Table of Contents:
• Supports 6 Core i7 CPUs/4 Core i7 LGA-1366 CPUs
• Intel Core i7 Processor and X58 Chipset support
• On/off charge support
• On/off charge USB port
• USB 3.0 support
• 3x USB Power Boost
• Multi-display support with SLI and CrossfireX
• Dynamic Energy Saver 2
• Cloud OC
• Hotkey OC
• Smart 6
• Intel Turbo Boost Technology
• Ultra Durable 3
• EasyTune 6
• Hardware OverVoltage Control IC
• Dolby Home Theater
• Qualified for Windows 7
• ErP Lot 6 Support
The GIGABYTE X58-USB3 motherboard is based upon Intel’s X58 chipset as noted earlier paired with the ICH10R Southbridge. This board supports the Core i7 9 series CPUs including the Core i7 970 which is the first LGA-1366 CPU to cost less than $1000, bringing it more into the mainstream CPU markets. GIGABYTE has high-end boards with many more features but this one is focused on USB 3.0.
USB 3.0 has all of the features of 2.0 with additions providing extra power to devices that support it. USB 3.0 provides up to 900 micro Amps of power to a device. This is in comparison to the 500 micro Amps provided by USB 2.0. GIGABYTE provides up to 2700 micro Amps per device, offering 3x the power to devices from the USB 3.0 ports. The 2.0 ports provide up to 1500 mA of power 3x the 500 provided by the standard USB 2.0 port.
What’s important to note is that GIGABYTE has improved the power output to USB ports to the point where a device such as an iPhone 4 which takes a long time to charge when plugged into a 500 micro Amp port on a regular computer, will draw more power if it can. GIGABYTE says this results in a 40% decrease in charging time for an iPhone versus using a standard 2.0 port. Two red connectors on the motherboard used for the FP I/O are designed for this purpose.
The Apple iPad is one of the first successful tablet devices with millions sold at time of this writing. One of the issues with the iPad and indeed the iPhone is that the device will request up to 1100 micro Amps of power from a USB 2.0 port. Certain Apple devices such as MacBooks or other computers will provide up to 1100 mA of power to such connected devices, allowing faster charging of the iPad or iPhone. As you can see, the USB 3X power has the benefit of providing up to 1500 mA and 3.0 up to 2700 mA meaning that the iPad or iPhone will charge faster than using a 2.0 regular port.
GIGABYTE goes a step further with their charging regimen. They have the ability to provide power to an iDevice even when the computer itself is turned off or in Standby mode. This innovative new technology also works on other mobile phones that use the USB cable to charge. Note that GIGABYTE says their USB 3X power port will charge an iPhone in two hours compared to the three that a normal USB 2.0 port would take.
The X58 chipset is one of the first on the market to fully support NVIDIA’s SLI solution without the need for an NVIDIA chipset on the board. The X58 chipset has 40 PCI Express lanes which can be divided into graphics and other uses, meaning that two x16 cards can be fully utilized by the chipset. The x58 chipset can also do CrossfireX with up to three AMD or NVIDIA cards working together. As we move into 2011, the multiple graphics cards will become more important for the enthusiast as we see more DirectX 11 titles release and they get more complex.
Saving the environment is becoming more and more important as more devices are released with carbon dioxide emitting properties. Motherboard manufacturers including GIGABYTE have turned to offering differing numbers of phased power to deliver the lowest power requirements for a given task. Phase Switching is made easy with the Dynamic Energy Saver from GIGABYTE. DES2 delivers auto-phase switching for the CPU, memory, Chipset, VGA, HDD and fans with the click of a button.
Cloud OC is something new to GIGABYTE motherboards. It allows you to overclock your system and monitor it via LAN, wireless LAN or Bluetooth with any Internet browser capable device including iPhones, iPads, Android devices and many other tablets and Smartphone’s. The Cloud OC UI has three tabs: Tuner, System Info and Control. The Tuner tab provides a wide range of tweaking options including CPU, Memory, VGA and PCIE frequencies and voltages. System Info is where the system status is located. The Control tab allows you to use your device to restart, power off, suspend or hibernate the computer. Hotkeys OC allows a particular profile on your computer to be loaded depending on the situation. You can have a profile for low noise, one profile for default setting, another one that is tweaked for better gaming performance and others for extreme overclocking for the CPU, Memory or Graphics card. You can tweak the CPU, Memory and Graphics frequencies/voltages through EasyTune 6 and save them as Hotkeys.