Gigabyte EX58-UD4P ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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The motherboard package came with a driver disk, which, once loaded up, is a page that is easy on the eyes; it also provides everything a user could want. Xpress Install allows users to easily install drivers like the Gigabyte SATA driver; also included in the drivers are the Dynamic Energy Saver program for power saving capabilities, and a browser update to make the default search provider Google.
Users can also individually install the drivers by clicking Install Single Items, with all of the same options that are listed under the Xpress Install tab, and execution is as simple as clicking the golden Install button to the right of desired file. Application software contains two tabs, the first used to install Gigabyte Utilities. These files range from BIOS tweaks for changing the boot up screen to BIOS updating applications. Networking tools are included, consisting of the Q-Share program, which is used similarly to shared space on Vista, and the Gigabyte Online Manager, which is a web-based computer access application, somewhat similar to Remote Desktop. Overclocking tools such as the DMI Viewer for viewing detailed information about the system, and EasyTune 6 for tweaking motherboard/video card settings in Windows are present. The last three applications are for recovery and updating; Time Repair is similar to Windows Restore points, where the program backs up and restores system data. Gigabyte Smart Backup is used with RAID, and can be used to monitor the array. Update Manager aides in updating these files.
The second tab, Install Application Software, is for installing third party programs that can be beneficial to have. The programs available include Norton Internet Security, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility, WinZip, and Corel MediaOne. I can think of a good use for all but possibly the first.
Next is the Technical Manuals page with three tabs, first being the Application Guides. This contains guides to many of the included apps from Gigabyte, and also the Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility software. The second tab, Driver Disk Contents, lists many different things included on the disk, all of which are organized by type.
The last tab, User’s Manual, is merely a quick installation manual, guiding users on how to install components, and get it running. It is not specific to this motherboard either, just a general guideline on installing a motherboard and compatible components.
The Contact page has the address, phone, fax, and website of Gigabyte. The System page contains some basic information about the system, the results can be saved to an HTML page and printed or e-mailed, however the e-mail function caused BSODs on my system.
The guides accessible on this disk are comprehensive and include images for examples; the Dynamic Energy Saver manual, seen here, shows how to set the program up. The quick install guide is only three pages long, and is fine for beginners since it is better than nothing, but it is only a quick guide. So, users attempting their first build should not solely rely on this guide, and should probably know how to install a CPU and other tasks beforehand anyway.
The included software from Gigabyte, such as the EasyTune 6 and Dynamic Energy Saver would not function on my machine. The Energy Saver claimed it needed to be updated, even when it was the latest version, while the EasyTune software would instantly crash. Other scenarios would cause blue screens. Unfortunately, this seems to be a problem with these programs on certain X58 setups. The Dynamic Energy Saver program here is run on an X48 Gigabyte board for visual purposes. When the program is disabled, it is dark. Clicking the Dynamic Energy Saver logo on the right causes it to come to life with blues and greens all over. A switch in the lower right corner enables CPU Throttling, the CPU Voltage Levels adjust how much energy is saved as well, with level one being the least and three the most, but possibly compromising performance quality. In the past the program has worked flawlessly, but cannot be tested on this machine.
To the BIOS!