Gigabyte X58A-UD3R: USB 3.0, SATA 6G

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Conclusion



Performance Summary: In a word, we'd categorize the Gigabyte X58A-UD3R's performance as "excellent." USB 3 is great, the combo USB2/eSATA ports work well, and both the Marvell and Intel ICH10R controllers turned in solid numbers. Admittedly, the JMicron chips aren't so great—we'd prefer to see Gigabyte use other solutions on the market—but the board allows each controller to be configured for IDE or AHCI individually. That makes it much easier to fine-tune devices for optimum performance.

Stability was also excellent. We had no problems running 12GB of RAM across all six slots, even when overclocking, and had no crashes.

We like this Gigabyte motherboard and we like it quite a bit. For $200, Gigabyte has put together a package that overclocks well, hits all the major features, and offers both USB 3 (immediately useful) and SATA 6G. The storage options are also great; you could technically hook up 28TB of storage to this thing and have your own massive storage server.

SATA 6G is currently nothing more than a marketing bullet point since even high-end SSDs can't saturate it, but the Marvell controller actually keeps up with Intel's ICH10R reasonably well. As for the JMicron controllers, they perform adequately in IDE mode, but AHCI performance leaves something to be desired and throws back some odd results.

Given that the cheapest LGA1366 boards are around $150, the X58A-UD3R's price is quite reasonable, particularly for what you're getting. Unlike some of the other X58 boards in the sub-$200 market, it also supports two or more video cards in SLI without hanging one of the x16 physical connectors off the southbridge. The only option missing that we wished we had is better fan control in BIOS. For as good as the board is, that's a very small niggle indeed.

 

  • Excellent documentation
  • Tons of storage options
  • USB 3.0. It's sexy.
  • No fan/noise controls to speak of.
  • JMicron SATA controllers don't keep up with Marvell or Intel.


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