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I built a PC and my Gigabyte motherboard came with some unwanted bloatware such as a self-updating BIOS program and a driver that allegedly speeds up the charging of iPods and such. All of these things in the Control Panel that I have uninstalled were listed as published by Gigabyte. One in particular that seemingly also came pre-installed was an "NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller Driver". What exactly is it? Do I need it?

I like to keep my OS as clean as possible and know precisely what's on it. Here are my specs if they're required:

  • Case: Antec 1200
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
  • CPU: Intel i7 950 (stock cooler)
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce 570 GTX
  • RAM: 4 GB (2x 2 GB) DDR3 dual-channel Corsair
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
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Irrelevant to the question, but I love your username. Aphex Twin fan here, too. –  jcrawfordor Aug 19 '11 at 0:04

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I built this PC and my Gigabyte motherboard came with some unwanted bloatware such as a self-updating bios program and a driver that allegedly speeds up the charging of MP3 players and such.

While I can attest to the fact that bloatware is bloatware, the driver/software does allow quicker charging of USB devices (e.g. cellphones, MP3 players). This isn't a part of the standard USB-spec, so this is why you need additional drivers/software to use it. It's built into the hardware, yes, but you do need a special driver or program to use it.

All of these things in the control panel that I have uninstalled were listed as published by Gigabyte. One in particular that seemingly also came preinstalled was this "NEC Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller Driver". What exactly is it? Do I need it?

It depends where it shows up. If you're talking in Add/Remove Programs, then most likely not. If it's in the Device Manager, however, then it all depends.

Your motherboard has both a USB 2.0 and 3.0 controller. Disabling that driver will effectively disable the USB 3.0 support, and with it, any connectivity through those ports. Even USB 2.0 devices won't work on those ports (they will work on the other USB 2.0 ones). Just incase you didn't know, the blue USB ports are USB 3, and the black ones are USB 2.

If you have no use for USB 3.0 and don't see a use for it in the future (it can always be re-enabled), you can disable it. If you do use the USB 3 ports, and/or have USB 3 devices, then you may wish to keep the driver/software enabled.

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I never said it didn't provide a quicker charging. I said it allegedly did because I've never used it and didn't want to assume anything. Regardless, your answer was very helpful and very detailed. Thank you very much. –  I take Drukqs Aug 19 '11 at 0:44
    
Sorry, I didn't mean that you said that, I edited the answer. I just meant that you need the driver itself, not just the hardware capability. –  Breakthrough Aug 19 '11 at 0:45

It is the driver to support USB 3.0 on the motherboard. It will support earlier verions as well. You will need this for USB support

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I see. I Googled around quite a bit but never quite understood whether or not I needed it. Thank you very much for such a relevant and quick reply. –  I take Drukqs Aug 18 '11 at 23:49

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