Excerpt: Want to know how insane the enthusiast motherboard bracket has become? Gigabyte’s X58A-UD7 seems pedestrian next to the other two contenders here. Sure, it has a rakish, liquid-cooling-ready heat pipe to keep the north bridge chilled out, but frankly, without that Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 in place, the board is damn near boring next to its contemporaries. Where’s the dual 8-pin supplemental CPU power connectors?
Conclusion: Although our rating and final score are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete.
Pros: Only X58 Motherboard with SATA-6G RAID Support, SuperSpeed USB-3.0 offers 5Gbps transfer speed, Advanced 24+2+2 Power Phase/VRD 11.1 reduces power costs, Supports ATI CrossFireX or NVIDIA SLI dual and triple video card sets, Supports 24GB of dual-channel DDR3 up to 2000MHz, BIOS offers infinite enthusiast overclocking options, Japanese-manufactured surface mount all-solid capacitors, Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Full-rate audio with DTS connect, Marvell 88SE9128 SATA 6Gb/s controll...
Cons: Very expensive 'enthusiast' motherboard solution, Only 3GB total memory be utilized by 32-bit O/S, SATA6G/USB3 borrow from PCI-E link lanes
Summary: The X58A-UD7 is GIGABYTE\'s newest entry into the fiercely competitive LGA1366 board arena. The board packs a lot of promise, built on GIGABYTE\'s tried and true X58 based design with some nice bells and whistles added for that extra bit of appeal including USB 3.0 and SATA III features.
Conclusion: When we first saw a prototype of what was to become the X58A-UD7, it was hard not to be impressed since it had a massive 24-phase power design and support for SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0. When this model was finally revealed in retail form, we were glad to see that it hadn't lost any of what made it unique, and had actually gained an additional PCI-E x16 slot, which placed it among rarified company in the motherboard realm.
Pros: - Solid performance., - Convenient layout., - 4 mechanical PCI-E x16 slots., - 3-Way CrossFireX & 3-Way SLI capability (Quad CrossFireX also possible)., - Impressive overclocking capabilities., - Next-generation 24-phase power design., - Very good voltage regulation & output., - Surprisingly power efficient., - Supports SATA 6Gb/s & USB 3.0, - Easy to use, option-rich BIOS., - Dual BIOS chips., - Comprehensive software suite., - Cooling systems works well, but...
Cons: -...the northbridge cooler is oddly designed and too big., - Doesn't support four dual-slot graphics cards., - No integrated bluetooth to take full advantage of the bluetooth-based software utilities., - Memory overclocking could be a tiny bit better., - No voltage read points., - Not enough temperature and voltage readouts in the BIOS and EasyTune., - Large CPU coolers + tall memory heatspreaders can cause installation annoyances.