Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H review
Author: Vedran Dakic
Date: 13 Jul 2010
Gigabyte's been really busy lately on the motherboard market so - we're trying to keep the pace with them, as well. We've seen quite a lot of new motherboards in the past couple of weeks - P55, H57, X58, and now finally, some really good motherboards for AMD platform as well. The past months have been really busy for Gigabyte R&D as they've switched to USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbit/s on almost every motherboard that's coming out now. We've put two of these motherboards through their paces - 890GPA-UD3H and 890FXA-UD7 - article due out tomorrow. We had to delay our initial idea of reviewing these mobos with some CPU problems we were having (defective CPU's), but now that everything's ready, let's check them out.
Let's start with the 890GPA-UD3H first. Offering both USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0, this motherboard's layout is pretty simple and everything feels and looks at its place. The standard Gbt cooling system is here and it makes a very good job of keeping the chipset cool. Memory slots are located on the right (looking from the CPU), the usual way. The 24-pin ATX connector is also on the right part, which is easily accessible, but the problem are additional 8-pin connector for the CPU and the HD audio front panel connectors. Their location (left part of the motherboard, between the chipset cooling and rear panel) is kind of awkward and everything sort of "gets in the way" when you're assembling a PC with this motherboard. This is a standard thing that we don't like about a lot of new motherboards but as far as everything else is cool - it's not a big problem. Especially if you had dozens of Gigabyte motherboards going through your hands - you sort of get used to this "feature"...
Additionally, there's a strong chance you'll have problems using the first PCI-e x1 slot as it's ment for low-profile short PCI-e cards as the heatsink is just on the way. From time to time when you assemble systems for specific use (for example, PC for audio recording or something similar) this will annoy you. But it's a rare usage model so it's not a huge problem as you still have two more PCI-e x1 slots available, as well as two PCI-e x16's. Plenty of upgrade opportunities there. And, if you still need PCI, there are two PCI slots. Pretty much what you'd expect and everything there. You have loads of Serial ATA connectors on the motherboard (eight of them) and one additional IDE connector if you need it.
The rear panel is really simple - a shared keyboard/mouse PS/2 connector with two USB ports, VGA, DVI and HDMI, S/PDIF output, two more USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connectors, Gigabit ethernet port and the usual six audio connectors. Audio can't do pass-through for Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio loseless HD, but this is still a hugely capable multimedia motherboard as-is.
Let's check out some pictures: