Articles: Mainboards

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Package and Accessories

Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 mainboard ships in a pretty standard sized box:

There is a general view of the board on the back of the box and a bunch of details on its features and functionality:

Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme ships in a much larger package along all three dimensions and features a convenient carry handle:

The decorative front flip-cover opens to reveal the mainboard inside clear plastic casing. The double-page spread as well as the back of the box carries the detailed description of numerous advantages, peculiarities and features of the top model in Gigabyte’s Intel X58 Express based family.

However, the accessories bundle is almost the same by both mainboards and includes the following components:

  • FDD and PATA cables;
  • A pair of SATA cables with locks and L-shaped connectors, and a pair of cables with straight connectors;
  • A kit including brackets and cables for external Serial ATA devices;
  • Connector bridges for two- and three-way SLI configurations and a metal panel holding the bridge;
  • User’s manual;
  • Brief installation booklet in 25 (!) languages;
  • Rear panel I/O Shield;
  • DVD disc with software and drivers;
  • “Gigabyte” and “Dolby Home Theater” logo stickers.

According to the manuals, there should also be an additional rear panel bracket with two IEEE1394 ports, but we didn’t find any in the box. Maybe there wasn’t any because we got these boards directly from Gigabyte, and not from the retail channel that is why their accessories bundle may be a little different from the typical retail bundle. However, it could also be a mistake in the manuals and there shouldn’t be any bracket like that to begin with, especially since there is one IEEE1394 port on the mainboard connector panel already and the manuals list this bracket among the default as well as optional accessories.

Since we mentioned one small issue already, I would also like to add right away that I was very upset to discover that all versions of Gigabyte EasyTune6 utility including the one posted on Gigabyte’s web-site this year didn’t work on both mainboards. We got the following error message right after program launch:

The problem is in X58 based mainboards, the same exact utility worked just fine when we checked it out on Gigabyte GA-EP45T-Extreme under Microsoft Windows 7 Beta.

Another frustrating issue deals with the BIOS updating. Theoretically, you can use the BIOS version from the DVD disc with the drivers and software bundled with the boards. In reality, you can’t really do it, because the DVD disc version 1.0 for X58 based mainboards contains BIOS F9 for Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6.

I have to say that issues and mistakes like that immediately make you suspect that they were rushing the mainboard launch too much and didn’t do a thorough enough job preparing for it.

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