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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  • close - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - link

    I haven't used a disc for OS media in years. Since the later years of Win XP I've used USB sticks and never looked back. There's no benefit to using a disc. They're more fragile, larger, require an optical drive, they're slower (even than USB 2.0) and noisier in operation.

    Since these days you can very easily download the ISO from the MS website and put it on a USB stick using the MS tool why would you even bother with discs? All you need is an 8GB USB 2.0 or above and as you can see sometimes they're free :). And you can put the drivers on the same stick.
    Reply
  • alpha754293 - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    But again, that's only true if you have the boot mini driver integrated into the installation media's bootstrap.

    That's not necessarily true, especially for USB, network, and video drivers.

    I ask this question because I just deployed a SuperServer 6027TR-HTRF and also two HP Z420 workstations where trying to install Windows 7 in AHCI mode completely and utterly failed with a USB stick.

    And I did the research online and tried to integrate the USB drivers into the install media and it still failed.

    Ultimately, I had to downgrade the SATA ports performance from AHCI back to IDE-compatible mode in order to get the install to work and I also tried installing the AHCI driver after installation and upon reboot, it still failed, so it's staying in IDE mode.
    Reply
  • alpha754293 - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    It works for Windows 10, but it doesn't work for Windows 7. Reply
  • close - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    Microsoft's tool to write an ISO to a USB stick is called Windows7 USB 2 DVD:
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.a...

    And it works with any OS iso you download from MS (I used it with Win7, 8, 8.1, all versions of 10, and all the Server equivalents of these).

    Unless you have a really non standard machine with an exotic USB controller that's not supported with standard USB drivers you're safe. And if you put all the other drivers in a folder on the stick in advance you don't have to worry about not being able to access the network or anything. Simply install all the drivers after OS installation and you're good to go even in Win7.

    It's a lot more flexible and faster than a DVD.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    Just another thing that keeps EVGA legit. Considering even Microcenter sells 8GB flash drives for $4 not even on sale and 3 packs for $9.99, who knows how much EVGA gets these for in bulk...probably a dollar. Reply
  • bill.rookard - Saturday, May 19, 2018 - link

    Why would they buy them? They could task someone to -make- them once. They design electronics for crying out loud. Even if they changed their mind, they could just as easily turn them around and sell them as EVGA branded sticks. Reply
  • hellfish - Saturday, May 19, 2018 - link

    You can still put those circle things in computers? Reply
  • mapesdhs - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    When I want to play a movie I actually own and doesn't need a net link to access it, yes. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Why have any media? The only thing you *might* need is wifi drivers to get the system online (depending on your wifi card/chip). What person building their own systems doesn't have access to any media and another device? Heck even if I didn't I could download the driver on my phone, connect to the PC, transfer it over, boom.

    Once the PC is online, you can easily download the other drivers yourself if you want the newest ones, or else just let Windows install WHQL drivers. A USB stick is a waste. I've probably thrown away hundreds of driver CDs. Go green, bundle no media. :P
    Reply
  • xilience - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link

    Would be great to see a spot on the motherboard for storing this, so you don't have to worry about losing it. (Not that losing CDs wasn't also a problem, but... PROGRESS!) Reply

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