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Monday, 30 May 2011 17:40

Gigabyte's X58-USB3 stops by during the Computex Chaos Featured

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The Layout -
The layout of any motherboard is important. Even simple mistakes in component placement or the signal traces can cause major issued in performance and stability. With the ATX form factor we find that this is even truer; the devices we drop onto them demand more and cleaner power while the signal speeds pus faster and faster.  

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The X58-USB3 is a nice looking board. It maintains the blue PCB from the older generation boards along with the same type of cooling that we have seen before on boards like the 890FX-UD7. Still even with everything that is going on the X58-USB3 still has something of a clean look.  The board is based on the now comfortable ATX form factor (no extended ATX here) and as such follows the same typical layout.  So let’s take our confortable stroll around the board and see what we have. Kicking things off up by the memory slots we find the typical six slots. Right next to them are three ferrite chokes for the memory voltage regulation. The 24-Pin ATX power connector is also visible in this shot.  Moving a little to the side we find we get to the CPU socket. GB has used a Lotes socket for those of you that are keeping track of that sort of thing.  Of note in this image is the fact that the voltage regulation for the CPU looks extra light. This is worrisome for anyone thinking about overclocking this board. Gigabyte had better have put some extra thought into the power on this board if they want to make sure everything is fed. The Aux 8-Pin power connector is (as usual) in an awkward position. But as this is nothing new and something that happens across multiple product lines and manufacturers we are not going to fault Gigabyte for this.

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Taking a closer look at the cooling we find an interesting little heatsink.  This appears to be over some extra voltage regulation at first glance but upon closer look could be over some of the “warmer” control circuitry for the X58 chipset. Dropping down some we find the peripheral slots on the board; with the X58-USB3 you get three x1 PCIe slots, two x16 PCIe slots (for crossfire and such) and an extra x4 slot. In addition you also get the obligatory PCI 2.1 slot (you know for those of you with PCI devices…).

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Flipping the X58-USB3 around we find six SATA2.0 ports. As we pointed out earlier Gigabyte left the SATA 3.0 off. This was done to save production costs but also to prevent complications with the rest of the board. There are more than enough PCIe lanes, but there are other issues they would have had to get around.  It is also worth noting that the majority of people looking for a motherboard in this price range are probably not concerned with SATA 3.0 just yet.


Looking at the I/O ports on the back we find a nice selection. Gigabyte is maintaining two PS/2 ports (one for Keyboard and one for Mouse) while giving you six USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. The rest of the space is left for basic HD audio. You are not getting optical SPDIF out here, but they do offer the coaxial out if that is your thing.

In all I think that Gigabyte has made some wise design choices for this board. They could have tried to over complicate things and ended up making the product difficult to use and also increase the potential for failure.


Read 20489 times Last modified on Monday, 30 May 2011 18:58

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