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Gigabyte X58A-UD9 review

One of the most expensive motherboards we've ever seen, but is it one of the best?

Our Verdict

Gigabyte's UD9 is a quality customer, but it can't quite justify the £400 pricing

For

  • The ultimate enthusiast board
  • Unbelievable PCIe bandwidth

Against

  • Multi-GPU scaling is patchy
  • Stingy SATA and USB spec

Is Gigabyte's monumental new X58A-UD9 motherboard the most expensive in recorded history?

We certainly can't remember the last time a desktop mobo breached the £400 barrier. One thing is for sure: the Gigabyte X58A-UD9 had better be good. Damn good.

There are already a number of big-ticket boards based on Intel's flagship X58 chipset, of course. However, the likes of Asus' Rampage III Extreme and MSI's Big Bang Xpower are over £100 cheaper. That said, there's one board that comes a little closer, both in terms of specification and price.

Like the Gigabyte X58A-UD9, the EVGA Classified 4-Way SLI packs four 16-lane PCI Express graphics slots for ultimate graphics power. But even that board is around £50 lighter. The X58A-UD9 really is in a class of its own.

Immense expandability aside – the UD9 has a further trio of eight-lane PCIe slots – the UD9's main claim to fame is overclockability.

Gigabyte has loaded it with high-quality components, including extensive cooling kit and top-drawer power regulation.

On paper, it certainly looks like the ultimate board for enthusiasts planning to maximise both their CPU and graphics performance. What it's not, however, is perfect. In fact, this preposterously pricey motherboard is out-pointed in a few areas by much cheaper models.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelX58 Express
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX, SLI
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots7
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket B LGA-1366
Brand NameGigabyte
Processor SupportedCore i7, Xeon Quad-core
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory24 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots6
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of IDE Interfaces1
Number of SATA Interfaces12
QuickPath Interconnect6.40 GT/s
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
Network (RJ-45)Yes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports2
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports2
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports3
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
Total Number of PCI Express Slots7
Width345 mm
Depth262 mm
ManufacturerGIGABYTE Technology, Inc
Product ModelGA-X58A-UD9
Product NameUltra Durable 3 GA-X58A-UD9 Desktop Motherboard
Product LineUltra Durable 3
Controller TypeFloppy Controller, Serial ATA/600, Ultra ATA/133 (ATA-7), Serial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberGA-X58A-UD9
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.giga-byte.com
Marketing Information

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 design, featuring 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers which dramatically lowers system temperature by delivering a more efficient spreading of heat from critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU power zone throughout the entire PCB. GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable 3 also lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, which helps to reduce electrical waste and further lowers component temperatures. A 2oz Copper layer design also provides improved signal quality and lower EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), providing better system stability and allowing for greater margins for overclocking.

Package Contents
  • Ultra Durable 3 GA-X58A-UD9 Desktop Motherboard
  • Driver Disk
  • User Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • 1 x IDE Cable
  • 4 x SATA 3Gb/s Cables
  • 1 x SATA Bracket
  • I/O Shield
  • 1 x Hybrid Silent-Pipe Module Kit
  • 1 x 2-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 3-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 2 x 2-Way CrossFireX Bridge Connectors
  • 1 x SLI Bracket