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Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Review

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Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Closer Look:

Having a good, comprehensive software bundle goes a long way towards enhancing the usability of the motherboard and system in general. Gigabyte has been using a pretty robust software bundle for a while. EasyTune has been around forever as it seems to work quite well. All of the included applications are accessed from within the App center application. I'll go through a few of the highlights here, but you get a total of 19 different tools to work with.

 

3D OSD: This lightweight tool lets you set up a way to view critical system voltages, fan speeds and system temperatures, FPS levels, and more when you choose the applications to show on the On-Screen Display.

 

 

Ambient LED is one of the key non-performance related features of the X99-Designare-EX. This feature lets you turn on and manage the RGB LED features of this board. Around the PCB are LEDs that glow with all the colors of the rainbow, should you choose to go that route. You can run the LEDs in a steady state mode, pulsing mode, and beat mode, where the LEDs match a music source. Combine this funtionality with the built-in 4-pin LED header and you can light up the whole chassis.

 

@BIOS allows the user to update the BIOS from an online or local source. BIOS Setup lets you get to some very basic parameters and identifies the current BIOS version. Color Temperature works to adjust the color temperature of the connected display screen.

 

 

EasyTune OC and VTuner are the applications that most likely will see the most mileage as you explore the boundaries of your hardware. There are five total main tabs in this application: Smart Boost for a one stop shop OC, Advanced CPU OC for when you want to really turn all the knobs, Advanced DDR OC, Advanced Power, and HotKey to set specific actions to specific keys. VTuner is used to tune the installed video card.

 

 

 

 

System Information Viewer is another useful tool. In the System Information tab you get a synopsis of the installed hardware and BIOS revision. Smart Fan Auto allows you to apply predefined fan speed profiles from Quiet to Full Speed. This should mirror the noise profile of the installed fans from silent to loud. Smart Fan Advanced is a tool that allows you to build your own profile by fan or to calibrate the installed fan speed profiles to offer the best mix of cooling and noise levels. System Alert is used to manage specific warning indicators in three categories: Voltage, Temperature, and Fan Speeds, so you at least can have an indicator letting the user know something is going south. The Record tab is used to view voltage, fan, and temperature performance over time. This could certainly help with troubleshooting your PC. 

 

 

 

Gigabyte, as I stated, has come a long way when it comes to the proprietary software it includes with the motherboards. Each of the functions I tested worked well without some of the usual hiccups.




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