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As we have found out in this review of the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0), it has some differences from the senior model GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0), yet those differences are mostly insignificant. The lack of Power and Reset buttons doesn’t affect functionality at all because even enthusiasts who run mainboards on open testbeds do not always use them. Ordinary users won’t need such buttons at all. There is a BIOS reset button at the back panel which is a far more useful feature (even though we didn’t have to use it during our tests). Gigabyte’s mainboards have long been able to identify too high settings and can automatically boot up in safe mode. By the way, Gigabyte has corrected an annoying drawback of its mainboards: they used to reset their BIOS settings to their defaults and proceed to booting the OS up without telling the user a word about it. Now they issue a message to inform the user about the incident.

The Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) lacks a POST indicator but it is only useful in those rare cases when the mainboard is out of order. Mainboards usually work normally after all, so this feature is but rarely called for.

A mainboard based on the rather hot Intel X58 Express chipset should have an efficient cooling system. While being simpler than on the senior model, the cooling system of the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) is still quite sufficient. There is the same number of heatsinks on the same components, but they are just not combined into a single system with heat pipes. There is one heat pipe left, connecting two heatsinks. The mainboard is cooled properly both in default and overclocked mode.

There are three more points where the two mainboard models differ. First, the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) has fewer phases in the CPU voltage regulator. However, this didn’t prevent it from overclocking our CPU to its maximum, consuming the same amount of power as the senior model at that. Second, it has only one network controller as opposed to the senior model’s two. Two network controllers may be necessary for some complex network configurations, which is not a common scenario for a home computer. Besides, you can always buy an add-on network card for that purpose. Otherwise, the two models have the same accessories, BIOS options, and functionality (which is enhanced by means of numerous onboard controllers and includes modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps). Each has a practical PCB design and an exemplary back panel with a lot of connectors.

The third important point of difference is that the junior model is much cheaper. Its price is just a little higher than $200, which is very inexpensive for an LGA1366 product. While you can easily find a cheaper mainboard based on the Intel X58 Express, it can hardly be that functional.

We liked the senior model Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) but we must confess the junior Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) wins our sympathies now. It is inexpensive and but formally positioned as an entry-level product because it is actually just as good as the senior model and surpasses products from other manufacturers. Despite the UD3R suffix in its name, it is not alike to ordinary entry-level mainboards which are limited in some respects. Thanks to its broad functionality, the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) will make a good foundation for a high-performance modern computer.

We are proud to award Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R (rev. 2.0) mainboard our Recommended Buy title:


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