I have to admit that I was not very enthusiastic when I started reviewing the PCB design, functionality and BIOS Setup of Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 mainboard. Yes, we did come across a few innovations, but they were new only for Gigabyte mainboards, and we have already seen them implemented in other manufacturers’ solutions before. We were really happy to see them offer Powered eSATA or eSATA/USB Combo ports on Gigabyte mainboards, but we are already familiar with them from ASRock solutions. Overclocking fans will obviously like the ability to vary the processor Vcore under heavy load, but this feature has also first emerged on DFI and Intel solutions. The new looks of one of the BIOS sections is also hardly a serious innovation. The board lacks some bright ideas or really unique technologies that could place it a step or even half a step ahead of the competitors. Instead we see some superfluity, some excessive functions and features. As for the really serious drawbacks, we could probably only mention a super-powerful cooling system, which is not really necessary and affects the price. Far not everyone will need three additional controllers providing up to 12 SATA ports, very few users will work with all six DIMM slots, and not everyone needs two network adapters. But not all of you will go and buy a top of the line flagship product. I am sure that there will be users among you, who will need these particular features.
However, Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 has seriously improved our impression about it after a series of performance tests and overclocking experiments. We expected it to show really good overclocking results, and the board proved up to our expectations. We also assumed that it wiould work fast and again Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 confirmed our assumptions. And even the tested boards’ power consumption turned out very close in our testing conditions, which was a nice surprise. Of course, Asus board offers more flexibility in choosing the optimal operational mode. With Asus board you can overclock you processor by raising its core voltage, you can build a quiet system with the Vcore set below the nominal value, and in all these cases the board will remain as energy-efficient as before. That is why our preferences at this point will stay with Asus solution. But it is not because Gigabyte mainboards suddenly became worse. They have all the features that we have been raving about over the past few years, they even acquired a few additional ones. Gigabyte mainboards are just as good, and that is the problem, because they are the same and Asus mainboards have just got better. But nevertheless, a number of really unique features, like the ability to connect up to 12 SATA hard drives, will ensure that Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 solution finds its niche and its customer.