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Gigabyte X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
Tagged:

Features, Layout, Included Extras

Features

   1. Supports new generation Intel 32nm 6-core processors

   2. Ultra Durable 3 Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature

   3. Supports newest NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 with superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps

   4. 3X USB power delivery for greater compatibility and extra power for USB devices

   5. Provides newest Marvell SE9128 high speed SATA3 storage interface with superfast 6Gbps link speed

   6. Supports the newest Intel Core i 7 processors in socket LGA1366 with QPI 6.4 GT/s

   7. Revolution energy saving design with DES 2 featuring hardware based Dynamic 6-Gear switching

   8. Supports 3 channel DDR3 2100+ memory

   9. Scalable ability to both 3 way CrossFireX and 3 way SLI support for ultimate graphics performance

  10. Unique hardware control IC to provide more precision voltage control

  11. 100% 50,000 hour lifespan Japanese solid capacitors design

  12. Patented DualBIOS with dual hardware BIOS protection

  13. Supports Dolby Home Theater audio to create a stunning surround sound listening experience

  14. Blu-ray playback outputs supported by high quality 108dB SNR ALC889 HD audio

  15. Compatible with Window 7 to deliver the best operation experience

  16. Meet European Union ErP(Energy-related Products) requirement

 

Motherboard Layout and Included Extras

The X58A-UD3R's retail packaging touts several key features included with this motherboard like USB 3.0 support, SATA 3.0 (6GB/s), and a three-year warranty. There are also smaller graphics outlining the types of processors the board supports and some of its unique power efficiency features.

 

The back panel of the board's retail packaging goes into more detail about the X58A-UD3R's USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 features as well as their Smart6 PC management system. As with all Gigabyte motherboards, they also included the Ultra Durable 3 technology, which includes two ounces of copper on the PCB as well as solid Japanese capacitors and ferrite core choke.

 

Gigabyte included two right-angle SATA 3GB/s cables, two normal SATA 3GB/s cables, IDE cable, two-way and three-way SLI/CrossfireX bridge connectors, IO shield, user manual, quick installation guide, and driver disc. Pretty good bundle for a lower-end LGA 1366 board. 

 

Gigabyte utilized every inch of available real estate on the X58A-UD3R, but still kept the overall layout organized, clean, and intuitive for intermediate and expert PC builders. The two PCIe x1 slots might have some clearance issues since they are so close to the X58 chipset and heatsink.

 

The back of the PCB has a polished aluminum backplate behind the CPU ad a small metal bracket to secure the heatsink over the X58 chipset.

 

The back IO ports is feature rich and includes four USB 2.0 ports (yellow and black), two USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue), two firewire ports (standard and mini sizes), legacy PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, gigabit LAN, six audio jacks, and a coaxial and optical S/PDIF out connectors. Gigabyte also threw in a clear CMOS button so you don't have to open up your rig and move a jumper or click on clear CMOS button on the motherboard itself.

 

Gigabyte didn't simple on the PCIe slots and stacked two PCIe x16, two PCIe x8, and two PCIe x1 slots as well as one regular PCI slot onto the bottom of the PCB. This board supports two-way and three-way CrossfireX and SLI graphics configurations and should be a welcome addition for anyone upgrading to the X58A platform.

 

As always, Gigabyte included dual BIOS chips to add a layer of redundant protection for hardcore overclockers and other enthusiasts who push the BIOS to its limits.

 

The bottom of the PCB also includes a floppy drive header, firewire header, and a four pin power connector that's typically used for an extra case fan.

 

These two USB 2.0 headers can support up to four USB devices.

 

Gigabyte crammed together two USB headers that support four USB 2.0 devices as well as the power, reset, hard drive LED, and power LED headers into the bottom right-hand corner of the board. They also added an IDE header and Gigabyte's SATA2 chip.

 

The X58A-UD3R also has support for six SATA 3GB/s devices and four SATA 3.0 devices that run at 6GB/s speeds. This is definitely one of the biggest selling points for those wanting to upgrade to SATA 3.0 solid state drives that are being seen sparingly across the web. A Marvel 9128 chip controls the SATA 3.0 ports with RAID 0 and 1 support, while the South Bridge manages the other six SATA 3GB/s headers that support RAID 0, 1, and JBOD. Running dual solid state drives in RAID has become increasingly popular with the prices of SDDs going down slightly this year. Hopefully we'll see more price cuts toward the end of the year.

 

Another key feature of the X58A platform is the triple channel memory support. This board can handle up to 24GBs of DDR3 2200 memory, which is more than adequate for any high-end users needs.

 

While the rest of the board is chalked full of controller chips and other features, the area around the CPU socket is actually pretty bare and should have plenty of room to add a high-end heatsink or water cooling solution. The extra heatsinks over the X58 chipset and power components are also connected by a single copper heatpipe to help dissipate heat away from these components.

 

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