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GIGABYTE X58A-OC LGA1366 Motherboard Review

Author: MAC
Date: June 14, 2011
Product Name: GIGABYTE X58A-OC
Part Number: GA-X58A-OC
Warranty: 3 Years
Purchase at NCIX: | UK
 
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It has been about 5 years since motherboard manufacturers started taking overclocking seriously, and during that time there have been numerous motherboards marketed towards the overclocking community. However, up until recently, most of those motherboards were either superficial efforts at best or were very clearly attempting to target two very different groups at the same time, namely gamers and overclockers. This latter approach was problematic since both groups have distinct and diverging requirements when it comes to a motherboard, and as the expression goes, never the twain shall meet.

With this in mind, GIGABYTE set out to build the very first purely overclocking-oriented motherboard. The über high-end X58A-UD9 has been a very 3D benchmarking-focused model, and a good learning experience for the company, but at $700 it was price prohibitive for all but the most well-heeled or well-sponsored overclockers. It was also a very fully featured model, so the next step was obviously to start cutting away the fat. With their in-house overclocker 'Hicookie' in charge of the project, this new model would feature the highest quality PWN components, have no unneeded features, and also be more reasonably priced.

However, the challenge was to design a motherboard that met all the needs of hardcore overclockers but that was also financially viable. From a purely engineering standpoint, building a barren no-nonsense benchmarking-only motherboard would have been easy, but it would have completely alienated retail consumers. Even if John Q. Public has no business buying a product like the X58A-OC, the marketing department still views him as essential to the success of such a motherboard, and thus pushed hard for certain features to be added. As a result, the X58A-OC is not entirely a 'stripper' model, it has more superfluous features (USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, onboard audio) than some people would like. Furthermore, its $380 price tag is about $100 higher than most people were expecting, which is a serious drawback. However, as you will see in the coming pages, it is still a tremendously good motherboard for those who enjoy tweaking and playing with the venerable LGA1366 platform.


 
 
 

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