Gigabyte X58A-UD9 and GTX480 Quad Sli Review

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Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review

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A couple of things to note about the CPU socket. Firstly the amount of chokes around the CPU is unbelievable, as befits a board with this much capability. The heatsinks on the power circuitry and linked to each other, and the northbridge, by virtue of a huge heatpipe. However they have also been well designed to ensure that all but the largest CPU cooler shouldn't foul them.

The RAM slots strangely don't use the single clasp retention that are used on many other high-end boards. Below them we have the only couple of curious design choices on the motherboard. The power button is a bit in the middle of nowhere, and the reset switch is tiny. Not at all in keeping with the rest of the board.

Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review     Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review  

Yes, there really are seven PCI-e slots on this board. Plenty of Quad goodness. Of course they can't all be populated due to double-width cooling solutions on cards, but most people will use a board like this with water-cooling and so space wont be an issue. Four stock high-end graphics cards will fit snugly though. Above and below the PCI-e slots are two molex inputs to help provide the juice necessary to run such a configuration. In keeping with the "everything on one board" philosophy we even have a FDD header. Yes you too can spend the best part of £500 on a motherboard and keep your 1.44mb floppy disk to hand.

Moving to the other corner it's dominated by that cooler. Anyone who's seen a big muscle car with a louvred bonnet will instantly recognise the theme Gigabyte seem to be aiming for. The front-panel header is the colour-coded one we love so much, and the right hand edge of the board is absolutely dominated by storage connectors. 6 SATA2 ports, then 2 SATA6 ports, an IDE and then another 2 SATA6. Not sure why they split the SATA6 ports up though. You'd imagine it's to make routing cables to the opticals, traditionally kept at the top of a case, easier. But there aren't any SATA6 opticals about and we haven't even heard a whisper of any forthcoming.

Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review     Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review  

Heat is the enemy of every enthusiast, and here Gigabyte have tripped over themselves a bit. We have a combined water and air solution for the chipset, which is no use to anybody really. The water guys will either use their own block, or not want all that extra metal to have to cool. And the air brigade wont get the full benefit of a specifically designed cooler. It's a curious choice indeed.

Additionally Gigabyte provide two towers of aluminium to help disperse some of the heat created. Again it's just not well a well-thought out solution though. Because they need to be a certain thinness to fit between a graphics card in the top slot, and the CPU cooler, the likelyhood of any air passing across them is minimal. Even in the most extreme air chassis you'll still struggle to keep them cool. The primary problem is that they are, by nature, a heatsink. Ergo they soak up heat. They are also position right above the primary GPU. It doesn't need a genius to work out that what they will do is soak up all the heat from the primary graphics card and, thanks to the lack of airflow, hold onto it just below your CPU.

Not clever.

Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review     Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review  

On the IO panel we find all the standard things we'd expect such as Firewire, USB3, twin Gigabit ethernet and the like.

Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review     Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review

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Most Recent Comments

30-07-2010, 05:09:23

tinytomlogan
Fancy a motherboard that has absolutely everything you could need? Gigabyte have the answer.

Continue Reading

30-07-2010, 06:40:36

Runebeard
Best review ever! Really appreciate the effort you and the guys must have gone to for this! Clearly proves that 3-way is good if a little expensive, but 4-way is just stupid for anything except PC Mark really. What a well made board though! Even if that stupid chipset heatsink is a massive gimmick , it's nothing short of awesome! Well done OC3D!

P.S. Love the new watermark btw.

30-07-2010, 07:35:35

silenthill
Fantastic, amazing, fabulous, unbelievable, jaw dropping, there is not enough words in the dictionary that would describe this review and videos I enjoyed every minute of it and to be honest I read it twice actually it was better than watching AVATAR in 3d in the cinema, Im a very critical person by nature but OC3D you deserve a 5 star for this one as for the videos I watched them in 1080p on my 40 Samsung to enjoy every single detail there is and it is truly amazing stuff guys and the watermark oh... just lovely truly professional , If it was up to me I'll put this review on the BBC it would definitely be better than watching click, to be honest there is nothing ells I can say to show my appreciation to you guys for giving me a two hour journey of pure enjoyment. I truly love you guys.

Regards to everyone in OC3D even the cleaners if you have any.

30-07-2010, 10:53:21

killablade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='silenthill'
Fantastic, amazing, fabulous, unbelievable, jaw dropping, I enjoyed every minute of it, you deserve a 5 star for this one, just lovely truly professional, pure enjoyment, I truly love you guys,
You're like Steve Jobs at keynotes xD

Nice review though.

30-07-2010, 11:28:32

silenthill
Well your signature looks like readings from a cheap hand blood pressure machine

:haha: :haha: :haha:

30-07-2010, 13:38:57

killablade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='silenthill'
Well your signature looks like readings from a cheap hand blood pressure machine

:haha: :haha: :haha:
Hahahaha xD

31-07-2010, 03:38:21

BadApathy
Good review sir, the shortcomings of quad sli were eye opening.

31-07-2010, 07:33:26

w3bbo
Fantastic looking board. I don't think there will be too many wanting to shill out 450 for this though with the new round of CPUs on the horizon.

4xsli is a joke. How gutted would you be if you bought the board for that reason only to get the results you have shown.

31-07-2010, 08:49:33

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Fantastic looking board. I don't think there will be too many wanting to shill out 450 for this though with the new round of CPUs on the horizon.

4xsli is a joke. How gutted would you be if you bought the board for that reason only to get the results you have shown.
Mate with crazy overclockers who just want a few extra frames and seek to have the highest benchmark scores on the planet the term (money is no object) comes in to mind this is what this board is designed for not for a normal enthusiast which takes price in to consideration believe me if there was 5 way sli these people will go for it its the same thing as the car racing culture they just add on more gear to their cars to make them a bit faster and the cost is tremendous and you need to bear in mind that this mad drive to be faster and faster is what makes the computer industry evolve continuously and it has become the fastest growing market in the world.

:topic:

29-08-2010, 11:11:41

Ari-M.
Quote:
Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post

Fantastic looking board. I don't think there will be too many wanting to shill out 450 for this though with the new round of CPUs on the horizon.

4xsli is a joke. How gutted would you be if you bought the board for that reason only to get the results you have shown.
Count me in the lot that has more money than sense. Well significantly less money now that the ud9 lives in my case.

I am not rich, by any means. Let me point one thing out though. I do multimedia production work, and use some proprietary PCIe cards in that work. The cards MUST follow consecutive slot orders. So that made the ud9 one of only 3 options for my needs. The EVGA lacked the sata3 and a few features. The ASUS SC has been plagued with problems. So that only left the ud9. Well to be fair there was a small assortment of high end server boards also, but none exactly fit the bill.

ALSO, Gigabyte does make the promise that they will "custom engineer" BIOS features for ud9 users. This is critical for my needs. As my software/hardware matures, I am constantly running into dma/irq issues with mobo's/os's. If Gigabyte makes good on their promise and expedites BIOS implementations even ONE day ahead of the competition. The board has payed for itself.

Not to brag or tout my other hardware, but the proprietary PCI cards I use run about $15k for 3, so the premium for the ud9 was really not that big of a deal (in the bigger picture).

Now for the icing on the cake. I was previously running these cards in a MAC

Apple was forcing me to buy a new $7k computer every 2 years or so, just to keep up. So now that I moved over to a Win platform, the performance is through the roof....and I have under $4k into a system that utterly DEMOLISHES the MacPro in BOTH cost and performance.

I think the ud9 is actually a bargain, considering what it does. If there was ONE single competing product on the market...I would call it as you have.....but there is not.

I don't regret my purchase one bit. I am not just talking artificial benches....I am talking REAL WORLD performance. 24/7

ud9 is truly the current king

Reply
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