Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 LGA 1156 Micro ATX Motherboard Review
Features, Layout, Included Extras
- Industry leading 12 phase power VRM design for optimum power efficiency and thermal solution
- Leading quality standard of Ultra Durable™ 3 technology with 2oz copper PCB design
- Innovative Smart 6 technology for Smarter PC management
- Support Intel® Core™ i7/ Core™ i5 processors with LGA 1156 socket
- New Dynamic Energy Saver™ 2 technology enables best energy efficiency
- Support both ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI for ultimate graphics performance
- XHD technology accelerating hard drive performance with ease
- AutoGreen technology Greening your PC via Bluetooth cellphone
- Integrated eSATA/USB combo connectors for enhanced storage flexibility
- Patented GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ technology delivering highest level failure protection
- Supports Dolby Home Theater audio to create a stunning surround sound listening experience
- The Precision OV provides more precision voltage control for system
- Compatible with Windows 7 to deliver the best operation experience
- Small size for LAN party use and space saving purpose
The Gigabyte P55M-UD4 comes packaged with the company's standard motherboard box design that features their Ultra Durable 3 and Smart 6 technologies. The board comes with a three-year warranty and also supports SLI and CrossfireX graphics configurations.
The back panel goes into more detail about the Ultra Durable 3 technology that uses two ounces of copper in the PCB to help dissipate heat away from the motherboard and other critical hardware components. They also discuss the board's Energy Saver 2 technology and some of the board's other "green" features.
Gigabyte uses a two-tier system to keep the motherboard and its accessories separate so nothing is broken during shipping. This is a pretty standardized practice across many vendors.
Here's our first full look at the P55M-UD4. This board is pretty crammed with lots of USB, firewire, and SATA 3GB/s ports. It also supports some legacy components like PATA and floppy devices, which are still in use by many consumers. Gigabyte even found room for a fancy power button and also left plenty of real estate around the CPU for third-party heatsinks and water cooling systems.
The back panel of the PCB is as basic as usual. Nothing special to show you here.
One of the first features we usually highlight in our motherboard reviews is a motherboard's graphics support functions. In the case of the P55M-UD4, it flourishes in this department by giving users two PCI-e slots that run at x16 and x8 speeds in SLI and CrossfireX configurations. Some people might not think having SLI/CrossfireX support as being significant, but having these features on a micro ATX motherboard is certainly something to take notice of. They also included one PCI-e x4 slot and one PCI slot for legacy add-on cards.
Firewire users will enjoy having support for one firewire device, which will give users access to external firewire devices from the front panel of their case or through the back I/O panel.
Users can add four more USB 2.0 ports through these two headers on the motherboard. The entire board itself supports up to 14 USB 2.0 devices.
The front panel headers are color coded and include a quick overview of where each pin needs to be placed to make all the front panel ports and buttons function properly.
Gigabyte included six phase LEDs to indicate increased CPU loads during operation. I think it's more for asthetic purposes, but it can give users a visual indicator of their CPU usage if they want to evaluate how much CPU resources are being utilized with various programs and applications.
As with all Gigabyte motherboards these days, the P55M-UD4 comes with their DualBIOS technology. This is a great addition for overclockers and other users who might have issues that could cause the primary BIOS to malfunction. If that happens, the backup BIOS starts up automatically with the board's default BIOS settings.
Gigabyte bundled four orange SATA 3GB/s cables with the P55M-UD4, which will definitely come in handy for new PC builders who don't have many of these cables on hand.
They also included a color-coded I/O backplate, SLI bridge, and a PATA cable. And for those users wondering why Gigabyte is still supporting "legacy" hardware, we'd like to let you guys know that PATA is still alive in many PCs as some users are either ultra-slow or ultra-cheap and do not want to upgrade to the latest and greatest SATA and SSD components.
For our non-speaking readers, Gigabyte added a multilingual installtion guidebook as well as a detailed user manual for configuring their Smart 6 PC Management technology.
Lastly, they added a well-organized user manual and driver CD that includes many of their exclusive software utilities.