Articles: Mainboards

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In the very first review of Socket AM3+ mainboards where we compared flagship products from Asus, Gigabyte and Micro-Star, we discovered that only Asus Crosshair V Formula was capable of overclocking the new AMD Bulldozer processor to the maximum. Therefore, we focused on the feature and functionality of Asus mainboards and reviewed Asus Sabertooth 990FX and then two other Asus mainboards – M5A990X EVO and M5A970 EVO. This way we not only introduced to you the top-of-the-line Asus mainboards based on the highest-end AMD 990FX modification for the new processors, but also compared their functionality against that of the products on lower-end AMD 990X and AMD 970 chipsets. Theoretically, we could continue reviewing Asus mainboards, but to be honest it wouldn’t be too exciting any more. I don’t think we could uncover anything unique, because all other models are very similar to what we have already seen. In fact, it is much more interesting to check out the features and functionality of other manufacturers’ mainboards. We were not particularly impressed with Biostar TA990FXE, but today it is time for a product from another large mainboard manufacturer – Gigabyte Company. We are going to discuss Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 mainboard, check out its design and functionality, BIOS features, operational peculiarities, performance and power consumption in nominal mode and during CPU and memory overclocking. But we are going to start with its package and accessories, as usual.

Package and Accessories

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 is packages just like any other high-end Gigabyte mainboard. There is a decorative colorful slip-cover made of thin cardboard on the outside. The front has a mainboard photo, its model name and numerous logotypes. The back has another mainboard photo and logotypes combined with diagrams, charts and graphs illustrating the mainboard’s operational specifics and supported technologies. Beneath the thin slip-cover we see a thick cardboard box protecting its contents against possible forces of nature.

Inside the box you find the mainboard, of course, and the following accessories:

  • Four SATA cables with metal connector locks, two with L-shaped locks and another two with straight ones;
  • A flexible bridge for two-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
  • A hard bridge for 3-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
  • I/O Shield for the back panel;
  • User manual;
  • Brief installation guide in 17 different languages;
  • DVD disk with software and drivers;
  • “Dolby Home Theater” and “Gigabyte” logo stickers for the system case.

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