Gigabyte MA770T UD3P AM3 Motherboard

Conclusion

Conclusion
 
MA770T UD3PSo it goes without saying that the Gigabyte MA770T UD3P ticks all of the boxes that it's meant to and at a rather palatable pricetag. Until recently the AMD Phenom II held the midrange crown as a midrange platform that could sit somewhere between the Intel Core 2 Quad and the Core i7 in terms of Performance/£ and it's added perks such as future upgradability prospects combined with lower ownership costs. The introduction of Intel Core i5 has changed the game by offering performance around that of the Phenom II X4 900 series processors and the Intel Core i7 LGA1366 processors but without the excessive motherboard costs. This does not bode well for AMD as it's Phenom II X4 955 and 965 processors now have much stiffer competition in their price brackets.
 
This however is where motherboards such as the Gigabyte MA770T UD3P come in. For an AMD alternative to be a competitive proposition, overall ownership costs must be lower and at a couple of pounds shy of £70 offers a fair saving over similar Intel P55 motherboards. The question that remains to be answered however is whether it's a particularly good idea to opt for cheaper and less feature rich motherboard as the base of your new high end system?  After all, it maxed out at just 240MHz HTT Base Frequency with an AMD Phenom II processor, it lacks much in the way of VRM cooling and you can pretty much forget about ATi CrossfireX seeing that it only has a single physical PCI-Express 2.0 16x slot. Does any of this matter though? A large proportion of AMD's processor range offer a fully unlocked CPU multiplier, the motherboard remained stable even with it's existing cooling solutions when met with an overclock and with a new lineup of ATi and nVidia Direct X 11 graphics cards round the corner with the potential to perform up to twice as fast as today's best single core GPUs, who really needs Crossfire or SLI? Our tests found that Hard Disk performance was not restricted by the SB710 and the top of the line Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition performed exactly as it should. You needn't worry about memory limitations either as the 770T UD3P supports DDR3 up to 1666MHz (at stock CPU speeds)  at voltages at and above the JEDEC specification of 1.500V.
 
So is this motherboard worth considering? Yes, most certainly. As far as Socket AM3 motherboards are concerned, this is arguably the sweetspot in terms of features relative to price. It's debateable as to whether the Intel Core i5 750 and a base spec Intel P55 motherboard is worth it's slightly higher ownership costs. The answer is more clear for overclockers who are willing to save up for a little longer in order to opt for a platform that allows for a higher overclock. After all, it has already become quite evident that the Intel Core i5 750 is quite capable of reaching 4.0GHz stable, while such a ceiling remains to be the upper end of stable and air cooled overclocks with AMD's current offerings. Combined with the Core i5 being a faster processor "clock for clock", LGA1156 seems to be the way to go for the target audience in question. What if you don't have that much to spend though and what if you aren't so keen an overclocker? Well in that case, the general concensus is that AMD's Socket AM3 is not so bad a proposition and in order to meet this criteria, one needs a quality motherboard for under £80...and cue the MA770T UD3P. Well done Gigabyte.
 
 
The Good
- Excellent performance
- Fully laiden BIOS
- SB710 Chipset for "Core Unlock" ability
- Overclocks as expected for a board of it's class.
 
The Mediocre
- AMD 770 chipset offers no ATi CrossfireX
- Up to £10 more than other branded AMD770/SB710 boards, however they remain unproven
 
The Bad
- None
 
 
 
Thanks to Gigabyte for providing the board for review. Discuss this review in our forums.
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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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