Gigabyte MA770T UD3P AM3 Motherboard

Introduction

Introduction
 
Ultra Durable 3If you're unfortunate enough to have read our previous AMD related reviews, you must surely know by now that one of the major advantages of opting for an AMD Athlon II/Phenom II based machine is it's attractive ownership costs. This of course is a selling point that is slowly being compromised by Intel's new  "Lynnfield" Core i5/i7 LGA1156 processors, which are currently nipping at AMD's top end and soon enough there will be official responses to the value for money AMD Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 variants as well. Regardless of this however, the main reason as to how AMD carries this advantage is down to the price of motherboards. Yes, it is also possible to spend as much as £150 on a Socket AM3 motherboard but what we're trying to imply is that for most situations, even a more modest solution would suffice. "Really?", You might be enquiring. After all, cheaper motherboards are likely to have weaker power regulation components, will lack important features and more importantly might not overclock as well. While often true, one could not blindly apply this to every circumstance and I can bet and tell you that such an attitude may offer no gains and a wallet that's a little lighter than it could've been. Today we intend on showing you all a motherboard that may just offer the best of both worlds, the Gigabyte MA770T UD3P.
 
Gigabyte obviously does not need much of an introduction as it is a very well established brand and has had it's fair share of popular motherboard releases. The manufacturer currently has a very wide variety of AMD Socket AM3 motherboards and this particular model sits somewhere in the middle from the low end Micro ATX AMD 740G boards and the fully fledged CrossfireX compliant AMD 790FX boards. When many prospective customers are looking for performance without too many compromises and a good price to boot, it's crucial for motherboard manufacturers to find a means to offer that perfect bowl of porridge that's just right. One could call it the sweetspot. The focus of such a platform amongst the major motherboard manufacturers seems to have returned to one of the first AMD K10 Northbridges to be released in 2007, the AMD 770. It's a basic northbridge with a limited number of PCI-Express lanes but as such it's one that was cheap to start off with and still is. To those that hadn't looked into AMD Socket AM2+ / Phenom (65nm) motherboards, their achilles heel was it's overclocking performance as well as it's ancient SB600 Southbridge and it's less than steller I/O performance. With the introduction of SB700 and then SB710/SB750, the older AMD770 has been given a fresh lease of life and this is exactly what Gigabyte have done. The end result should be a board that allows AMD's processors and a wide variety of RAM, Hard Disk Drives and Graphics Cards to perform at their best.
 
 
Specifications
 
1. AMD770 / SB710 Chipset
2.Ultra Durable 3 Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature
3.Revolution energy saving design with Easy Energy Saver technology
4.Supports AMD Socket AM3 Phenom II series processors
5.Advanced 8+2 phase CPU VRM power design for AMD high-TDP 140W CPU support
6.Dual Channel DDR3 1666+ for remarkable system performance
7.Ultimate graphics performance with PCI-E 2.0 x16 interface
8.Integrated SATA 3Gb/s with RAID function
9.Features high speed Gigabit Ethernet and IEEE1394
10.Home theater quality 8-channel High Definition Audio
11.Patented DualBIOS with dual hardware BIOS protection
12.100% 50,000 hours lifespan of Japanese solid capacitors design
 
A fairly standard feature set but with the inclusion of a couple of  key notes that hint that build quality has not been compromised such as Ultra Durable 3, it's CPU VRM power design, 100% solid caps and Dual BIOS protection. Please turn over to take a look at the motherboard in person.
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Most Recent Comments

17-09-2009, 08:17:14

JN
"Is an updated southbridge and a sprinkle of copper sufficient to see the successful return of the AMD 770 Northbridge? Let's find out..." - by Mul.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...090526362s.jpg

Gigabyte MA770T UD3P AM3 Motherboard

17-09-2009, 09:43:32

Rastalovich
For it's price, the mobo is a complete bargain. If ur looking at the mid 60 price mark, ur not looking for an extreme sli/xfire with 50x usb ports and 10 iee etc.

6x, a good cpu and a gfxcard (tbh spend most of ur cash on the gfxcard imo) - and u got the gaming rig right there.

I always hesitate when seeing the pwm with no cooler on it, this always suggests to me that long term oc'ing is going to be minor %ages to be safe. Might be irrational, but I do look at pwm temps and worry (after frying some mobos also).

I'd like to know more about the onboard sound and the lan version if u can Mul.

Great review. These mobos should be turning heads.

17-09-2009, 09:51:26

VonBlade
The sound quality is amazing*. I've got a Audigy 2 (ok not cutting edge but still) and it blows it into the weeds.

*790X but same Sound chipset.

17-09-2009, 09:55:42

Rastalovich
U know if it's like a Realtek ALC889a or similar ?

17-09-2009, 09:57:59

VonBlade
It's a ALC889a.

17-09-2009, 10:31:56

Rastalovich

17-09-2009, 10:35:14

VonBlade
Aye. It was the first onboard sound I heard that made me genuinely consider not bothering to buy a soundcard. Those AWE32 days are hard to get over.

17-09-2009, 11:19:42

Rastalovich
I'm not sure that it's soley the release of ALC889a or drivers for it that actually worked well. Cos subsequently I've put new drivers on an ABit IP35 Pro and the sound works really well. ALC888 I believe.

(I mean the inputs, thru-puts etc)

18-09-2009, 21:12:14

Mul.
Apologies for not mentioning anything about the audio guys. I can confirm that the 770T UD3P uses the Realtek ALC888 and at least from initial inspection it seems to be a very good onboard audio module. From a software point of view, it appeared to be trouble free as well. The same also applied for the Realtek LAN, which functioned without any issue really.

I do agree with what you're saying about the PWM area from a long term overclock perspective but I can only see this being an issue if there's inadequate airflow in the region. Most reasonable heatpipe coolers like the 15 Arctic Freezer 64 Pro offer some airflow to the naked power regs and cases as cheap as the Antec Three Hundred have plenty of movement in that region of space too. Some form of aftermarket cooling should be considered though if a watercooling loop is implemented for the CPU, but then again if you can afford watercooling, I'd question why you'd opt for this particular motherboard!

19-09-2009, 02:37:09

Rastalovich
Thanks for the come-back Mul.

A Realtek platform for onboard stuff is a great choice these days imo.

Atleast I know it's not just me that thinks 2ce when looking at pwm coverage when contemplating a mobo.
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