I’m planning on (finally) replacing my Sandy Bridge system with a brand new 2950X-based one (including GPU passthrough :smiley:).

My eyes are currently on the Gigabyte X399 DESIGNARE EX, but there’s one issue that I’ve spotted - does this motherboard allow you to flash the UEFI without a CPU (already supported by the pre-flashed UEFI) installed? Even though Gigabyte released UEFI revision F10 in early July, I’m sure I won’t get a motherboard with that from Amazon (in Ireland, so Amazon UK).

It’s unclear whether or not the “Q-Flash Plus” feature allows the UEFI to be flashed without a CPU. By it’s description it seems plausible - you have to use a specific USB port for example - but the manual only says that it will “recover BIOS data from the USB flash drive” in the event that “both the main and backup BIOS fail during
system boot”.

Does anyone have this board and know what the story is?

UPDATE: Looks like the Amazon.co.uk page for the board has changed to a pre-order. There were a few in stock as late as yesterday, so maybe this means that there’s a new revision / lot with the new UEFI pre-installed?

UPDATE 2: Gigabyte got back to me, apparently a CPU is not required:

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I believe every TR4 board has a BIOS flashback feature.

Perhaps @wendell can confirm?

Motherboards with BIOS Flashback:

ASRock X399 Taichi
ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme
MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon

Gigabyte makes no mention of the feature on their X399 motherboards, so I am not sure if it is there or not.

Hmm you’re right. I can’t remember who said that they all had that feature off the top of my head. Have you tried the Contact Us link on the Gigabyte website? I know they aren’t always reliable but it’s worth a shot.


I’ve actually already sent their tech support a message already - I’ll update if I get a response.

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I double confirmed today that you can indeed bios flashback on x399 Designare

For the Designare you can flash a BIOS without a CPU. Download the BIOS you want and rename it “GIGABYTE.bin”. Put it on a USB 2.0 drive formatted FAT32 then put it in the blue/white port (see below).

I have found that (sometimes) it is suuuuuper important to use an ancient usb 2.0 flash drive for most reliable flashing.


Thanks for checking that @wendell !