Gigabyte EX58-UD4P X58 Motherboard

BIOS Features

BIOS Features

Starting the board up, the first screen we come across after the VGA has initialized is the Full Screen Logo which in effect is the same as the UD5 albeit a red/pink blur instead of a purple one. The section we are most interested in is the MIT (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) as this is where we find all the overclocking options and performance tweaks for the UD4P.

Frontend MIT

Those who are familiar with the Gigabyte BIOS of old will feel right at home here despite the lack of FSB controls. These are replaced with a combination of Base Clock (Bclk), QPI and Uncore controls. For all intents and purposes just adjusting the Bclk will serve most needs, leaving the QPI and Uncore settings on Auto which auto adjusts depending on your clockspeed. All of the major CPU features can be enabled/disabled in it's own section.

Clock ratio CPU features

The BIOS is very user friendly and can be navigated by the arrow keys. Pressing enter on the required setting will bring up a new window as with the QPI Link speed below showing all the available options. To save time if you know your required setting you can simply scroll through them via +/- keys or input the setting directly as with the voltages. One noteworthy point I would make however, is that some settings are repeated depending on which section of the BIOS you are in at that time (See both screenshots below).

QPI Uncore and qpi feartures

The Uncore frequency is adjusted by the means of multipliers with a maximum of x18 available. Once this multiplier is used then the readout is changed to reflect this new value below the adjustment. A ridiculous Base Clock value of 1200 is available should you be an overclocking Deity but the base clock increases/decreases by single numbers for the mere mortals out there.

Uncore Bclk

The Advanced Clock Control section fine tunes some of the motherboards frequencies such as the PCIe bus speed. Clock drives and skew can also be fine tuned in this section too along with C.I.A.2 (CPU Intelligent Accelerator 2) which allows automatic overclock to values of Disabled, Cruise, Sports, Racing, Turbo and Full thrust,overclocking your CPU by 0, 5-7%, 7-9%, 9-11%, 15-17% and 17-19% respectively. Another auto overclocking utility is the Performance enhance setting (Stand, Turbo, Extreme) which Gigabyte claim changes your PC's performance to basic, Good and extreme performance respectively.

advanced clock control performance enhance

As with Uncore and QPI, Memory bandwidth is controlled by multipliers numbered  6 through 18 i.e a 200 Bclk with an 8x Multi will results in your memory running at 1600MHz - simples! (insert Meerkat wink here). Memory timings are very thorough thanks to the Gigabyte method of setting the latency for each individual channel. While only the main 5 options are available, opening up the advanced DDR timings selection allows a multitude of sub-timings for you to fiddle with until the early hours.

memory multi QPI Voltage

The Voltage section is very comprehensive allowing a massive amount of on-board device configuration. Not only that but the serious amount of voltages allowed could very easily damage your components and motherboard so use with extreme caution. Thankfully Gigabyte remind you when you are being a tad ambitious with colour coded warnings, yellow, purple and red depending on the severity of the voltage selected.

dram features voltages

The PC Health screen is perhaps the one section I was a little disappointed in due to the lack of configuration for the 6 on board fan headers. The fan speeds are either controlled by the motherboard or set to run full tilt. Warning are given should your fan fails which is a welcome inclusion but I wish they had actually considered the fact some fan headers might need extra configuration with true adjustable speeds. A screen missing from other motherboards is the security chip configuration screen (default = disabled). Enabling this screen will allow you to make use of the TDP features of the UD4P.

pc health security chip

Notice I mentioned earlier that Gigabyte remind you of excessive voltages used by colour coding the resultant setting, well they also present a nice little reminder on the save CMOS screen depicting which setting is causing concern. In my case I had set my DDR3 voltage to 1.66v, this reminder would have been welcome were it not for the fact that this board seemed incapable of setting the Vdimm to the recommended value of 1.65. 1.64 or 1.66 were my only choices. Plucking up the courage I decided to risk it for a biscuit and saved the settings regardless.

BIOS Flash

Flashing the BIOS was a breeze and perhaps the best method I have encountered thus far with a motherboard. Simply download the BIOS to your desktop, unpack the contents to a USB stick and on reboot hit F8 which takes you to the BIOS flash screen allowing you to save your current BIOS or flash to a new one. I did not flash the BIOS via windows although Gigabyte do allow for this method. After a number of failed BIOS flashes, I would not recommend using this method, especially when flashing via USB stick is so straightforward.

Well thats about it for the BIOS so I'll move straight on to the Test setup and overclocking section where we will find out exactly how this board performs...

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Most Recent Comments

16-04-2009, 05:50:06

w3bbo
The EX58-UD5 impressed us in our last Gigabyte review. Can the UD4P, the UD5's cheaper brother, make an equally strong impression? Find out in our latest review...

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...132933275s.jpg

Read the full review HERE

16-04-2009, 08:45:35

zak4994
Orange? Orange!?

WTF man.

16-04-2009, 09:13:43

OmegaStalker
Lol i have the UD5 and its extreamly similar looking and believe me when i say its uglier in real life... Saying that i Picked up my UD5 from Novatech for like 205 for some reason that was the price so i clicked add to basket ... The UD5 is a great board...

17-04-2009, 04:02:45

Luigi
Nice review

The link from the front page is broken though :S

17-04-2009, 06:32:07

Bungral
Good review. Always enjoy reading ya mobo reviews.

Just a shame none are really pulling away from the pack. I'm sure on prevoius generations you would always get at least 1 or 2 that would be a little bit apart from the others.

17-04-2009, 06:49:35

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Luigi'
Nice review

The link from the front page is broken though :S
Works fine here :\

17-04-2009, 06:51:58

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Works fine here :\
Here too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Good review. Always enjoy reading ya mobo reviews.

Just a shame none are really pulling away from the pack. I'm sure on prevoius generations you would always get at least 1 or 2 that would be a little bit apart from the others.
Yeah I must agree with that point. Previous generations were always a mixed batch though with 780i, P45 and X48. All the boards for i7 we have tested thus far are all X58 and so have the same QPI bus and ICH10R controller.

Hopefully P55 won't be too far away so we can throw them into the mix.

17-04-2009, 07:15:42

Luigi
Comments in the top right hand corner?

I think Gigabyte have done really well on the x58's, certainly catering for those on a budget...

17-04-2009, 07:41:09

PeterStoba
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Luigi'
Comments in the top right hand corner?

I think Gigabyte have done really well on the x58's, certainly catering for those on a budget...
Nobody going i7 is on a budget

17-04-2009, 08:06:40

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PeterStoba'
Nobody going i7 is on a budget
Correct. Really there isn't that much of a point, especially if ur on a budget.

Think we're all a little harsh on the color scheme. Particularly as it's low score for slot coloring brings the average down to such an extent.

Got another of these gigabyte mobos on wednesday, and I'm getting more and more impressed with them the more I use them.

As a sidenote, I don't think we'll see P55.

Onboard stuff for these mobos across the spectrum could do with more scrutiny. The ALC889A seems to be a damn good audio setup in it's own right. A few design flaws for my liking, but for a 1 pc setup it's pretty impressive. Nics are offering teaming and carry with them some bios testing features.

17-04-2009, 11:11:28

w3bbo
The score for the presentation was not simply just for the slots but for the overall package. The gigabyte boards are not the best packaged boards in the world with the contents placed ontop of a cardboard divider. A thin sliver of foam is all that separates the motherboard base from the box itself. Compare this to the way Asus package there boards or indeed DFI and you can the appreciate why the Gigabyte score low in this department. It's saving grace are the included accessories.

Overall though I recommend it as it's the contents that matter and the UD4P certainly performs well enough and is priced such to earn the recommended award.

17-04-2009, 17:29:18

OmegaStalker
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
The score for the presentation was not simply just for the slots but for the overall package. The gigabyte boards are not the best packaged boards in the world with the contents placed ontop of a cardboard divider. A thin sliver of foam is all that separates the motherboard base from the box itself. Compare this to the way Asus package there boards or indeed DFI and you can the appreciate why the Gigabyte score low in this department. It's saving grace are the included accessories.

Overall though I recommend it as it's the contents that matter and the UD4P certainly performs well enough and is priced such to earn the recommended award.
The UD5 Was packed poorely too but lol the box was nice and shiny and it did come with a fair bunch of goodies...

17-04-2009, 18:30:22

w3bbo
Gotta be worth the extra 0.5 mark .

It also has an all in one heatsink via heatpipe
Reply
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