Gigabyte AMD Motherboard Roundup Reviewajmatson - September 16, 2009
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Closer Look (MA770T-UD3P):
This board is a bit different from the previous one. This particular model, the MA770T-UD3P, is designed around the AMD 770 and SB 710 chipset. This design gives a cost effective solution for those who want a balance of power and speed. The board supports socket AM3 processors up to the Phenom II and Athlon II for a quick and powerful system at a low cost. Gigabyte offers a three year warranty on the board, as well as including the Ultra Durable 3 design for long lasting and efficient operability for the life of the product.
Once the box is opened, you get your first glimpse of the accessories that are included with the MA770T-UD3P. The accessories are what Gigabyte generally includes with all its lower end boards. Included are the manual, installation guide, I/O shield, case badge, two SATA cables, one IDE cable, one floppy cable, and the driver CD.
The Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P has a very pleasing appearance. Gigabyte again chose to use the same blue-ish colored PC board, with a white and blue color scheme for the slots and brackets. As with the previous board, this gives the board a nice look when it's inside your case, especially if you have a side window. One feature that you cannot see on the nicely colored PC board is the two ounces of copper that Gigabyte incorporates into the design to aid in cooling the components faster. This also improves durability and efficiency of the motherboard, allowing for better overclocking. In addition to the copper, the Ultra Durable 3 design also uses solid Japanese-manufactured capacitors, lower RDS(ON) MOSFETs, and Ferrite core chokes. All these features are designed to help you get the most out of your system, with better stability and cooling.
Moving to the back panel, again Gigabyte gives you all that you need. Starting from the top, there are the two legacy PS/2 ports for your keyboard and mouse, an optical S/PDIF connector, a coaxial S/PDIF connector, 4-pin and 8-pin FireWire ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, one LAN port, and the audio ports, which are driven by the Realtek ALC889A codec. The LAN port uses the Realtek 8111C/DL chip, for speeds up to 1Gb/s.
Below the back panel connections are the expansion slots. There are more than enough slots for any use, from newer current PCI-Express cards to the legacy PCI interfaced cards that you still might have lying around your house. Included on the MA770T-UD3P are four PCI-Express x1 slots, one PCI-Express x16 slot, and two legacy PCI slots. The PCI-Express x16 slot runs at x16 speeds for fast data transfer.
The CPU area on this particular board looks crowded, but like the previous entry, there is plenty of room to work around it and I had no issues installing aftermarket CPU coolers and a water block for better cooling. The socket only supports AM3 processors, including the Phenom II and Athlon II series up to 140 watts. There are four DIMM slots, which support up to 16GB of DDR3 memory up to 1666MHz, overclocked. The MA770T-UD3P uses an 8+2 power design for efficient power throughout the system.
On the bottom are the headers, which allow you to expand your system as needed. Starting from the left, there is a FireWire header, a parallel port header, a floppy port header, two USB 2.0 headers, front panel headers, a COM header and a fan header. Flipping up to the right side of the board, you will notice there are six SATA ports. The six blue SATA ports are controlled via the SB710 Southbridge, and support SATA 3.0Gb/s speeds with SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1. There is also a green IDE port supporting up to two IDE devices for your legacy hard drives or optical drives.
To keep the cool look of the board and add to the Ultra Durable 3 design, Gigabyte has used a heatsink combination designed to lower the temperatures for the critical parts of the board. There is a large heatsink that covers the Northbridge and the IGP, along with a smaller one that covers the Southbridge.
Two boards down, now we can move on to the next one.