push this stuff :)

    It's weird, this has to be the first time in a long time that I'm happy with "last generation" hardware. I just don't see the benefit of i7 and DDR3 right now. I'm enjoying the rock solid P45, excellent inexpensive dual and quad Penryn's and dirt cheap high performance memory. I'd rather buy double the current hardware then spend the same amount for an entry level i7 system and get a 20% increase in performance. I'm sure the i7 will make a great server or HPC but I'm not impressed to much with the desktop parts. We need some multithreaded applications first. Software is seriously lagging.

    I'll wait for the die shrink and in the mean time stick with my DDR2 and D9GKX\GMH :)
  • x86 64 - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    Also here's a picture of a TG kit from a review at XBit Labs from the summer of 2007 and it's marked with a 6 which would be in line with the markings on the recent chips, just one year back.">
  • GhettoFly - Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - link

    Looks like I have to eat my words about no D9 being manufactured in 2008, these are powering the G.Skill 2GBHK sticks I got in today.">
  • Glenn - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Great article Gary! I have built approximately 10 systems so far with this board or it's single PCIe X16 twin UD3R, and the "C" version with the DDR3/DDR2 slots. My experiences with each are just as pleasing as you have reported. My own system is the C version with a Q9550 slightly overclocked to 3.4GHz. I am excited to see the followup on the Ultra Durable 3 technology.

    I am equally or even more excited that you are testing the support of Gigabyte and other manufacturers. I have built over 100 systems using gigabyte P35/G35 and now P45/G45 boards in the past year and a half and I honestly nearly quit using them over some issues with the G45 board when it was first released. It wasn't even close to stable but subsequent bios'es corrected all my complaints. I could get no response from Gigabyte during that time and was pretty pist off! Interestingly enough, I just about switched all my builds to Asus, but I was reminded of past problems with them on my first P45Q build when I went to download the newest drivers! Why does a multibillion dollar company like Asus insist on having a dog-assed slow website that is so painful to negotiate? At times during the day, one can't even get a page to open without timing out! And it's been that way for years! Gigabyte! You owe Asus a "save" on that one! Kudos to Anands crew for taking up these frustrations with the mfgs! Great article!
  • djc208 - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the review. Picked this board up for $100 w/ free shipping from Newegg a few months ago. Looked like a great board for the money, glad to see you agree.

    I'll have to go back and update my software though, I also didn't notice any real benefits to their power program, and the OC program would hang my XP system.
  • weh - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    Did you happen to test the pair of GSata ports in addition to the Sata ports connected directly through the ICH10R? Are they equally as responsive?

    Also, if you were to attach a pair of drives in either RAID-0 or RAID-1 to the ICH10R Sata ports, is throughput to a third (or fourth) drive affected?

    Two specific examples: 1) Two (2) VelociRaptors attached to Sata_0 and Sata_1 in a RAID-0 array containing OS and apps with data storage on a Caviar "black" 640GB drive attached to Sata_2; and, 2) A single VelociRaptor attached to Sata_0 containing OS and apps with a pair of Caviar RE3 drives in RAID-1 attached either to Sata_1 and Sata_2 or to GSata_0 and GSata_1.
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link


    Yes, we tested the secondary controllers and I will update the article to include those results. We had a bit of trouble on the AMD board (Phenom II) getting consistent results but a BIOS update cured that problem last night. The X58 article linked in the above response will give you an idea about the secondary controller performance until I get the article updated.

    Personally, I would only use the GSata (JMB363) ports as a last alternative but that is just me. Those ports are on the board as a marketing checklist feature. ;) We have not noticed any performance degradation on the ICH10R with a RAID setup on two ports and single drives on the other ports. Running drives off the GSata ports will not affect performance on the ICH10R ports, at least with a two drive configuration on the ICH10R and two drives on the GSata controller. I have not loaded all eight ports and tried that but that is a good question to answer in the future if I can get enough of the same drive model for testing.
  • weh - Wednesday, February 04, 2009 - link

    Thank you for the response. I suspected that the GSata ports would behave much like those on the X58 board, but it's nice to know. By the way, your review of the X58 boards is the ONLY review I've been able to find on ANY review site that compared performance between "native" south bridge Sata ports and auxiliary Sata ports.

    I'm building four machines to be used by photography professionals. Performance is paramount, but so is redundancy. Each setup will consist of a computer with an os/applications drive (Velociraptor) and a pair of drives in RAID-1 for working space (either a pair of Caviar "blacks" or the RE3 units) and fourth drive inside the case used for continuous backups (probably one of the Caviar "green" drives). They also want 3 optical drives in each machine (they archive 3 of everything and want the ability to burn all 3 at once), so I'm running out of ports rapidly. I'll probably attach the three primary drives and the three optical drives to the six native sata ports and the backup drive and an eSata port to the two auxiliary GSata ports.
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    I would recommend a SSD for OS/apps drive, but that's just me. Raptor? Slow. ;) Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    Most definitely go with a stand alone CD duplicator. It's small, cheaper and easier to manage for what you've outlined. Reply
  • bobbyto34 - Monday, February 09, 2009 - link

    You should perhaps consider buying a special "dedicated" computer for burning data. There are several robots (mechanized arms + software) to burn DVD/CD easily :
    example :
    - connect to the robot via the software
    - choose file + label for DVD print
    - launch burning
    New tasks are paused until their turn arrives.
    Primera or Rimage provide these types of products.
  • semo - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    to add to the questions above, what is gsata? and why do boards have 2 sata contollers these days. is it so tha one set can be used for os and app drives and the other set for high capacity data drives?

    review was good though and this board is smoking. plenty of peripheral slots and very well placed. with current oversupply and competition you can get cheapo memory, one of these boards and a mid range processor and overclock everything with relative ease. i don't thinkg we've had it so good since the amd barton core days
  • weh - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    GSata is Gigabyte's add-on SATA controller, an additional controller for two additional SATA drives which can be run individually, in RAID-0 or in RAID-1. Gigabyte also includes an controller for a single channel parallel IDE (P-ATA) port (2 drives, master & slave).

    What I'd like to know is how drives connected to this alternate controller's ports compare in throughput to those connected to the "native" ICH10R Sata ports.

    I also want to know if adding a RAID array pair affects the performance of a drive outside the array as compared to the drive's performance when the RAID array is not present at all. In other words, does the presence of a RAID array impede the performance of another drive connected to the same controller?
  • semo - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    i don't know about the raid question (interesting to find out) but i know that the ich10r sata controller is pretty good and seems better than the secondary contollers.">
  • poohbear - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    thanks for benching @ 1680x1050 so we know real world usage. hate it when they bench @ a real low rez even if there's a difference as that means nothing to 99% of ppl that game @ anything but the lower resolutions.:)
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    When they bench at low resolutions, it's to discover any CPU bottleneck. It's the equivalent of saying, "we know the GPU can handle this low res at super high framerates, so will the CPU processing the game mechanics keep the framerates down?".

    For example, an RTS like Supreme Commander will have okay graphics, but most of the horsepower will be the CPU calculating troop movement, damage, etc, especially on large maps with lots of players. So they'll want to take the GPU's rendering speed out of the equation and see how fast the CPU can do its gameplay calculations.

    This can really help people know which part of their computer to upgrade. A friend of mine has an E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz (one of the earliest C2D's), so his CPU is pretty old. He has a 9800GT graphics card. If he wants to play Supreme Commander with 10 opponents at once, should he upgrade his graphics or his CPU?

    At low resolutions, the video card can handle it no problem, but no matter what resolution, the CPU still has to calculate 10 players actions at once. If they only benchmarked at high resolution, then the graphics lag would mask the fact that the CPU calculations were also laggy. So by reducing the resolution to really low levels, he'd find out the CPU still can't keep up and should be upgraded.
  • zebrax2 - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 - link

    seems like those polls are starting to take effect Reply

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