Gigabyte has been known as a premier full line mothertboard company for a very long time. They have retooled the 990FXA-UD7 from its past generation in fine fashion. Older prehistoric features such as PATA have been eliminated and they updated this sleek motherboard with extensive features with a full line of 6G SATA and USB 3.0. The extensive array of internal and external ports will make any “gamer” drool and with plenty of PCIE slots to support four graphic cards in either Crossfire or SLI makes this board just mouth-watering. The 990FX chipset has not changed much from the 890FX but the re dressing of the motherboard from the pastel colours of yesteryear make this handsome monochromatic board sexy and would look great in any case or on any test bench.
As for performance in overclocking, the 990FXA-UD7 overclocks as well as the motherboards we reviewed in our inaugural Bulldozer review. Benchmarking shows the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 as one of the very best out there. In almost every test we ran, the UD7 beat its competition and in some benchmarks measurably higher however; there are a few issues to point out. Gigabyte has not yet migrated to the new UEFI interface BIOS. Although the new interface does not have anything to do with performance, the ease of operation/navigation is nice for the novice to the pro. We would also like to point out that inside the bios, we did not see any Load Line Calibration (LLC) adjustments. We believe this is essential for the overclocking enthusiast.
Lastly, the BIOS did not have any option to disable individual cores. Disabling cores was obtained through windows and now that Bulldozer has set in, top notch overclocks only happen with cores disabled on the FX processors. These issues hopefully will be addressed in the next BIOS update. We are at times critical but we do see this as a “Top Shelf” motherboard and in our opinion should have every bell and whistle. Are these issues a deal breaker? Absolutely not.
Coming in at a price of about $249, we think this is reasonable for a flagship motherboard that can handle some serious overclocking and hardess the CPU horsepower desired by just about any enthusiast. There are a few niggles here, but Gigabyte has engineered a winner in the 990FXA-UD7.