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Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 X58 Motherboard Review

by MAC     |     February 8, 2009

Conclusion




Now that this review is coming to a close, what can we say about the EX58-UD5...Well for starters, from a specifications standpoint this motherboard certainly does not leave us wanting, what with its three well-spaced mechanical PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, 3-way CrossFireX and 3-way SLI support, one PCI-E x4 slot, impressive ten SATA II ports, eight USB 2.0 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, onboard power/reset buttons, terrific BIOS, and handy EasyTune6 utility.

It is worth stating that over the last 6-7 months, GIGABYTE have made huge strides in the BIOS department, with every new release getting closer and closer to perfection. The BIOS included with the EX58-UD5 has almost everything that we would want and expect from a high-end X58 motherboard, which is to say enough features and options to satisfy power users while also being simple and versatile enough to allow novice users to tweak basic functions without getting overwhelmed. Our only complaint is the lack of voltage readouts in the PC Health Status section, which is a shortcoming that continues to be way too common for our liking.

In the overclocking department, we fully expected to get great results out of the EX58-UD5, after all GIGABYTE have amply demonstrated their commitment to overclocking, and our high expectations were rightly justified. Our overclocking results came within an inch of the purpose-built Rampage II Extreme, and made one of the fastest configuration's that money can buy a heck of a lot faster. With the intuitive, option-rich MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) BIOS section and EasyTune6 software it is easy to tweak all system settings and achieve some solid overclocking results. During all our exhaustive overclocking endeavours the board never missed a beat, demonstrating top-notch stability even while we pushed our components to the limit. When we did push things too far, the motherboard recovered perfectly, if not a little slowly, and never required a CMOS reset or battery removal.

Given the fact that most X58 motherboards on the market right now are so similar, it is the little things that make all the difference with the EX58-UD5, specifically the ability to flawlessly use three dual-slot graphics cards, the ease of overclocking, the class-leading connectivity, the solid cooling solution, and the extensive accessory package. Many people likely won't use all the available features, but with this model you are getting them at a price point that is equal to or less than the competition. Now penny-pinchers and those never planning to make the leap to a triple-GPU setup might be better served by more a budget-friendly model like the EX58-UD3R, but for everyone else it is hard to argue with the well-rounded package that the EX58-UD5 offers.


Pros

- Great layout.
- Capable cooling system.
- Impressive overclocking potential.
- 3-Way CrossFireX & 3-Way SLI capability.
- Lots of SATA II & USB 2.0 ports.
- Numerous well-placed fan headers.
- Excellent BIOS.
- EasyTune6.


Cons

- No 4-pin connector FireWire connector.
- Not enough voltage and temperature readouts.
- 8-pin CPU power connector is in a tight spot.



Our thanks to Gigabyte for making this review possible!


 
 
 

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