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Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Ultra Durable Motherboard Review


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Introduction


As market conscious computer enthusiasts we have long associated the black PCB with ultra high-end hardware.  Proof of this can be traced back several years, and thru a variety of vendors, some of which have long since disappeared.  While this color association is not the hard and fast rule you cannot deny its presence, and why not?  The PCB color is relatively safe to produce and the color combinations are endless.  

Many of you already know a motherboard design can vary widely between motherboard makers.  Colors, layout, and components are often fingerprints of the product designer and backed up by the pedigree of the company.  In this review we will be looking at a new mainstream motherboard from Gigabyte called the GA-X58A-UD3R.  This motherboard is one of the lower end X58s but does feature the Ultra Durable name and basic set of features.

The motherboard layout is typical for an X58, memory is located to the right of the processor socket, while the North and South bridge chips are located below near the expansion slots.  As with all Gigabyte products the PCB is a light blue with expansion slots being either blue or white.  
The design is extremely pleasing to look at and the expansion slot layout is near perfect for multiGPU configurations while still utilizing every possible expansion slot location.
About Ultra Durable
Ultra Durable is a design idea aimed at improving the basics of motherboard design that will fundamentally improve performance, durability, and lifespan of the product.  All of these things are important to both the end user and board maker.  When durability is improved you will find a cost savings in the form of reduced RMA and customer loyalty, Lifespan is related to the usable life of a product.  Typically motherboards are made with lower cost components to increase profit margin, by using higher quality components the products should last longer and allow customers to upgrade on their schedule and not when something breaks.  Increased performance speaks for itself, and is something most enthusiasts are looking for.

Gigabyte has posted a very good explanation of the features associated with an Ultra Durable 3 motherboard.  The article is a little dated but contains some very good information related to some of the things we will be covering in this review.
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