Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 review

Price when reviewed

The UD in this Gigabyte board’s name stands for “Ultra Durable”. In this case, that means the board’s made with extra-thick copper, which is claimed to improve heat dissipation and power efficiency. In practice, though, the EX58-UD5 still proved one of the most power-hungry boards on test, with an idle power drain of 117W.

Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 review

That’s partly down to the sheer number of onboard controllers. Install the optional bracket alongside the standard backplate and the UD5 offers a huge amount of connectivity, with eight USB sockets, three FireWire, two eSATA and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can be teamed to make a 2Gb connection to compatible devices.

Inside, it’s a similar picture. Two SATA controllers provide a total of eight drive ports, supporting five different RAID modes. For further expansion, you get no fewer than seven PCI slots of various types.

But the GA-EX58-UD5 isn’t just a well-connected motherboard; it’s eminently usable too. A plethora of onboard LEDs gives an at-a-glance picture of internal voltages and clock speeds, while a two-digit display shows POST results. With surface-mounted power and reset buttons, plus a rear-facing button for clearing the CMOS, it’s an enthusiast’s dream.

This user-empowering approach is backed up with extensive tweaking and overclocking features, which can be set in the BIOS or activated from within Windows. And if you get into trouble you can fall back on Gigabyte’s DualBIOS system, which restores the BIOS from a backup copy held in ROM.

If you’re looking for a catch, it’s worth noting that this board won’t let you overclock your RAM to ludicrous speeds, as is possible with the Asus and Biostar boards. And some boards on the market – such as the Asus P6T Deluxe (web ID: 228804) – support SAS hard drives in addition to IDE and SATA, a high-end feature that Gigabyte’s contender lacks.

Conversely, if you don’t demand every feature under the sun, the GA-EX58-UD5 is an expensive package. The Asus P6T (see below) could do all you need, and save you a few bob.

But if you’re willing to invest in a luxury board to accompany a high-end CPU, the GA-EX58-UD5 is a compelling choice that does more or less everything you could ask for.


Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsno


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)Intel
Processor socketLGA 1366
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetIntel X58
South bridgeIntel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters2
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipsetRealtek ALC889A

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type8-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total6
Internal SATA connectors8
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total3
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total1
PCI-E x1 slots total1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)8
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?yes
Motherboard onboard reset switch?yes
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied4
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied1

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