The Gigabyte X58A-UD9 is arguably one of the most sought after motherboards on the market right now. Although much easier to find outside the US [right now it is only available on NewEgg.com in the US] it is still very expensive and not always in stock. The reasons for this are many but most focus on the fact that Gigabyte has built this board as the benchmarker’s dream system. Let’s face it; the board can handle four top end GPUs - or eight, if you put four AMD Radeon HD 5970 or the upcoming HD 6970 X2 boards. as well as Intel’s 32nm flagship CPUs.
The power setup on it is made with the anticipated current draw in mind from both of these [the CPU and a loaded up PCIe slots]. But the design process did not stop at the power demands. Instead the R&D [research and development] team at Gigabyte built and tuned this board for both stock and overclocked performance. This is not something easy to do and unlike a few other "overclocking" motherboards we have seen means that you do not have to push the CPU, RAM or system to get something in return. Just how much you get we will show you in the following pages.
The Box and the Loot
The Gigabyte [or GB for short] X58A-UD9 is a big motherboard. As such it does need a rather large box. When we first saw the box at GOOC 2010 in LA - we were more than a little surprised to see just how big it was. When it arrived in the lab we again thought about how big this product is. It is much bigger than any other single socket motherboard we have ever worked with. Now even though there is a ton more real estate on the front of the box GB has chosen to go light on the marketing information [at least on the front] However, even with this choice, they still could have done better. After all this is a board that screams “Overclock me!” and they put a sticker for On/Off Charge on the front. How many overclockers are going to put that to use on this board?
To make up for the lack of "Hard Sell" on the front there is the now familiar front flap with its view of the product and additional space for marketing information. Out of this jumble of information the big ones are the power regulation [dual 12 phase] and the quad GPU potential. The rest, while interesting is really only filler for space on the inside flap.
The back of the box is something of a rehash of the front space [including the inside flap]. At the very bottom is a detailed image of the X58A-UD9 with highlights of the board pointed out.
All of that marketing goodness is nothing more than a shell though as we find the real money is ticked away inside a black box. Inside this we find the X58A-UD9 and all of the hardware needed to run it. Even if you intend to run it with four GPUs, GB has thrown in the stuff you need.
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