Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 AM3 Motherboard Review
Earlier this year, in coordination with the launch of the new Phenom II X6 six-core processors, AMD unveiled the enthusiast-oriented 890FX chipset. This chipset's claim to fame is the fact that it has 32 PCI-E lanes dedicated to solely to graphics use, which is a healthy boost over the mainstream 890GX's 16 PCI-E lanes. What this allows for on is proper x16/x16 dual graphics card configurations, x16/x8/x8 triple graphics card configurations, and even x8/x8/x8/x8 quad graphics card configurations on properly equipped motherboards. The motherboard that we are reviewing today is one such motherboard.
The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD7 comes packed with six mechanical PCI-E x16 slots, and it's not just for show, this motherboard is one of the few to support 4-way CrossFireX. Because of all these expansion slots, GIGABYTE have had to lengthen the PCB by 0.8 inches past the 12 inch ATX specification. As result, this model is deemed to have a non-standard XL-ATX form factor. What this means is that the 890FXA-UD7 is not compatible with many of the popular ATX cases on the market right now.
It is not all bad news though. With that extra space, GIGABYTE have outfitted this model with
six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two SATA 3Gb/s ports, six SATA 6Gb/s ports, two eSATA ports, two FireWire ports, and dual GbE LAN ports. They even found room for legacy IDE and floppy ports. Speaking of unusual additions, this motherboard has been outfitted with a small removable water block, and thankfully GIGABYTE have redesigned the heatsink upon which this water block rests, so we are hoping to see some improved cooling performance. For air cooling enthusiasts, the new and improved Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 module has been included in the bundle. This is a supplementary large fin array that can be attached to the northbridge cooler in order to maximize air cooling.
The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD7 is by definition an enthusiast-oriented motherboard, and before
the recent arrival of the eye-watering ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme, it was the most expensive AM3 motherboard on the market. Can it justify its $250 CDN price tag? Let's find out!
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