X58 Motherboard Review
Price: $337CDN + Click Here to Compare Prices
Manufacturer Product Page: Giga-Byte Technology Co., Ltd.
TechWiki Info: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5
Manufacturer's Part Number: GA-EX58-UD5
Warranty: 3 year limited warranty (First 2 years parts & labor, 3rd year parts only)
All the way back in late September in Taipei, during the Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship 2008, we had the unique opportunity to get a first-hand look at a prototype Gigabyte X58 motherboard. Although it wasn't quite ready for the spotlight, it still had the frightening lime green and pink memory slots, the sample certainly had a promising layout and drool-worthy assortment of PCI-E x16 slots.
Currently, Gigabyte is full steam ahead with regard to Intel's latest chipset, and the company has the second most substantial roster of X58 motherboards, with the current count clocking in at an impressive six models. From the Top-of-the-Line EX58-EXTREME to the surprisingly budget-friendly EX58-UD3R, all the models share the sleek new White & Blue colour-scheme, Ultra Durable 3 design attributes, and enough integrated features to make a smartphone jealous.
Today, we will be reviewing the EX58-UD5, which is the second most high-end model in Gigabyte's current roster, and which is largely differentiated from the EXTREME model by its lack of the elaborate Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 cooling system. The omission of the more impressive cooling system doesn't seem to have diminished interest in this motherboard, since this is the model that consumers are buying in spades and it is easy to see why. Gigabyte have packed the EX58-UD5 with a tackle box full of features. What stands out immediately are the three mechanical PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, 3-way CrossFireX and 3-way SLI support, unprecedented storage capabilities in the form of ten SATA II ports, eSATA and FireWire capabilities, onboard 8-channel High-Definition audio with Dolby Home Theatre technology, Dynamic Energy Saver (DES) Advanced, twin PCI-E Gigabit LAN controllers, two physical BIOSes, motherboard-wide array of diagnostic LEDs, and that just scratches the surface hardware wise.
Clearly everything looks very promising on paper, so we are interested in determining how well it all comes together in one package, and seeing what the results are when you combine Gigabyte's design and engineering 'know-how' with the new Core i7 platform.