Articles: Mainboards

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Gigabyte’s Proprietary Software

We haven't reviewed Gigabyte's mainboard-related software for a while, but it hasn't actually changed. Every utility included into the bundle is familiar to us and was covered in our reviews earlier. So today we'll just remind you what each of them is supposed to do.

The @BIOS utility is one of the oldest. Its appearance and capabilities haven’t changed much for many years. Its purpose is in updating and saving firmware. With internet access, it can automatically look for and download the latest BIOS version. It can also update a mainboard's BIOS and save firmware on a local disk.

As opposed to @BIOS, the EZ Setup tool is a recent addition to Gigabyte’s software bundle. It helps you enable and set up Intel's Smart Response, Rapid Start and Smart Connect technologies. Everything, including any necessary BIOS changes, is done by EZ Setup automatically, you only have to mark the required technologies in the list and click the Setup button (Intel Smart Response cannot be selected in the screenshot below because our configuration only included a single SSD).

The USB Blocker tool may be helpful not only for system administrators in large corporations but also for parents with not-very-obedient children. It can prohibit the use of USB devices. When you launch USB Blocker for the first time, you are asked to enter a password which will then be used for changing the utility's settings or disabling it.

We also installed the On/Off Charge tool, which is a special driver for quick recharging of Apple gadgets even if the computer is turned off but remains connected to the mains.

There’s a whole lot of other tools for every purpose. Xpress Recovery 2 can save and restore data backups. The 3D Power utility helps you set up the namesake power system right from Microsoft Windows. TweakLauncher serves for changing frequencies, voltages and memory timings. LAN Optimizer helps optimize network settings. The Disk Mode Switch utility we've mentioned above can change the disk controller's operation mode without entering the BIOS. However, these tools are not yet available for our Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit, so we didn’t install them and can’t show you their screenshots.

There are some Windows 8 issues even with utilities that are supposed to be compatible with it. We wanted to begin our description of Gigabyte’s excusive software tools from Easy Tune6. It reports CPU, memory and mainboard information, allows you to change clock rates, frequency multipliers and voltages and enable predefined overclock profiles, and can help set up fans and view monitoring data. We know this because we had used the utility earlier. But this time around, after we installed it and rebooted our computer, we couldn't find the utility's icon on the desktop or in the Metro interface. When we tried to reinstall it, we got a warning that we needed to remove the currently installed version first.

However, we couldn’t do that because Easy Tune6 was missing on the list of installed software. We couldn’t even find its folder on our SSD to manually launch the uninstall file. The first installation must have gone wrong but some Windows registry entries prevented us from trying again.

By the way, none of the Gigabyte utilities asks for an installation path. All of them get installed automatically onto the system disk in the folder C:\Program Files\Gigabyte or (for 64-bit systems) C:\Program Files (x86)\Gigabyte.

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