|Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P DDR2 P45 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 25 January 2009|
Page 15 of 16
P45 Final Thoughts
I already own another Gigabyte motherboard, with a P35 chipset, so I'm a perfect test case as to the value proposition of replacing an older board with a newer P45-based model. It's a complicated decision; complicated by the fact that the E2180 CPU that I bought with the P35 board probably wouldn't benefit as much from this MB as one of the newer 45nM CPUs, complicated by the fact that the Dominator DDR2 memory I bought with the P35 board will benefit from the additional settings available in the new BIOS, and also complicated by the fact that the biggest bang for the buck, a SSD drive for the OS and Programs wasn't available when I bought the P35 board, but the 640GB HDD I still have will serve admirably as a data drive.
If I had $135 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd buy a 64GB SSD if I wanted to upgrade my current system. If I wanted to start building a platform for my next system, I'd start saving my money for an i7 chip AND a new motherboard for it. If I needed to accomplish both at the same time, which is the situation many people find themselves in, I'd buy the GA-EP45-UD3P. There's still some mileage left in the Core 2 Duo lineup and high speed DDR2 RAM is dirt cheap. Windows 7 is straining at the leash, and there's little doubt that it's time to move on up to a 64-bit OS and 8GB of RAM. So, if I'm constrained to an upgrade path that doesn't allow replacing my MB, CPU, and RAM all at the same time, this is the smart bet.
Those who enjoy system tweaking will reap the overclocking potential of this motherboard, especially with all the options available in the comprehensive BIOS package Gigabyte is supplying with their P45 boards. Gamers may have a mixed opinion on this motherboard; some will recognize the solid foundation it offers to the latest 45nM CPUs and enthusiast-class memory, then gladly take the money they save by NOT buying the top dog motherboard and put it towards a monster video card. Others will sniff their noses in the air at the CrossFireX configuration crippled by (2) 8x lanes for video data. They're both right, it all depends on your perspective. There is no monolithic gaming community; it's as diverse as the general population.
This motherboard offers a lot for a little, and succeeds wildly at it, to boot. That's what makes it such an attractive option for those who are sticking with Core 2, 45nM technology for a little while longer.