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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  • mapesdhs - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Indeed, I can see future used mbd sales on ebay typically not coming with the original USB driver stick, long since lost. Reply
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    But losing the driver stick benefits the manufacturer, just like bad firmware revisions directly from the manufacturer

    Even after bricking several thousand computers, you would think that the manufacturers would figure out that the firmware was bad after several hundred complaints and replace it on their servers with a valid copy but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Gotta sell something new!
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Should have been standard by now. I can't remember the year that I abandoned optical drives for a a personal system, maybe 10 years ago.

    I was surprised that Windows doesn't have drivers for an Intel networking solution on an Asrock motherboard. It is truly inconvenient to get another computer and upload/transfer the driver.

    With a USB drive, the driver will install much faster. Value is also added if the USB drive includes other drivers, such as chipset drivers, so that a download is not necessary
    Reply
  • ruthan - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Companies trying to save every cent and packages looks cheaper and cheaper, this is one improvement im comparison with many degradation's Reply
  • beginner99 - Monday, May 21, 2018 - link

    I don't see the point of this when you can get newest driver online from their sites or windows itself. Reply
  • chenedwa - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    Other companies, such as Foxconn, have already been using USB chiclets since 2014 for drivers to support their barebones nanoPC. Reply
  • IBM760XL - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    I don't have strong feelings, other than either a CD, DVD, or USB stick is much preferable to mini-CDs/mini-DVDs. Those are okay if I'm installing them on a laptop, but are a significant annoyance when trying to install them from a desktop optical tray where there's no connector in the center to keep a mini disk in place. I always have to end up copying those over my intranet from a laptop in those cases, if the vendor's web site isn't good enough to make it easy to find the drivers online. Reply
  • crashtech - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - link

    I wonder if it could be even cheaper just to include enough flash on the board to accommodate drivers, which could then be updated in the UEFI. That would be an interesting value-add, imo, since it could be used to host a live OS for troubleshooting purposes, etc. that couldn't get misplaced. Reply
  • johnny_boy - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - link

    I wish they would just forgo providing on physical medium drivers at all. Include a link to a static page from which the user can download driver and firmware software for themselves. Reply
  • draknon - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    Never install the driver from the disc(or flash drive). They're usually outdated and full of useless bloatware. I always recommend to my users that they should go download the drivers directly from the manufacturers website. Reply

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