TODO alt text

Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H review

An excellent all-round motherboard, for all but the most serious of overclockers

Our Verdict

Not a board for serious overclocking enthusiasts, but an excellent all-rounder for everyone else.

For

  • Strong feature set
  • Decent overclocking performance
  • Extensive expansion options

Against

  • Weak integrated graphics performance

AMD doesn't make the fastest PC processors on planet Earth. We can all agree on that. But in terms of bang for your British buck, the world's second-string CPU maker still has plenty to offer.

Put simply, you get a lot for your money if you go with an AMD platform. Take this Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H microATX motherboard. It's based on AMD's latest 880G integrated chipset and also sports the SB850 southbridge chip.

That means you not only get a very strong 2D video feature set including AMD's Avivo HD hardware video acceleration. There's also plenty of storage bandwidth on offer in the form of five SATA 6Gbps ports. The pair of USB 3.0 sockets are thoroughly welcome, too.

The Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H is also an intriguing option for those who want high performance and low power consumption in a single package. Thanks to CrossFireX support, it's possible to switch between integrated and discrete graphics on the fly.

Normally, we associate AMD systems with lower overall system costs. Feature for feature, that just about holds true when comparing Gigabyte's 880GMAUD2H with an Intel board like the MSI H55M-ED55. Priced pretty much on a par, the Gigabyte motherboard gives you both USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps along with an integrated Radeon HD 4250 graphics core.

The Intel-compatible alternative from MSI lacks those high bandwidth interfaces and only offers integrated graphics in combination with certain dual-core Intel CPUs.

Good performer

In performance terms, much obviously depends on the CPU you select. But with a six-core AMD Phenom II X6 1055T onboard, the 880GMA-UD2H is no slouch in multi-threaded software such as video encoding.

In fact, it's not far off matching an Intel platform running the much more expensive Core i7 870 chip. That said, the 3D performance of the Radeon HD 4250 graphics core is woeful and no faster than the integrated GPU in the supposedly outdated 785G chipset of Asus' M4A785TD-M EVO.

But for a home cinema system, you won't need to worry about an add-in card thanks to the boards solid hardware acceleration and a full set of video outputs.

As for overclocking, the BIOS menu is fully featured and our testing indicates you can expect decent bus speeds of around 260MHz.

What's more, despite the motherboard's compact microATX form factor, expansion options are extensive. PCI Express connectivity comes in the form of two 16-lane slots and a further single-lane port, although the second 16-lane slot only offers four electrical lanes. Gigabyte has also wired up an old school PCI port to the motherboard, giving you some legacy support to boot.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset Model880G
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Onboard VideoOn-board Video Chipset
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots2
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket AM3 PGA-941
Brand NameGigabyte
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedPhenom II X6, Phenom II X4, Phenom II X3, Athlon II X4, Athlon II X3, Athlon II X2, Phenom II X2
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots1
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of IDE Interfaces1
Number of SATA Interfaces6
HyperTransport Speed2600 MHz
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots4
eSATAYes
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports3
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
Total Number of PCI Express Slots3
Processor TechnologyHyperTransport Technology
Width305 mm
Depth244 mm
ManufacturerGIGABYTE Technology, Inc
Product ModelGA-880GMA-UD2H
Product NameUltra Durable 3 Classic GA-880GMA-UD2H Desktop Board
Product LineUltra Durable 3 Classic
Controller TypeFloppy Controller, Serial ATA/300, Ultra ATA/133 (ATA-7)
Manufacturer Part NumberGA-880GMA-UD2H
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.giga-byte.com
Marketing Information

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic motherboards once again lead the motherboard industry for the highest quality and most innovative motherboard design. Featuring the industry's first consumer desktop motherboard design to introduce 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers, delivering a dramatically lower system temperature, improved energy efficiency and enhanced stability for overclocking. GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic motherboards are equipped with the GIGABYTE Ultra Durable signature features including Japanese Solid Capacitors boasting an operational life time of more than 50,000 hours, and GIGABYTE patented DualBIOS technology (providing dual hardware BIOS protection). GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 Classic motherboards promise to provide the stability, reliability and longevity essential to meet the power needs of high-end processors and other components running today's most demanding applications and games.

Package Contents
  • Ultra Durable 3 Classic GA-880GMA-UD2H Desktop Board
  • Driver Disk
  • User's Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • 1 x IDE Cable
  • 2 x SATA 3Gb/s Cables
  • I/O Shield