Gigabyte 890FX-A UD7 Review
There is a hell of a lot to like about the Gigabyte 890FXA UD7 and not a lot to dislike.
Firstly it's great to see a manufacturer taking the lessons they have learnt from high-end Intel motherboards and applying them to the AMD platform.
The UD7 list of additions really helps the board to be a bit of an overclocking beast. The increase in the quality of the power circuitry in particular means it is able to deliver smooth power to the CPU and RAM and therefore get a stable overclock where others would fail.
How this overclock then reacted is our major delight from our testing. The Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 almost gets better the faster everything goes, and absolutely doesn't stand in the way of your components performing at their absolute maximum.
The results of our testing show that this also benefits generally with all three motherboards naturally being within a gnats chuff of each other, but if anything snuck ahead in any testing it was always the UD7. Considering the test setups for all three were identical that is quite the feat.
Quality is, as you'd expect, outstanding. The board really feels well put together and solid. It's great to see Gigabyte listening to its audience and changing the way they apply the combined water/air heatsink on the chipset. A much better solution than before. The inclusion of a CMOS Reset cap is a nice touch too, stopping an errant finger from erasing days of hard work.
We only have a few gripes. Although we obtained a very good overclock from the UD7, 200MHz better than our other two test motherboards, it really wasn't as easy to get there as with those two. It's not to say it's as bad as the old Lanparty days, just that it's not quite as mind-blowingly simple as some other boards out there. It's also, by virtue of having so many PCI-e expansion slots, larger than a plain ATX motherboard and this is something that you need to be aware of prior to purchase.
Finally we come to pricing. A UD7 variant based on the Intel chipset is considerably more expensive than a lesser model. However here, although certainly there is a premium to be paid, the 890FXA-UD7 comes in at a very respectable £170. Sure it's not the cheapest motherboard on the market, but with 6 SATA 6Gbps sockets, linkable LAN, great cooling, high quality components etc., it's actually a bargain.
The best motherboards are all about doing their job, without you really being aware they are there, and the UD7 does this with aplomb. A couple of tiny niggles are all that keep it from getting Gold, but we're still more than happy to award it our coveted OC3D Silver Award.