However, when we got to Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS4P, we couldn’t really tell the differences from the previous model by simply looking at the board. It turned out that this board has an Ultra TPM (Trusted Platform Module) module that prevents unauthorized data access.
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS5 mainboard is based on its own unique PCB. It has all the features of the previous model, although it has a PCI slot instead of the PCI Express x16 (PCI-E x4) and an additional Serial ATA controller increasing the number of supported devices to 10.
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 is really close to the previous model in functionality, but still has a unique PCB layout. It has fortified processor voltage regulator circuitry, four (!) integrated Gigabit network controllers, and offers four eSATA ports on the case rare panel with appropriate brackets.
We can argue what Gigabyte mainboard is actually the top in the family. Unlike the previous board we have just discussed, Gigabyte GA-EP45-Extreme has only two network controllers and only six Serial ATA ports, only two of which may be turned into eSATA. However, it boasts three PCI slots, three PCI Express x16 slots (one works as PCI-E x4), POST-indicator and hybrid chipset cooler that can also be connected to a liquid-cooling system.
The same board but supporting DDR3 SDRAM is called Gigabyte GA-EP45T-Extreme.
As you see, there are a lot of models to choose from. All groups are very clearly separated from one another. However, the classical approach favored so much by overclocking fans when the top mainboard design is used for the less functional model has only been applied once here: to Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3P. It uses the same PCB layout as DS4 mainboards and differs only by slightly simpler chipset cooling system. I am sure that everyone will find something for his or her needs here. As for us, we decided to start our Gigabyte Intel P45 Express based mainboard review series with the very first model in the family - Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3.