Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 Reviewgotdamojo06 - January 30, 2011
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The Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 was a very simple board to setup and get working properly, especially with all of the software that was bundled with it. Not only do you get your typical overclocking software included on the Drivers CD, you also get Gigabyte's Dynamic Energy Saver 2, Norton Internet Security, and Gigabyte Cloud OC. While Norton Internet Security is only a 30 day trial version of the software, you are able to get a feel for the software if you don't currently have anything protecting you while you are browsing the web. You have the option to purchase if you like it. The Dynamic Energy Saver 2 helps minimize your computer's power consumption when you don't need all of the power that it can offer. Cloud OC is more of a gimmicky piece of software; however, it is still pretty cool. It allows is remote overclocking, power down, restart, and monitoring of your system. Any device that is connected to the internet will be able to connect to the Cloud OC application and either overclock your computer or monitor its current state.
As ever more USB 3.0 devices become mainstream, it is easy to realize the requirement for onboard USB 3.0 on motherboards - such as the two ports on the rear I/O panel of the Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3. USB 3.0 is backward compatible, with the trade-off being reduced performance. The X58-USB3 does also support multi-GPU configurations by either ATI or NVIDIA. This provides not only the ability to be more powerful but also gives the diversity of being able to use which ever brand you may prefer or have on hand. When it came down to overclocking, the motherboard didn't really give me any problems getting up to 3.8GHz with the i7 920; however, that clock speed seems to be the maximum that my chip can reach as it is a C0 stepping. The BIOS was easily navigated - the different sub-menus kept similar items together appropriately; memory settings are all on a separate page from voltages, which are separate from the Chipset settings.
If you are looking to either upgrade your system to a LGA1366 setup or maybe you just want to get into a new motherboard, you may just want to check out the GA-X58-USB3 from Gigabyte. While I was not able to hit the overclocking speeds I wished, I knew that my chip was not going to be able to do very well when it came to pushing it. The features alone on this board such as the USB 3.0, multi-GPU support, and the bundled software make it a good contender against the competition.
- 2x Copper PCB
- USB 3.0
- Bundled Programs & Gigabyte Software
- CrossFire & SLI Support
- BIOS Setup