So the manufacturer’s point of difference is not only the components it uses, but also what it can offer the user during day-to-day use. Gigabyte, like others, offer many different programs for you to choose from once set up which can help to make your life a little easier. Usually these programs are useless, offering bloatware or some pretty pointless programs that you wouldn’t normally download, but times have changed and so have these programs.
Gigabyte offer a huge amount of utilities, first up is Smart Switch. This particular app is only compatible with Windows 8/ 8.1 as all it really does is add a traditional start menu. While some might see this as pointless, it works quite well apart from the search function, which seems to be non-existent.
The main utility on offer is App Center. This is the main “hub” for all of the sub-utilities and is easily accessed through searching or the taskbar. One key feature I like with this is that if you hover over the app you no longer want, you can simply uninstall it by right-clicking.
First up is 3D OSD, this small feature gives you an in-depth insight to the graphics hardware monitor. The blue dots represent what can be recorded and displayed in a log file, handy if you are experiencing issues or just want to monitor your graphics card after a hard gaming session.
@BIOS is probably the most renowned utility for Gigabyte, being one of the first highly successful BIOS flashing software to be offered by a manufacturer. The process is extremely simple, but I found updating from a server to be extremely annoying. When it did find a server to download from, it would not present the latest BIOS either, so manually downloading from the product page would be the best option.
Ambient LED is one of the newer additions to the app line-up. This is mainly due to only recent motherboards being offered with customisable RGB LED’s. This feature changes the LED colour which is found under the sound cover.
With a push towards a more mobile lifestyle, Gigabyte offers AutoGreen. This is a feature that allows you to control your computer power settings through a mobile device.
EasyTune is something that all manufacturers offer. It is a one stop shop for overclocking and performance information while using the computer instead of having to restart and enter BIOS. While these methods of overclocking still aren’t recommend, they are getting a lot better, but you can always do better by manually setting the overclock in the BIOS.
Easy RAID is a great little tool that allows you to enable RAID simply through a nice GUI.
Fast Boot is a similar feature to what we saw during our trip into the BIOS. This allows you to choose whether or not you want to disable certain processes to speed up the booting process. Here you can also choose to enter BIOS incase your keyboard isn’t recognised before the operating system is loaded.
Home Cloud and Home Cloud Station are both mobile interaction features. Home Cloud is a back-up system between your computer and mobile device.
The Home Cloud Server is a combination of multiple features: HomeCloud, Gigabyte Remote, Remote OC and HotSpot. These features give a seemless connectivity experience beteen your main computer and smart device.
System information viewer (SIV) is a hardware monitor that focuses on the fan speed. First time opening of the app will start a fan calibration which closely resembles Windows 8/8.1/10.
Along with fan control, you can set up alarms and warnings if your system ever goes outside of the tolerances that you set.
The record screen works hand in hand with the System Alerts to monitor your voltages. This could be extremely useful if you are having random drop outs during general use and you are not sure on the issue.
Smart Keyboard is basically a hotkey macro function. By assigning different functions to different unused keys, you can quickly access webpages by only pressing 1 button.
In with this software, you can also change the mouse sensitivity on the fly if you mouse doesn’t support it on the device itself.
Unique the this motherboard (so far), is the Creative Sound Blaster Pro Studio. It is just like most other operating system based audio programs. However, I personally prefer this to most others as it is clean and easy to use.