With the Intel ICH10/ICH10R Southbridge a distribution using the Linux 2.6.26 kernel or newer is required. If using an older kernel, the Serial ATA disk controller will not be detected. For our testing we had used Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 (x86_64). When using this release we hadn't experienced any Linux compatibility problems with either motherboard. Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex had cleanly installed and all integrated components were properly detected. LM_Sensors also detected the ITE IT8718 ASIC on each motherboard for reading the onboard sensors. Using the it8718-isa-0290 LM_Sensors module there were nine voltage rails detected except missing was the +12V rail. Aside from the voltage reporting, there were four fan sensors reported and three thermal monitors.
While overclocking isn't our main focus at Phoronix, we had overclocked both the EP45-DS3L and EP45T-DS3R with great results. The Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 was pushed to 4.05GHz with ease before running into heat issues, but had a different heatsink been used or water cooling we are confident it could have been pushed further. Running both at the stock frequencies and when overclocking we had experienced no stability problems.
Making up our test system was the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, 2GB of OCZ DDR3-1333MHz memory for the EP45T-DS3R, 2GB of OCZ DDR2-1066MHz memory for the EP45-DS3L, Western Digital 160GB SATA 2.0 hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX 512MB graphics card, and a SilverStone Zeus ST75ZF power supply. Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 uses the Linux 2.6.26 kernel, X Server 184.108.40.2066, and GCC 4.3.
Benchmarking this motherboard was carried out using Phoronix Test Suite 1.2.0 Beta 2 (currently available via git but a packaged version will be released this week). With the Phoronix Test Suite we had used the PCQS Motherboard Suite except for the gaming tests due to problems with the NVIDIA driver and this system configuration. The tests used included timed PHP compilation, timed Apache compilation, timed Gzip compression, LAME MP3 encoding, GnuPG file encryption, IOzone, OpenSSL, RAMspeed, and Sunflow Rendering System. We had compared the Linux performance of the Gigabyte EP45-DS3L and EP45T-DS3R to the ASRock P45R2000-WiFi, which also uses the Intel P45 Chipset.