Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Manufacturer's Part Number:
LGA1366 Motherboard Review
$370CDN+ Price Comparison Manufacturer's Product Page: Giga-Byte Technology Co., Ltd. Warranty:
3 year limited warranty
At this year's Computex we had the privilege of taking an early look at Gigabyte's X58A motherboard lineup. Even though all of the models were very early samples, it was obvious that these second generation X58 motherboards would bring a lot to the table. People were so impressed with these new models that the EX58A-EXTREME was actually one of 25 products
shown off at Computex 2009 that was selected for the Best Choice Award.
After being long delayed due to a problem with Marvell's SATA 6Gb/s controller, the EX58A-EXTREME eventually became the X58A-UD7 that we are reviewing today. This is the Cream of the Crop, the best and most expensive motherboard in Gigabyte's entire motherboard roster.
With many motherboards it's hard to know what to talk about, but with this one, where do we start? First, this model utilizes Gigabyte's brand new 24-phase power design, which should not only allow for superior extreme overclocking, but higher reliability, lower temperatures, and better energy efficiency as well. Secondly, thanks to the aforementioned Marvell controller, this motherboard support the new SATA 6Gb/s interface. Mostly important though, like all X58A motherboards, the X58A-UD7 supports USB 3.0, which is absolutely going to be one of the most important new technologies of 2010.
Befitting its high-end roots, this is one of the few Intel X58-based motherboards with four mechanical PCI-E x16 slots, which are capable of x16/x16, x16/x8/x8 and x8/x8/x8/x8 configurations. Officially, this motherboard 'only' supports 3-way CrossFireX and 3-way SLI, but with single-slot cards Quad CrossFireX is definitely do-able as well. Oddly enough, perhaps the best part of this motherboard is the software. As you will see in the coming pages, Gigabyte have created some interesting new utilities to help manage your system, secure your data, and even lower power consumption, all with a bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.
This is a review that you won't want to miss, if only to see how well USB 3.0 performs compared to USB 2.0.