Ultra Durable 3
The EX58-UD3R supports Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 technology first introduced last year on boards like the EP45-UD3P.
With Ultra Durable 3, Gigabyte incorporates two ounces of copper for both the power and ground layers on the PCB. Traditionally motherboard manufacturers have used one ounce of copper per layer. By doubling the amount of copper in these layers of the PCB, heat from the CPU and other components can be dispersed more effectively across the EX58-UD3R motherboard. This in turn should theoretically help reduce temps for the underlying system components installed in the PC, as the board they reside on is running cooler.
Gigabyte also claims UD3 lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, while also providing improved signal quality and lower EMI; all this helps to reduce electrical interference and enhances efficiency while also improving component temperatures.
Dynamic Energy Saver (DES)
As its name implies, Dynamic Energy Saver is Gigabyte’s utility for optimizing the motherboard’s energy usage. With this feature, the motherboard can dynamically turn on and off power phases as needed depending on workload. Say for instance you’re idling at the Windows desktop. Under this environment you don’t need to run all eight power phases on your motherboard. To conserve power DES can turn off power phases individually; at idle the EX58-UD3R can run with as few as just two power phases once you enable the low CPU power state feature of DES. Then, when you boot up a game, DES automatically turns on all six power phases on the motherboard for max performance. This is all accomplished thanks to an Intersil PWM controller.
Besides automatically turning power phases on and off, the PWM controller can also dynamically throttle the CPU core clock and reduce CPU voltage (i.e. undervolting) to further reduce power consumption.
How much power saving does DES actually provide? To test this we ran a few benchmarks with DES enabled and disabled:
As you can see, we saw a pretty substantial improvement in power savings at idle thanks to DES – nearly a 20W reduction in idle power consumption. Under load though the power savings weren’t quite as great, running the overall 3DMark test we saw a power consumption reduction of four watts, while running just the CPU test within 3DMark we saw a power reduction of 7W thanks to DES.
Another feature Gigabyte includes on DES boards is dynamic LED. With dynamic LED, Gigabyte integrates a bank of LEDs located in the upper right portion of the motherboard. Each LED represents one of the motherboard’s power phases. As a power phase is turned on, the LED lights up. The first four LEDs are green, while LEDs five and six are yellow. The final two LEDs represent max load and shine red when active.
We’re not quite sure the system is working 100% on the GA-EX58-UD3R, even though the DES display would indicate power phases 1-2 were active, DLED would show phases 1-4 were active, with LEDs 1 and 2 a solid green while 3 and 4 would flicker on and off.
Like all of Gigabyte’s motherboards, the GA-EX58-UD3R supports Gigabyte’s DualBIOS feature, which outfits the board with two BIOS ROM chips: a primary BIOS and backup BIOS. Hopefully you’ll never need to use the backup BIOS, but if something happens to your primary BIOS, say for instance it’s infected with a virus or somehow becomes damaged during a corrupt BIOS flash, you can easily recover your original BIOS data if the primary BIOS fails.
The GA-EX58-UD3R is also built with all-solid 50,000 hour rated Japanese capacitors. This ensures the board’s longevity and improves reliability.