Gigabyte X58A-UD9 and GTX480 Quad Sli Review

3D Benchmarks

Gigabyte X58A-UD9 Review

3D Benchmarks

Once we'd finished our standard application side of the testing, it was time to really push this board to its limits. Given that the major bonus of this over the standard sized motherboards it would be foolish to not take advantage of its ability to run four cards at once. We saw recently in the Ares testing how Quadfire performs, so we were anxious to try out Quad-SLI.

nVidia seemed to be loath to assist despite repeated promises, and so we're hugely grateful to Zotac for stepping up to the plate and delivering four shiny GTX480s for us to put through their paces.

Unigine Heaven

Rapidly becoming one of our favourite benchmarks, Unigine just looks so sumptuous. We're sick to death of seeing the 3D Mark Vantage tests, but everytime we see Unigine we something new.

Testing actually scaled well. For a long time, and even now, there is a law of diminishing returns with multiple cards. If 2 cards give 175%, then 3 cards give about 200% and 4... well we shall see.

A single 5870 just about bests the GTX480, but that's not really why we're here. If Unigine is anything to go by then scaling issues have definitely been sorted, because there is almost a linear increase between one, two, three and four cards. We tested with 0 and 2 x AA, but to be honest with 95.8 average using 4x AA there is no point in making you sit through the lower results.

 

3D Mark Vantage

Yes, just like you this is the result we were desperate to see too. Scaling within 3D Mark is clearly nowhere near as linear as it was in Unigine. Obviously the CPU score gets a boost from the use of Physx, but the 4th card isn't being used anywhere near well enough to justify it.

What we did see though, from our first GTX480 review, and again today, is the potential the 480 has for a high score. Having four GTX480s to hand, and a motherboard we know can use them, was just too tempting. Bringing out the portable air-con, waiting til late at night, and lots (and lots) of tweaking we managed to obtain an overclocked system that was just stable enough to enable a single Quad-SLI run, just to show the potential available. At this point we'd like to remind you that we're still on air here.

54246. Fifty-Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-Six. Good enough for a HWBot top 10. If you have the time, this setup of Quad-SLI and UD9 can certainly deliver. Sure it's 3 grands worth of kit, but you can't put a price on performance.

 

As if to demonstrate the brutality this setup and how easily it smashes previous thoughts of what scores are achievable. Tri-SLI in Extreme (which is 1920x1200, heavy AA etc) scores higher than a single card at Performance settings. Again the fourth card isn't really giving us much of a boost, but still. Look at those scores and gasp.

Unlimited power indeed.

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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

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