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Gigabyte GA-P55 UD3R Review

ccokeman    -   November 1, 2009
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Conclusion:

As you can see, the performance of the GA-P55-UD3R and all of the comparison boards fall into a specific performance envelope at stock speeds. Considering that the boards are built on the same chipset, this really is the performance expectation, again, at stock speeds. The difference really comes in when you get to the overclocked speeds and feature set. First off, I have to say that the GA-P55-UD3R shocked me when I was able to push the i7 870 to almost 4.4GHz. It fell just a tick below, because at a 210MHz bclock it did not want to give me any stability, even at reduced speeds. With that said, a bclock of 209MHz with a 21x clock multiplier proved fruitful and allowed the UD3R to shine. While I had problems going over 1600MHz with a set of dual sided DIMMs on the P55-UD6, I did not have that problem on the P55-UD3R. In fact, the modules scaled above what they have done in the past by a good 40MHz, to 1020MHz. To say I was stoked is an understatement! At this level of performance on air, you can be sure there is more left on the table that can be obtained when you can go for it with improved cooling.

There is no doubt that the GA-P55-UD3R is a capable performer. It delivers this level of performance without the 24-phase VRM used on its big brother. By the same token, the lack of phases can impact the efficiency of the energy saving features and may impact long term stability with fewer phases to spread the load across. But, at least there is the three year warranty backing you up! Feature-wise, the board does have fewer than some of the boards higher up on the food chain. You don't get the onboard switches, the Combo eSATA/USB ports on the I/O panel, or some of the other niceties with Multi GPU - availability is limited to CrossfireX on this board, but with the second slot running at 4x you won't be setting Multi GPU records.  However, with a single GPU, you stand a shot at making it happen. The apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to the construction methods used to build this board. This board is one of eleven P55 boards by Gigabyte and does indeed feature Ultra Durable 3 construction with 2-oz copper ground and power layers, Japanese Solid Capacitors, Ferrite core chokes and Lower RDS(on) mosfets, so it has the hardware credentials to push the performance limits of your hardware. What you get with the GA-P55-UD3R is a board that comes in at an attractive price point ($139) that drops the performance hammer when you push the clock speeds. Even though it has a lesser feature set, the features it comes with will work for the majority of people. The GA-P55-UD3R delivers great overclocking and a great price.

 

Pros:

  • Overclocking
  • Comparable stock performance
  • Ultra Durable 3
  • 3 year warranty
  • Stability

 

Cons:

  • Only Crossfire Support

 

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