Driver disks of some sort have been part of a PC enthusiast's life as far back as I can remember. Before Windows included drivers, they all came from media included with the motherboard. I first recall them on floppies then once optical media took hold, moved to CDs. As the number of drivers and included software increased in both quantity and size, it outgrew the capacity of CDs and board partners moved to DVDs offering more capacity and faster read speeds. For example, a board partner's driver disk from a Z370 based board weighs in at 6.57GB on the disk, far eclipsing the capacity of a CD (~700MB) and that of a single-sided DVD (4.7 GB).

To that end, yesterday on Twitter, EVGA’s Global Product Management Director Jacob Freeman announced that in the future, EVGA motherboards will not come with driver disks, but USB Flash which contains all the needed drivers and software. This includes H370 based boards now and others moving forward. Instead of a DVD we are used to seeing, EVGA will include a small 8GB USB flash drive with the EVGA logo printed on it instead. While this isn’t a first (a high-end Asus board in the past included one), it certainly is welcome, if only for the quick installation from USB versus CD/DVD installs. The drive is also re-writeable so it can be used for other purposes as well. 

 

Overall, it is good to see EVGA embrace what we feel is the modern, and faster, medium for base driver and software installations, and hope other board partners follow suit. I do wonder a bit about the cost, but even if it adds $1 more, it is worth it (to me). No more whirring from the optical drive to install drivers with H370 and future EVGA motherboards. It’s about time!

Editor's Note: EVGA has confirmed the drive is USB 2.0 based and costs about twenty times more than an optical disk would. Thankfully, EVGA says that significant cost increase will not trickle down to the consumer, which we all appreciate. 

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  • MadAd - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    Finally! I've long wanted to see all optical media replaced at the point of sale, for instance why can we still not buy a blockbuster movie on some silicon instead of clinging to a redundant optical format? Albums could be marketed on a stick for laptop or otg users...surely some marketing department can see some value in that? Otherwise IMO Its just cost, and the will to be different stopping them now.

    I never thought it would come from the tech world but im pleased to see first steps from any direction, thankfully EVGA dared to be different, well done them!!
    Reply
  • timecop1818 - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    because pressing 100,000 blurays is orders of magnitude cheaper than flash or mask rom, especially at the capacities of bd disks these days - iirc there's bdxl that goes up to 100gb/disk? good luck making that on flash for the same price. Reply
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    You're kidding right?

    Nobody is going to press Blu-Rays as there are too few users who have drives for them but they all have USB

    I use Blu-Rays because I record my own and all of my computers have a Blu-Ray Burner in them

    100GB Blu-Ray disks are pretty much worthless though as there is a huge difference between the reliability and speed of a 6X Blu-Ray and a 4X Blu-Ray

    You should only buy 6X or higher
    Newer 50GB Blu-Rays are 6X (Verbatim)
    Older 50GB Blu-Ray discs and Newer 100GB discs are 4X

    If you can afford a few M-Discs, you will find that a 6X M-Disc will record at the same speed as a regular 6X disc but the drive will access and read them noticeably better than regular discs

    and never trust your burning software to tell you that the disc was burned correctly
    The only way to reliably tell if the disc is good is to copy the contents of the disc back to your hard drive without any pop-up error messages
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Just curious on that last sentence, do you mean a disc verify from within something like ImgBurn can't be relied upon? Reply
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    I have never seen a disk verification to be reliable
    It always says the disc was burned without errors until you try to read it later

    If I get a CRC or data cannot be read error when copying the contents back to hard disk after a burn, I immediately break the disk and do over

    Another problem is Windows!

    If you find that you get several bad disks in a row, simply "MOVE" the contents of your temporary burn directory to any other directory on your hard drive and burn it again

    When you start adding files to a burn directory over a period of several hours or days, Windows has a bad habit of messing up the burn

    Simply dragging the contents of the burn directory to any other directory will instantly sort everything out and like magic and the next burn will be good!

    Don't ask me why though, I have no idea how Windows can mess it up that badly but it happened several times before I started moving the burn contents to a new directory before every burn and the problem disappeared instantly and permanently
    Reply
  • quorm - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    Sounds good, but driver's themselves are never multiple gigs. It's just a bunch of software no one really wants or needs that's making it so big. Reply
  • mczak - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    Yes, 6.6GB for "motherboard drivers" is of course ridiculous. If they'd cut down the bloatware it should all easily fit on a CD again :-).
    Just for reference, a windows 10 ISO file is roughly 4GB, and that includes way more drivers than any single board would need...
    Reply
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Saturday, May 19, 2018 - link

    Yes, My Current Windows-XP Backup with all drivers and basic software fits easily on a Re-Recordable Mini-DVD+RW (8-CM)

    When copied to the 2nd partition of an SSD, Acronis will restore the full backup in 18 seconds with all the drivers or 9 seconds without the drivers

    A Re-Writable DVD is durable enough for backups that require minor changes every 6 months or so

    A 50GB Blu-Ray disk holds ALL of my Windows backups on a READ-ONLY disk to prevent malware overwrites

    Windows-XP / 7 /8.1 and even Win 10 backups can all fit on a single disk along with the .WIM files to Re-Install Windows to Go if necessary and the original Driver software + other basic Utilites
    Reply
  • IBM760XL - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    I was wondering how it added up to that much too. Are they also including drivers for all potential GPUs/network adapters/printers you might connect? Do they have separate versions for all versions of Windows back to 3.1 on the disc, plus several flavors of BSD? Admittedly my desktop's driver archive is 2.91 GB, but over half of that is due to having saved multiple versions of Radeon and Realtek Azalia drivers over the years. Reply
  • MFinn3333 - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    I worry about the physical size of these things getting lost.

    I still have my CD's from Windows 95 (I am a pack rat of computers) while all of my flash drives from more than five years are all gone to either my weasel relatives through theft or me accidently forgetting to take them out of my pants when they go to cleaners.
    Reply

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