Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5P X58 motherboard review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 11/16/2008 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
So then, in reality performance among X58 based mainboards really won't be big at all. It's the same chipset that can deliver the same numbers on all motherboards. So we believe that where an enthusiast motherboard needs to excel is the tweaking and overclocking potential, design and features. And in this price range, obviously you should settle for nothing less.
Overclocking potential, really we boosted our Core i7 965 processor easily towards ~3.7 GHz by increasing the multiplier with just an air-cooler. So I tend to believe the final Gigabyte product will be very tweakable, at the BIOS settings show you a lot of potential. Unfortunately we had some issues with memory compatibility as we were unable to run our snazzy OCZ DDR3 2000 MHz memory at high frequencies outside the JEDEC domain of frequencies and timings. I'll give Gigabyte the benefit of the doubt here and really do believe this is a BIOS related pre-production board issue, but fact is we could not get this 2000 MHz memory to run at even 1870 MHz after trying out a selection of timings and voltages. Realistically it also the only negative I could find really.
The design of the motherboard is just really good. Everything is placed onto the PCB in an orderly and logical fashion, from 8-pin power header for the CPU, up-to the color coding of the frontpanel headers. I could comment about the blue PCB color, but that's also very personal. So no comments there, but I like a high-end motherboard to be black.
Features. Well, you get everything you need, and then a little more really. This is where Gigabyte shines for sure. Simple items as optical SPDIF, 8x USB, two Gigabit Ethernet connection are just great. But where Gigabyte takes the motherboard to the next level are the 10 SATA ports, the POST Diagnostic LED, CMOS switch, six DIMM slots, 3-way SLI compatible, Dynamic Energy Saver. Really the motherboard is jammed full with little surprises, and that what I like to see so much with motherboards in this class of products.
So let me round it up. Gigabyte offers a really competitive, feature rich Core i7 compatible motherboard with the GA-EX58-UD5P. You'll absolutely like how much detail goes into the design. It's a perfect match for a perfect processor series. Next to being one of the most feature rich X58 products we tested so far we do believe it has massive tweaking potential as well. All this hardware love does come at a price though, expect to cough up somewhere between 269 EUR or 319 USD for the product, but it's a very nice infrastructure for your processor to sit comfortable and relaxed in. We enjoyed testing it. Recommended.
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