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As expected, the board does very well. In idle the board does not as well as MSI, but beats its predecessor. Under load they are quite close. Still, the EP45 series does not catch the EP35, which is a bit disappointing.
Please note that other configurations may yield other results.
Gigabyte did a good job. The EP35 did yield some very nice results, but the EP45 UD3 series tops them, except when it comes to power consumption. It's a bit slower compared to the P35 series, but FSB 550MHz and DDR2 at 1333MHz are nice. The layout is good, too, except we miss the small power-on, reset and clear-cmos buttons, but you can manage without them. If you attempt overclocking which will fail to boot up your board, just power down; it will boot up the next time for sure.
This board is not a budget board and it's not a high-end board, either. For about €136,- you get a fine board with all the features you possibly need. It does its job as you will expect and it's BIOS is not messy, beside some lame settings, such as enabling COM and LPT.
For most users investing in a new Core i7 system will not be a viable option, because DDR2 prices have hit rock bottom and for gamers a dual-core will work just fine and they do overclock easily. Invest in a better graphics-card instead and if you think you need a quad-core go for one of the cheap Q8x00 series.
If you think to upgrade from an old system, that board is quite right for you and earns our Top Value Award.
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