GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 Motherboard Review

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The GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 Mainboard

GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 Motherboard Review

GIGABYTE has a long standing reputation in the enthusiast community as a top tier manufacturer. While GIGABYTE is among the top enthusiast motherboards, not all of their boards are aimed at the folk’s that are budget-less. Today we are fortunate enough to have one of GIGABYTE’s budget minded socket 1366 motherboards in hand to put through the paces. The GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 is a low cost, budget friendly motherboard based on the Intel X58 chipset. At the time of writing the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 is the fourth least expensive socket 1366 motherboard at Newegg.com coming in at only $179.99.

While the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 is aimed at the budget minded consumer. There isn’t many features that GIGABYTE decided to leave off. Those that they did leave off, are perhaps past their prime or haven’t yet become a main stream staple in the computer industry. That’s not to say the the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 is lacking in features, because that is far from accurate. Features such as the GIGABYTE ON/OFF Charge that allow you to charge mobile devices even while the computer is shutdown, is just one of the many features that I like about the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3. Other features like Cloud OC, Hotkey OC, and software like Easy Tune 6 are just a few of the features that the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 can lay claim to.

GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 Motherboard Key Features

  • Get Ready to Unleash the Power of 32nm 6 Core CPUs
    • GIGABYTE’s entire line of X58-based motherboards are ready to support the new generation of Intel 32nm 6-core processors, delivering the very best platform for multitasking, multimedia and high performance gaming.
  • Intel Core i7 Processor and X58 Chipset support
    • The GA-The GA-X58-USB3 was designed specifically to take advantage of the raw power of the next generation Intel Core i7 processors and the Intel X58 Express chipset, whose new evolution in computing architecture is able to deliver an amazing performance break through from past processor generations. Replacing the Front Side Bus is the new Quick Path Interconnect, or QPI, whose 25.6 GB/sec transfer rates (double the bandwidth of the 1600MHz FSB) eliminates the communication bottleneck between the processor and chipset.
  • USB 3.0 Support
    • The GIGABYTE motherboards support the latest generation SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology made possible through an onboard NEC uPD720200 host controller. With superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps, users are able to experience an almost a 10x improvement over USB 2.0. Additionally, backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 assures users of long term use of their legacy USB 2.0 devices. The onboard NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology also provides new power management features that include increased maximum bus power and device current draw to better accommodate power-hungry devices.
  • Ultra Durable 3

    Image Description

    • GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 design, featuring 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers which dramatically lowers system temperature by delivering a more efficient spreading of heat from critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU power zone throughout the entire PCB. GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable 3 also lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, which helps to reduce electrical waste and further lowers component temperatures. A 2oz Copper layer design also provides improved signal quality and lower EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), providing better system stability and allowing for greater margins for overclocking.
  • EasyTune6
    • GIGABYTE has completely redesigned EasyTune6 from the ground up to make it easier than ever to manage and monitor your hardware resources as well as tweak your system settings in order to achieve maximum system performance. Whether you are an overclocking enthusiast, or a computer novice, EasyTune6 provides the tools you need to quickly and effortlessly fine tune your system.
  • Hardware OverVoltage Control IC – Enabling Extreme Overclocking
    • GIGABYTE Hardware Overvoltage Control ICs featuring more voltage control options than before for the CPU North Bridge and memory. The overvoltage controllers also provide hardware linear real-time voltage control, which means there is no delay compared to the GPIO controller in past implementations. In addition, GIGABYTE’s Hardware Overvoltage Controller ICs also allow for much finer voltage control, allowing power users to adjust voltage in as little increments as 20mV for better overclocking performance.

GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 Motherboard Specifications

CPU
  • Support for an Intel Core i7 series processor in the LGA1366 package (Go to GIGABYTE’s website for the latest CPU support list.)
  • L3 cache varies with CPU
QPI
  • 4.8GT/s, 6.4GT/s
Chipset North Bridge:

  • Intel X58 Express Chipset

South Bridge:

  • Intel ICH10R
   
Memory
  • 6 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory
  • Dual/3 channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
  • Support for non-ECC memory modules
  • Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Audio
  • Realtek ALC892 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Home Theater
  • Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  • Support for CD In
LAN 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2) (Note 2)
    (The PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4_1)
  • 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology Support for ATI CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI technology
Technology (The PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots only.)
Storage Interface South Bridge:

  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
USB Integrated in the South Bridge:

  • Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 on the back panel, 6 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

NEC chip:

  • Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
Form Factor ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

Now that we know the key features and specifications of the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 motherboard we can start peeking our head in further and see exactly what we are getting. On the next page we will take a look at the retail packaging and bundle of the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3, followed by the board itself, after that we will throw some parts at the GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 and then stick our heads into the system BIOS before we get into the good stuff, the benchmarking!

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