GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver – EP35-DS4

small  GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver   EP35 DS4

Bills have been rising but more often than not, faster than our paychecks have been. If your utility bills have been a concern, join us as we examine GIGABYTE’s new Dynamic Energy Saving feature on the GIGABYTE EP35-DS4 and see if there really are any savings to be had.

It seems that going Green is the latest fad amongst motherboard manufacturers. With ASUS launching their motherboards with their EPU and GIGABYTE revamping their entire line of P35 motherboards with their Dynamic Energy Saver (DES) technology. Whilst ASUS’ method is more traditional, adjusting the  processor clockspeed and voltage to save energy, GIGABYTE has decided to take things one step further. In addition to the usual voltage and clockspeed adjustments, DES helps to save power further by shutting down power regulation phases when they are not required. However, both technologies are not that different as they both employ the PWM controller chip to go green. With ASUS, it’s a customized controller from Analog Devices and with GIGABYTE, their engineers teamed up with Intersil to provide a software/ hardware solution.
If you have been tempted by the the Intel Quad-cores going for a song but are wary of the heat put out by these processors, you will surely appreciate the fact that GIGABYTE has revamped their entire line of P35 boards with DES technology. In fact, if you have a later revision GIGABYTE P35 board, a BIOS update is all you need to reap the benefits of DES. Whilst it may seem wierd that GIGABYTE has chosen to refresh boards based on a chipset that is nearly a year old, the fact is that the Bearlake proves to be an immensely popular chipset. It’s inexpensive, offers great cost to performance ratio and for the enthusiasts, overclocks very well. Rather than pay a premium for the X38/ 48 chipsets and DDR3 memory, users can opt for a P35 board and still have enough spare change for performance DDR2 memory to push their processor. Today, we’ll look at one of GIGABYTE’s refreshed P35 motherboards – the EP35-DS4 – and determine if the DES feature does work and just how much it affects power savings in a system.

box  GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver   EP35 DS4
GIGABYTE claims up to 70% power savings and 20% better power efficiency!

Many users might feel that the board seems to be the same as the P35-DS4 and indeed, the board is essentially the same but for the BIOS/ firmware required to allow the DES software to interact with the board and some new bling bling related to DES. We will cover that in a moment so lets take a look at the basic specifications before moving on.

Basic Specifications

 

 

CPU
  1. Support for an Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor/ Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor/Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor/ Intel® Pentium® processor Extreme Edition/Intel® Pentium® D processor/ Intel® Pentium® 4 processor Extreme Edition/Intel® Pentium® 4 processor/ Intel® Celeron® processor in the LGA 775 package
    (Go to GIGABYTE’s website for the latest CPU support list.)
  2. L2 cache varies with CPU
  3. 1600 (O.C.)/1333/1066/800 MHz FSB
Chipset
  1. North Bridge: Intel® P35 Chipset
  2. South Bridge: Intel® ICH9R
Memory
  1. 4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 8 GB of system memory
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR2 1200 (O.C.)/1066/800/667 MHz memory modules
Audio
  1. Realtek ALC889A codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for DTS (dts NEO:PC)
  5. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  6. Support for CD In
LAN
  1. Realtek 8111B chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots (The PCIE_16_1 slot supports x16; the PCIE_16_2 supports x4.)
  2. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots (share with the PCIE_16_2 slot)
  3. 2 x PCI slots
Form Factor
  1. ATX (305 x 244mm)
Storage InterfaceSouth Bridge:

  1. 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATAII0, SATAII1, SATAII2, SATAII3, SATAII4, SATAII5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

GIGABYTE SATA2 chip:

  1. 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
  2. 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GSATAII0, GSATAII1) supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD

iTE IT8718 chip:

  1. 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
IEEE 1394
  1. T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
  2. Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394 bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394 header)
USB
  1. Integrated in the South Bridge
  2. Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x 4-pin PCIe 12V power connector
  4. 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  5. 1 x IDE connector
  6. 8 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  7. 1 x CPU fan header
  8. 2 x system fan headers
  9. 1 x power fan header
  10. 1 x North Bridge fan header
  11. 1 x front panel header
  12. 1 x front panel audio header
  13. 1 x CD In connector
  14. 1 x S/PDIF In header
  15. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  16. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  17. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  18. 1 x parallel port header
  19. 1 x serial port header
  20. 1 x power LED header
  21. 1 x chassis intrusion header
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  2. 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  3. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  4. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  5. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  6. 2 x IEEE 1394a ports
  7. 1 x RJ-45 port
  8. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE IT8718 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  6. CPU fan speed control
BIOS
  1. Supports DualBIOS Plus
  2. 2 x 8 Mbit flash ROM
  3. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 1.0b.
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Download Center
  3. Support for Q-Flash
  4. Support for EasyTune
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
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