The GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS5 motherboard lives up to its name in more ways than one. The board is truly efficient, and is indeed a power saver. It also provides more then enough performance for your Intel based custom rig. It's laid out in a fashion that is mostly easy to work with, and promotes safe and cool use of all the components.
The biggest thorn in the side of this motherboard is still its availability. Though some boards in GIGABYTE's line share some of the features of the GA-EP45-DS5, they don't all have the same features. It would be nice to see this particular board in North America, but you're going to have to buy into the EXTREME series if you want this exact set of features, whether you overclock or not.
As for any glaring technical problems, there's still the placement of the SATA ports and that one x1 PCIe slot. The SATA ports need to be placed in a fashion that don't interfere with any add in cards you may want to use. As for that lone x1 PCIe slot, it's pretty well useless since you can't remove the northbridge heatsink.
In the end, we still have a decent motherboard that lives up to its claims. It is indeed power efficient, feature loaded, and a great foundation to any green performance PC. The price point this board is offered at makes it even more desirable, as it sports features only seen on the more expensive Extreme series boards. Overall this is a recommended motherboard, if you can find one in North America.
- Features a plenty
- Excellent selection of ports
- Energy efficient
- Top notch performance
- Problematic layout of some ports
- Northbridge heatsink interferes with top x1 PCIe slot
- Not widely available outside of Taiwan
Overall Rating: 8.5/10.0
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