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  • Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Ultra Durable Motherboard Review
  • Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Ultra Durable Motherboard Review


    Board Layout and Features Cont.

    Motherboard cooling is an important thing to enthusiasts since this usually translates into higher overclocks.  The Gigabyte solution found on the X58A-UD3R not only works great but also looks the part.  All of the exposed metal features a black chrome finish similar to the CPU socket and uses oversized heatsinks at all of the primary heat sources.  During our testing we normally run a 120mm fan over the motherboard to simulate a normal amount of case cooling.  Much to our suprise, none of these heatsinks were ever hot to the touch.
    There are a variety of LED indicators scattered around the motherboard that relay information back to you on the health of your system.  Most of the LEDs are color coded to indicate "Slight", "Moderate" and "High" ranges including frequency and voltage while others indicate temperature.  Normal temperature is not shown, however when a chip temperature reaches 60C the light will glow green, when the temperature is above 80C the light turns red in response that something is wrong.  The lights seen here (between the power connector and memory socket) indicate DDR Phase in response to memory loading.

    A unique feature found on Ultra Durable motherboards is the 2oz Copper PCB.  2oz of copper relates to the amount of metal substrate located between the PCB layers.  Normally there is only a thin film of metal to keep costs down, however Gigabyte has doubled this material layer to give better signal integrity, lower impedance, and help control temperature.  A side benefit to this is a very solid feeling motherboard. 

    By solid, we mean this board has some serious weight behind it and just feels like quality.
    The IO Panel features many of the common connections.  PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse ports, digital audio either over optical or coax, Clear CMOS button, 2x IEEE 1394, 4x USB2 ports, 2x USB3, and 2x USB/eSATA combo ports.  There is only a single RJ-45 network connection, and 6 analog audio connections.