Gigabyte MA770T UD3P AM3 Motherboard

Initial Impressions & Overclocking

Initial Impressions
 
Our test sample arrived in a fairly typical gigabyte box styled in white, green and blue stating the model name in large letters and further details about it's key features. Opening the box revealed a fairly standard set of contents including two SATA cables, one IDE cable, an I/O Backplate and a User Manual. Just about all that's necessary to get going and for a motherboard of this price I would not expect any more.
 
 
 
The Gigabyte MA770T UD3P itself sports a fairly conventional motherboard layout, albeit with the narrower ATX style of PCB. As you would expect this motherboard has been built to a lower budget and so features which are arguably unnecessary such as heatpipe coolers, more (physical) PCI-E 16x slots, stacked SATA ports are evidently non existant. On paper however, the cost cutting compromises does not seem to have found it's way into the build quality department of the motherboard. With an array of exclusively solid capacitors, dual hardware BIOS, 2 ounces of Copper in it's PCB and an 8+2 Phase power design allowing for full 140W TDP support, technically this motherboard should not be any less able than it's bigger and more expensive siblings when even operating the range topping Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. This is all quite hypothetical though so please take a gander at the rest of the review as we put Gigabyte's budget AM3 solution through it's paces!
 
 

Test Setup
 
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition @ 3.40GHz
Gigabyte MA770T UD3P Socket AM3
4GB Patriot DDR3 @ 1333MHz 7-7-7-20 1T
nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512mb GDDR3
Samsung F1 320GB 7200RPM SATA II HDD
Tagan TG420 420W ATX2.0 PSU
 
BIOS and Overclocking
 
The Gigabyte MA770T UD3P features a very comprehensive set of tweaking options within it's M.I.T (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section allowing the user to unlock their processor's disabled cores/multipliers/L3 cache with the SB710's Hybrid EC Firmware and ACC configurations. Aside this, options to manipulate base hypertransport frequencies, HT Link and Northbridge multipliers, Memory Frequency (ranging from 1066MHz to 1666MHz) and all of the crucial voltage options (Vcore, Vdimm, NB Voltage, HT Link Voltage). If I could critisise anything it would be the increments by which the Voltages can be manipulated. With increments of 0.02500V, there is little scope for finer adjustments and so one may find that their overclocked processor may have to run a unnecessarily warm when a slight increase in Voltage would have sufficed.
 
 
 
So how did the MA770T UD3P perform when overclocked?
 
 
 
With our AMD Athlon II X2 250 Processor we were pleased to have achieved a respectable 260MHz Base HTT Frequency allowing for an overall overclock of 3900MHz. The result with the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black was a little more conservative however, maxing out at 240MHz. Our test Phenom II sample however is known to be a mediocre overclocker and the achieved 240MHz Base HTT was only attainable with a reduced CPU Multiplier of 15x. With both processors, the Hypertransport Link Multiplier was reduced to keep the overall link speed at 2000MHz and below to maintain stability.
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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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