Articles: Mainboards

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Testbed and Methods

We carried out our tests on a testbed that included the following components:

  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R rev. 2.0 mainboard (LGA1366, Intel X58 Express, BIOS version FB);
  • Intel Core i7-930 CPU (2.8 GHz, Bloomfield D0);
  • 3 x 1024 MB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1866, KHX14900D3T1K3/3GX, (1866 MHz, 9-9-9-27 timings, 1.65 V voltage);
  • HIS HD 5850, H585F1GDG graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 5850, Cypress, 40 nm, 725/4000 MHz, 256-bit GDDR5 1024 MB);
  • Kingston SSD Now V+ Series (SNVP325-S2, 128 GB);
  • DVD±RW Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7173A optical drive;
  • Scythe Mugen 2 Revision B (SCMG-2100) CPU cooler;
  • Zalman CSL 850 thermal interface;
  • CoolerMaster RealPower M850 PSU (RS-850-ESBA);
  • Open testbed built using Antec Skeleton system case.

We used Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (Microsoft Windows, Version 6.1, Build 7600) operating system, Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility version, ATI Catalyst 10.9 graphics card driver.

Operational and Overclocking Specifics

Gigabyte’s GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) and GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) mainboards are very much alike to each other. They have almost the same BIOS options and the same peculiarities. Particularly, each of them increases the base clock rate to 135 MHz in default mode.

This kind of overclocking doesn’t affect the mainboard’s stability, yet you can easily turn it off if you don’t like it. Just set the Base Clock Control option in the Advanced Frequency Settings of the mainboard’s BIOS to Enabled and the frequency will return to 133 MHz. We didn’t change that setting in our tests, though, but we utilized all the power-saving technologies and Intel Turbo Boost by enabling the C3/C6/C7 State Support option in the CPU-related BIOS screen.

We easily overclocked our CPU with this mainboard even though we had to use somewhat different voltages than with the senior model. Increasing the base clock rate from 133 to 177 MHz, we made our CPU work at 3.9 GHz.

The power-saving technologies were all active even at overclocking, lowering the frequency multiplier and voltage of the CPU when the latter was idle.

Thus, the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) is just as good as its senior cousin at overclocking, too.

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