Gigabyte EX58-UD5 X58 Motherboard

BIOS Features

BIOS Features
Gigabyte are renowned for making quality, if somewhat basic BIOS', so I was interested in seeing if the advent of X58 had changed this outlook.

The front page, while interchangeable to the standard POST boot up screen is nothing special, much the same as the majority of BIOS settings apart from the Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T) section so we will be concentrating on this section for today's review.

Front page 

It's a good job Gigabyte provide an extensive manual as the settings can look a little daunting to the uninitiated. Those coming from Socket 775 will be lost at first as the most common settings from that setup are replaced by settings such as Bclk (BaseClock) QPI and Uncore settings. Once you get your head around these new features the overclocking is relatively straightforward. Clock ratios are a lot higher than the old socket with a maximum 20x multiplier on Intel's entry level chip which can be boosted to 21 thanks to the Intel Turbo Technology (think opposite of Intel Speedstep and you get the picture).

M.I.T CPU Features 

Intel QPI (QuickPath Interconnect) is fully tweakable thanks to the Gigabyte BIOS. Along with the link speed, the Uncore frequency and Isochronous support can also be adjusted. Uncore refers to all the on-die features that have nothing to do with computing engines however adjusting this setting can dramatically affect stability so use with caution.
QPI QPI Features
The Bclk frequency, in its most basic form is the FSB of old, and when combined with the CPU Multi will give you the CPU clockspeed. The stock setting for the Bclk is 133Mhz but this can easily be increased to a little over 200 if the CPU multi is adjusted slightly along with the prerequisite voltage increases. Clock Drive and Clock Skew settings can be found in the Advanced Clock control section of the M.I.T but for the purposes of this review these settings were left in their stock state.
Bclk Clock Control

Having all that bandwidth at your disposal thanks to Tri-Channel Memory would be a waste if it could not be tweaked to further increase performance. Here is where the Gigabyte boards comes into its own with a wide range of settings available that can be adjusted for each individual channel should you wish. The multipliers range from 6 to 18 which should be plenty to get the most out of your kit.

Memory Multiplier Memory Timings 

Gigabyte thoughtfully provide you with the means to suck up enough electricity to power a third world country. The voltage settings below are insane and while Gigabyte are applauded for allowing the use of such crazy settings, extreme caution should be used for any setting that sits in the 'Red'. Finishing off the BIOS section is the health monitor which, as with the rest of the BIOS, is very thorough providing the user with an array of temperatures and fan controls.
Voltages PC Health 

Once you have all your desired settings in place you can back them up to one of 8 profiles or even to removable media should you wish. These settings can then be reloaded at a later date using the same format. Flashing the BIOS to the latest version was trouble free and self explanatory, just unzip the downloaded BIOS to a USB stick and enter Q-Flash when in BIOS or upon POST and then follow the on screen instructions. Simplicity at its finest!

Profile BIOS Flash
With a great looking board, a well thought out BIOS complete with a massive array of options, I am thus far blown away with the improvements Gigabyte have made over previous generations with the EX58-UD5. I have never really been a fan of Gigabyte boards, mainly due to the odd colour scheme and awkward BIOS but the UD5 has changed all that. A couple of obstacles remain though before I pledge my allegiance to the Gigabyte cause - overclocking and benchmarking....

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Most Recent Comments

05-01-2009, 09:03:29

"Intel's latest chipset is fast becoming very popular despite it's cost. In our latest review we get to sample Gigabyte's mid range contender in the form of the EX58-UD5." - by Webbo

Gigabyte EX58-UD5 X58 MotherboardQuote

05-01-2009, 09:55:16

Best in class, w00t w00t! That's my board

Personally the only bug I've found is the CPU multiplier in the F3 bios: I couldn't lower the CPU multiplier.

Oh and one question: how did you save the bios? I'm too lazy to actually read the manualQuote

05-01-2009, 10:06:04

We got performance figures of these vS 775 setups ? I can'`t remember.

Either way, £218 is still taking the pish imo. These are the emerging mobos that will see revisions l8r in the year, and to charge over even £200 for them is beyond.

They figuring they can price match Foxconn or summit ?

Tis a shame, cos it does appear a great mobo from the review, but I have to be honest, being as i7 doesn`t do leaps and bounds over a 775, I for one aint gonna pay over the odds to get them.Quote

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