GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM3 Motherboard Review

by MAC     |     July 27, 2009


When the original Phenom processors were launched, AMD also announced their new seventh generation chipsets. This new chipset family was comprised of the AMD 790FX (RD790), AMD 790X (RD780) and AMD 770 (RX780). These new chipsets brought forth full compatibility with the new Socket AM2+ via support for the HyperTransport 3.0 bus. They also (finally) officially supported DDR2-1066 and allowed independent powering of the memory controller and processor cores.

The Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 that we are reviewing today was designed around the budget-oriented AMD 770 northbridge and SB700 southbridge. The AMD 770 / SB700 combo features the aforementioned HyperTransport 3.0 (HT3.0) system bus and PCI Express 2.0 graphics interface, and is now optimized for AMD´s latest multi-core AM3 45nm CPUs, ensuring best possible performance and overclocking capabilities.

The 770 northbridge, codename RX780, is manufactured on a 65nm process by Taiwanese mega-foundry TSMC. This is a highly efficient little chip that utilizes approximately 3W when idle and less than 10 W under load. The northbridge was designed as a mainstream chipset targeted at discrete single graphics card motherboard designs. One of the key features of this chipset is support for data transfer rates up to 5200MT/s via the HyperTransport 3.0 (HT3.0) interface, as well as 22 PCI-E lanes, 16 of which are driven through a single physical PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot.

On this motherboard, the 770 northbridge is paired with the fairly modern SB700 southbridge, which supports six SATA II ports, RAID 0, 1, 10 capabilities, up to fourteen USB 2.0 ports, and one legacy parallel IDE channel. This southbridge does not support the popular Advanced Clock Control (ACC) feature that allows for the unlocking of extra cores and/or extra cache on Phenom II and Athlon II X2 processors. It should be pointed out that there is an updated rev. 2.0 version of this motherboard that features the newer SB710 southbridge, and that model does support Advanced Clock Control.

Now let’s take a closer look at the MA770-UD3's spec sheet:


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