Gigabyte EX58-UD5 X58 Motherboard

Board Layout & Appearance

Board Layout & Appearance

Finally Gigabyte have moved on from the multi-coloured, motherboards of old and replaced it with a much more aesthetically pleasing theme. Sticking with the traditional blue PCB, Gigabyte have replaced the horrid yellow and red DDR slots with some rather cool looking sky blue and white ones. The colour scheme is also passed along to the remainder of the components with only the Orange PCI x4 and bottom x8 slots standing out from the crowd. It is a shame that orange was used rather than more subdued colour as it detracts from the overall colour coordinated look of the board which itself is extremely well laid out.

The rear of the motherboard is relatively clean with only a CPU backplate standing out. Looking closer there are however a few extra chips which, while not likely to interfere with the fitting of any additional backplate are worth noting should you decide to choose alternative methods of cooling.

Board Front Board Rear

As with the previous X58 motherboards we have had on test recently, the EX58-UD5 also has 6 DIMM slots with a potential capability of running up to a maximum 24GB. While 24GB is certainly not going to be cheap by any stretch of the imagination, a standard 6GB kit such as the Corsair we reviewed here or the OCZ kits now available should be within reach - unthinkable considering the price of DDR3 upon initial release!

The CPU socket area is very cluttered to the left and uppermost sections thanks to the 12 phase power design of the UD5. This should appeal to the hardcore overclockers among us as the 12 Phase power will help stabilise high voltages providing clean, stable power to the CPU even under the highest load.


The PCI area of the UD5 is as feature packed as the rest of the motherboard and is the only board we have tested thus far which is capable of TRI SLI; albeit in a 16+16+8 configuration. This however is in PCIe 2.0 format which offers greater bandwidth than the previous generation PCIe 1.1 so the 8x PCIe port, while not offering the same amount of lanes as the blue slots, should be more than sufficient for the current crop of GPU's on general release. Two additional PCI slots are nestled between the PCIe slots with a PCIe 4x and 1x sitting uppermost in the layout.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the UD5 is the cooling, specifically the Southbridge cooler, which while flat with no fins, covers both the Southbridge and Gigabyte's own SATA2 controller. As these chips don't give off excessive heat, the cooler should be enough to dissipate what heat is created which itself is connected to the beefier Northbridge. A 6+4 SATA configuration, 6 on the ICH10R and 4 on the Gigabyte controllers, offer a huge amount of storage possibilities which while hardly required by the enthusiast is still a very welcome addition.

In the same area of the SATA ports is an LED diagnostic display that shows a mixture of letters or numbers depending on the boot process or error encountered which is much more useful than the BIOS beeps of yesteryear. Speaking of LED's, this board is swathed with them which offer so many more diagnostic possibilities than before.

Memory Lower right
I'm not normally a fan of coloured heatsinks but the ones on the UD5 certainly look the business. Gunmetal grey fins with cobalt blue covers ooze class and with the heat pipes connecting up the four major heat sinks I have little doubt that the fantastic looks are matched by good performance.
Mosfet 1

Northbridge Southbridge
Removing the heatsinks was a very simple affair as the basic but effective push pins were easily accessible and a quick pinch together allowed us access to the major chips on the motherboard. The Northbridge no longer has the task of controlling memory operations or FSB and as such, theoretically should run much cooler than previous generations but that hasn't stopped Gigabyte and indeed other manufacturers from continually improving the efficiency of motherboard cooling. No 'secret' chip on the Southbridge this time around, instead what we see is the now aging ICH10R chip providing control for the six blue Intel SATA ports, with the Gigabyte chip sitting just below.

Norhtbridge Southbridge 

Surrounding the CPU socket area are the numerous LOW RDS (on) MOSFETS which accompany the 12 chokes and solid capacitors which together will provide and then smooth the power delivery to the CPU. This is an increase of the norm on a Gigabyte board and while not quite to the extreme of 16 Phase designs found on Asus boards, 12 should be quite enough for all but the most picky of enthusiasts.

CPU Area Heatsink

The cooler itself uses a combination of paste and thermal tape which should be sufficient to cool each component adequately. Water blocks, which are a little thin on the ground at the moment, should fit the Gigabyte board easily as the catch holes are clear from any unwanted obstruction allowing for even more extravagant cooling that already adorns the UD5.

So then, a very impressive layout paired with an amazing array of features all topped off with some very attractive cooling. Gigabyte have made tremendous improvements with the motherboard layout and aesthetics so then, let's hope the BIOS has not been forgotten in the evolution.

Let's take a look and find out...

«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Next»

Most Recent Comments

05-01-2009, 14:55:16

Best in class, w00t w00t! That's my board

Personally the only bug I've found is the CPU multiplier in the F3 bios: I couldn't lower the CPU multiplier.

Oh and one question: how did you save the bios? I'm too lazy to actually read the manualQuote

05-01-2009, 15:06:04

We got performance figures of these vS 775 setups ? I can'`t remember.

Either way, £218 is still taking the pish imo. These are the emerging mobos that will see revisions l8r in the year, and to charge over even £200 for them is beyond.

They figuring they can price match Foxconn or summit ?

Tis a shame, cos it does appear a great mobo from the review, but I have to be honest, being as i7 doesn`t do leaps and bounds over a 775, I for one aint gonna pay over the odds to get them.Quote

05-01-2009, 15:21:16

Nice review webbo. I'm really liking the look of this board and the price/colour scheme may now see me acquire one in the future.Quote

05-01-2009, 15:23:16

Rasta, I totally agree with you and I refuse to pay that kind of money for a motherboard. Anyhoo, don't know how many of you know but there are some P55 motherboards coming out some time this year which hopefully will be around normal prices. I expect they will be similar like the P35 and the X38 for pricing strategies?Quote

05-01-2009, 15:59:47

Originally Posted by name='monkey7'

Oh and one question: how did you save the bios? I'm too lazy to actually read the manual
F11 (save) and F12 (load) while in the main screen of the biosQuote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.