PCB Design and Functionality
When you look at Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P mainboard you can notice that it doesn’t differ too much from the top models after all:
If you look at the top half of the mainboard PCB, you will notice no difference at all. We see the same twelve-phase processor voltage regulator circuitry, the same convenient location of all components, the same buttons, connectors and indicators. No differences of any kind here.
The most dramatic difference is in the cooling system used for the chipset and processor voltage regulator components, especially compared with Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme. However, we can’t call the cooling solution installed on Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P weak or limited. On the contrary, we can even say that it has got rid of some excessiveness and looks very much like cooling solutions used on the majority of other contemporary mainboards. Our practical experiments showed that the cooling system in Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P mainboard does its job very well and needs no additional work or modifications to be done to it.
An additional advantage is a secure screw-on retention used for both heatsinks over the chipset Bridge chips. Only the heatsinks over the voltage regulator components are fastened with plastic push-in pins.
As we move over to the lower part of the PCB, we again don’t notice any difference between Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P and elder models. They have the same number of expansion slots that are placed identically. And only when we turn to the lower right corner of the PCB, we notice several differences. It is only here that Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P looks more like its younger sister – GA-EX58-UD4 (without a “P”).
However, although these differences are noticeable, they are not critical. For example, we don’t see a POST indicator that is available on the higher-end models. Moreover, they have ten Serial ATA ports, while Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P has “only” eight: six provided by the Intel ICH10R chipset South Bridge and another two – by the additional Gigabyte SATA2 controller. The same controller that is probably an analogue of the widely spread JMicron JMB363 also adds PATA support to the mainboard features list.