The Best Core i7 Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Review

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The GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard is one of the latest from Gigabyte. This motherboard is based on socket 1366 platform that supports all Core i7 Bloomfield processors. This board has an X58 Northbridge chipset and an ICH10R Southbridge chipset. It has four 16X PCI-E, one PCI-E 1X and one PCI slot. Gigabyte claims that the first 2 PCI-E has 16 lanes and the other t 2 has 8 (but I doubt because the X58 chipset has only 36 lanes).  Anyway, the good thing here is that they both support the 3-way SLI and CrossfireX. This board is loaded with six DDR3 slot triple channel 2000MHz that supports up to 24GB memory with 10 SATA ports. It supports SATA2, 8 RAID capable of SATA 3Gbps ports and 2 RAID capable eSATA ports, 2 RAID capable of SATA 6Gbps ports. It has ten USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 port. That was an awesome support, it almost run like a file server. This motherboard has a very good PCB layout for neat wiring.

Testing Setup

The board was tested with Intel Core i7 980X extreme edition 3.33MHz (133MHz X 25) and overclocked at 4.4MHz (200MHz QPI X22). Using a 24GB 1600MHz triple channel DDR3 memory sticks, ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB graphics card, 750W PSU, Seagate 7200.11 1TB SATA and Windows 7 64-bit.

Overclocking

The GA-X58A-UD3R is easy to overclock, almost all settings are located on a single page in CMOS BIOS and you can change their values easily. It has an auto recovery feature when you overclocked beyond limits just reset and it will POST in safe mode without losing your settings.

With the QPI of 220MHz surpassing the 200MHz QPI, this is the far the best overclock from a 1366 motherboard with core i7 980X extreme edition processor. The i7 core 980X is a 3.33GHz stock and overclocked at 4.4GHz with this board with ease having impressive Media Benchmark scores of 2,624 and prove to be a champion in crysis with minimum frame rate of 42fps.

Conclusion

The GA-X58A-UD3R shows the best performance with great overclocking capabilities. Having a lower price, great features and the best performance this one has the greatest value for your money. If the Core i7 980X EE is too expensive replace it with Core i7 950 and overclock it at 3.60GHz beating the stock speed of the i7 980X EE.

Read more of the Best Motherboard Review here and discover the Best Z77 Motherboard of today.

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