Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R ReviewRHKCommander959 - March 18, 2010
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Gigabyte has upped up their old offerings for Intel LGA 1366 processors, such as the X58A-UD3P reviewed here by enhancing the old features and adding new features such as USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0. Compared to the Gigabyte EX58-UD4P that I reviewed several months ago, this board looks to be a good move by Gigabyte - a move in the right direction. Quality features at a more affordable price point, cutting edge technologies, and finally a unified color scheme. The board has four full length PCI Express slots and supports Tri-SLI and CrossFireX out of the box, it also supports Intel's latest six-core processors coming out now.
The new board enlists a mix of new technologies and proprietary standards that have been in service for years, and even a floppy drive port for the few people who use them still to update BIOS. With all of the features and cooling onboard, this should be a popular board for gamers, multimedia enthusiasts, workstations, and overclockers alike!
The packaging is the same as it has been for a while, except that this box has 3 stamped all over the front! 333 Onboard Acceleration is Gigabyte's way of saying that the motherboard has USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, and 3x the USB power. The motherboard has twice the thickness of copper PCB than typical boards, helping reduce resistance. There is a Ultra Durable 3 logo on the bottom that in small print says the board has Japanese solid capacitors and Ferrite core Chokes. Signal quality should be pretty clean here. The back side explains with graphs how much faster USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 are, especially with RAID 0. Power efficiency is another strong point with the Gigabyte boards combining features from the Ultra Durable 3 moniker with Smart 6 and Dynamic Energy Saver 2.
The sides of the box are clean, but not empty - the model is slapped in bold on each side, as are the Intel logos. The bottom continues the trend but also lists four features/benefits about the board, including Energy saving design with DES 2 technology, support for Intel Core i7 processors, four PCI-E 2.0 x16 graphics interface, and integrated SATA 6Gb/s. These four tidbits are then translated into Deutsch, Spanish, Standardized Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, French, Arabic, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Polish, Persian, and Thai.
Opening the box reveals the driver CD, accessories, and manuals piled above the motherboard. removing these and the cardboard platform reveal the motherboard protected in a standard antistatic bag. The unified color scheme looks far better than the random rainbow colors of the old boards, a million fold better looking in my opinion.
Three manuals are included with the motherboard, one to aid in installation of the board, one for Smart 6 information and setup, and one user manual for the board in general. A driver disk is included to help load drivers for the motherboard. A small Gigabyte sticker is also included. Four bright yellow SATA cables are included with latching mechanisms, two have a 90 degree end as well. A wide flexible SLI connector and a solid PCB Tri-SLI bracket are included for the NVIDIA SLI setup users, and the I/O panel bracket has a sticker that color codes everything. An IDE cable stamped with the Gigabyte name is also included.
Time to dissect the accessories!