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Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 X58 Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
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Introduction and Specifications



The X58 desktop chipset exploded onto the scene last year triumphantly proclaiming itself the lone chipset solution to support the 45nm Intel Core i7 processor family. Not only does this chipset flex its muscles with the equally-impressive i7 CPUs, but it also struts around the playground with dual x16, triple x16-x16-x8, or quad x8 PCI Express 2.0 graphics card support.

Many vendors have taken advantage of the X58 chipset craze, and Gigabyte is no exception.  Their GA-EX58-UD5 offering is targeted toward PC enthusiasts and gamers with aspirations for overclocking their components. Check out the specs list below to find out more.

 Specifications
CPU
  1. Support for an Intel® Core™ i7 series processor in the LGA 1366 package

    (Go to GIGABYTE’s website for the latest CPU support list.)

  2. L3 cache varies with CPU
QPI
  1. 4.8GT/s / 6.4GT/s
Chipset
  1. North Bridge: Intel® X58 Express Chipset
  2. South Bridge: Intel® ICH10R
Memory
  1. 6 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  2. Dual/3 channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2100+/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules

(Go to Memory Support List for the latest memory support list.)

Audio
  1. Realtek ALC889A codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby® Home Theater (Note 2)
  5. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  6. Support for CD In
LAN
  1. 2 x Realtek 8111D chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  2. Support for Teaming
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2) (Note 3)
  2. 1 x PCI Express x8 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1) (Note 4)

    (The PCIEX16_1, PCIE16_2 and PCIEX8_1 slots support 2-Way/3-Way
    NVIDIA SLI/ATI CrossFireXTM technology and conform to PCI Express 2.0
    standard.)

  3. 1 x PCI Express x4 slot
  4. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
  5. 2 x PCI slots
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  1. 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0, SATA2_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3,
    SATA2_4, SATA2_5) 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 JMB322 chips (Smart Backup):
    • 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GSATA2_0, GSATA2_1, GSATA2_2,
      GSATA2_3) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices (Note 5)
    • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD

iTE IT8720 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 (1 on the back panel, 2 via the IEEE 1394a
    brackets connected to the internal IEEE 1394a headers)
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 floppy disk drive connector
  4. 1 x IDE connector
  5. 10 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 3 x system fan headers
  8. 1 x power fan header
  9. 1 x North Bridge fan header
  10. 1 x front panel header
  11. 1 x front panel audio header
  12. 1 x CD In connector
  13. 1 x S/PDIF In header
  14. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  15. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  16. 2 x IEEE 1394a headers
  17. 1 x power LED header
  18. 1 x chassis intrusion header
  19. 1 x power switch
  20. 1 x reset switch
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. 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  6. 1 x clearing CMOS switch
  7. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  8. 2 x RJ-45 ports
  9. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side
    Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System/North Bridge temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control (Note 6)
BIOS
  1. 2 x 8 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Virtual Dual BIOS
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune (Note 7)
  8. Support for Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced
  9. Support for Time Repair
  10. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft® Windows Vista/XP
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Remark  
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided
    by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors'
    website or 3rd party website.
  2. Due to most hardware/software vendors no longer offer
    support for Win9X/ME. If some vendors still has Win9X/ME drivers
    available, we will publish on website.
Note (Note
1) Due to Windows Vista/XP 32-bit operating system limitation, when
more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size
displayed will be less than 4 GB.

(Note 2) For Windows Vista/XP 32-bit operating system only.

(Note 3) For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card
is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you
are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is
recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

(Note 4) The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_2 slot.
When PCIEX8_1 is populated with a PCI Express graphics card, the
PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.

(Note 5) A JMB322 chip supports two SATA 3Gb/s connectors, so the four
SATA 3Gb/s connectors are divided into to two pairs: GSATA2_0 and
GSATA2_1 as a pair and GSATA2_2 and GSATA2_3 as a pair. (Refer to
Chapter 2, "Integrated Peripherals" and Chapter 5, "Configuring SATA
Hard Drive(s)," for how to enable the Smart Backup function.)

(Note 6) Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.

(Note 7) Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.

 

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