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Gigabyte X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 ATX Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
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Introduction and Specifications

Gigabyte brings four X58A-based boards to market

Gigabyte has been all over the new SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0 technologies with their latest line of X58A-based motherboards and we finally got the opportunity to test drive one for the LGA 1366 platform. We received the X58A-UD3R for our review today that has been winning hardware review awards left and right from across the tech review empire.



Courtesy of Gigabyte

The LGA 1366 platform had a very small stint in the spotlight before the LGA 1156 and Core i3, i5, and i7 processors stole the show toward the end of last year. While the X58 chipset teamed with the first i7 processors were a powerhouse combination with triple-channel memory support, the P55 used a dual-channel memory design that was cheaper to produce and really provided a great feature set for mainstream users. The introduction of SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0 technologies at the beginning of 2010 gave Gigabyte and other vendors another feature set to add to their motherboards. The introduction of Intel's six-core i7-980X Gulftown processor also made moving to a high-end LGA 1366 system very enticing. To take advantage of this new hardware and technologies, Gigabyte developed four X58A-based boards that included SATA6/USB3.0 functionality onboard versus a third-party add-on card. The lowest-end board Gigabyte created is the X58A-UD3R, which is what we are reviewing today.



Courtesy of Gigabyte

The X58A-UD3R gives mainstream users several I/O options that aren't available with older boards like two eSATA ports, two types of Firewire options, and four USB 2.0 ports. It also supports triple channel DDR3-2200 memory, triple SLI or CrossfireX graphics cards, and Blu-ray playback outputs supported by high quality 108dB SNR ALC889 HD
audio.

 

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Technical Specifications (from Gigabyte's website)

 

 Specifications
CPU
  1. Support for an Intel® Core™ i7 series processor in the LGA1366 package

    (Go to GIGABYTE's website for the latest CPU support list.)

  2. L3 cache varies with CPU
QPI
  1. 4.8GT/s, 6.4GT/s
Chipset
  1. North Bridge: Intel® X58 Express Chipset
  2. South Bridge: Intel® ICH10R
Memory
  1. 6 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory(Note 1)
  2. Dual/3 channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

(Go to GIGABYTE's website for the latest memory support list.)

Audio
  1. Realtek ALC889 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby® Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  6. Support for CD In
LAN
  1. 1 x Realtek RTL8111D chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2) (Note 2)
  2. 2 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2) (Note 3)
    (The PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2, PCIEX8_1 and PCIEX8_2 slots conform to PCI
    Express 2.0 standard.)
  3. 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
  4. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 2-Way/3-Way ATI CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  1. 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0, SATA2_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Marvell 9128 chip:

  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to
    2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, and RAID 1

GIGABYTE SATA2 chip:

  1. 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
  2. 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GSATA2_8, GSATA2_9) supporting up to
    2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD

JMicron JMB362 chip:

  1. 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s connectors (eSATA/USB Combo) on the back panel sup- porting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD

iTE IT8720 chip:

  1. 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
USB Integrated in the South Bridge
  1. Up to 10 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 on the back panel, including 2 eSATA/USB Combo, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

NEC chip:

  1. Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
IEEE 1394
  1. T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
  2. Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
    Connectors
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x floppy disk drive connector
  4. 1 x IDE connector
  5. 8 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  7. 1 x CPU fan header
  8. 3 x system fan headers
  9. 1 x power fan header
  10. 1 x North Bridge fan header
  11. 1 x front panel header
  12. 1 x front panel audio header
  13. 1 x CD In connector
  14. 1 x S/PDIF In header
  15. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  16. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  17. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  2. 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  3. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  4. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  5. 1 x clearing CMOS button
  6. 2 x IEEE 1394a ports
  7. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  8. 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  9. 2 x eSATA/USB Combo connectors
  10. 1 x RJ-45 port
  11. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/ Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/North Bridge temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control (Note 4)
BIOS
  1. 2 x 16 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune (Note 5)
  8. Support for Dynamic Energy Saver™ 2
  9. Support for Smart 6™
  10. Support for Auto Green
  11. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive
  12. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft® Windows® 7/Vista/XP
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Note (Note 1) Due to Windows Vista/XP 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.

(Note 2) For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is
recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

(Note 3) The PCIEX8_1 and PCIEX8_2 slots share bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots
espectively. When PCIEX8_1 is populated with an expansion card, the PCIEX16_1 slot will operate
at up to x8 mode; when PCIEX8_2 is populated with an expansion card, the PC
IEX16_2 slot will
operate at up to x8 mode.

(Note 4) Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/ system cooler you install.

(Note 5) Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.

Remark  
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
  2. Due to most hardware/software vendors no longer offer support for Win9X/ME. If some vendors still has Win9X/ME drivers available, we will publish on website.

 

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