Motherboards often find themselves on the line of pro’s and con’s. The Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 manages to cross over temporal barriers and place itself in a category that is well deserved. With a 2oz copper PCB design, the Ultra Durable 3 technology of the Gigabyte P55-UD6 provides stability while also giving PC enthusiasts a level of security in terms of design and power. Through great design in the 24 Phase Power VRM, incredible I/O support, and Windows 7 compatibility, the Gigabyte P55-UD6 is a must buy for anyone looking to get the most out of their dollars spent and not burn their pockets.
Feel the rush of blood to your head. That’s you enjoying yourself on a high powered gaming experience. But what’s the thing helping to throw you asunder in this reality from the one you live in? Designed chiefly (but not just) to bring the definitive performance from your Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, Intel’s graceful Desktop Board DX48BT2 creates a rush those charged electrons in your circuitry have always been thirsting for. As star of the show to support a bursting 1600 MHz front side bus, to hail the astonishing DDR3 memory that brings the future closer, to gift extremely dependable overclocking dowry, the Intel DX48BT2 delivers on everything from intense and vibrant multimedia experiences to the gaming core that knocks your pants off.
ASUS always has something ready for themselves. The launch of the AM2+ socket and the AMD 770 chipset brings us another new ASUS motherboard to look at. This board comes with a lot of the familiar ASUS offerings that will make the ASUS user comfortable, but ASUS has also thrown in a few new additions that I think will make the enthusiast user very happy.
As you look at the Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe the first thing you focus on is heat. They placed some on the memory, which is a first.
This board is a full sized ATX board that is built on a black colored PCB (a personal favorite of mine) and includes high-quality conductive polymer capacitors. The top right of the board is where the DIMM slots lie. The Asus M3A32-MVP supports 4 DIMMs up to 8GB of DDR2 memory at speeds of DDR 1066/800/667/533. 1066 given the currently high end AM2+ CPUs. When looking at it there is one key problem. Cluttered. The bottom right is really damn cluttered and anyone can tell. On this part of the board, we have our one IDE connector as well as our SATA connectors. The southbridge controls the IDE and the four black SATA controllers and supports SATAII and RAID in 0,1 and 0+1 configurations. The two red connectors and eSATA port are controlled by the Marvell 6121 and 6111 controller, which also supports RAID 0 and 1.
· Windows XP2
· ASUS Board (Obviously)
· 3 gigs RAM DDR2 Corsair
As you look at the results of the Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard compared to the AMD 690G chipset, we see that overall it performs better in most of our testing. There was not a huge difference in any of the scores, other than the ScienceMark benchmark where the Asus board shows a 14% increase over the 690G board. Overall, the Asus 790FX board looks to be a decent board for an upgrade of your system. We will have to see how this plays out with a Phenom CPU on each board.
If: You like good spacing, Great I/O Slots, Decent BIOS settings
If: You hate limited capability in flexibility clocks.
NVIDIA originally claims the 680i SLI chipset will support all 45nm dual-core and quad-core processors, but that came to an end when Intel made some changes on their latest stepping on their 45nm quad-core Yorkfield processors. NVIDIA has refined their BIOS for overclocking as they have added half multipliers to the mix, which allows you to better dial in your overclock. They have also some newer software revisions for NVIDIA control panel and system monitor. The new hardware features include 3-way SLI support with 3 full x16 lanes, which is great for those that have $1500+ to spend on three GeForce 8800 GTX or Ultra graphics cards. Finally the 780i is here.
Sadly, the NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI motherboard is an evolutionary advancement, not a revolutionary one. It adds features like support of 45nm Intel quad-core processors, which are not optional when you make a high end enthusiast board. NVIDIA is sure to sell many of these boards because they have an ace in their pocket that they love to have. When it comes to performance between the 680i and 780i our testing showed that a significant difference couldn’t be seen , but the 780i has the edge.
Long Simple Test
Sandra XII SP1 64-bit showed that the 780i motherboard held it is own when compared to the Intel X38 Express and NVIDIA 680i SLI chipsets. The 780i SLI was king of the hill when it comes to memory bandwidth thanks on the 45nm Yorkfield based QQX9650 quad-core processor. When it came to the 680i and the 780i with a Core 2 Duo processor a significant difference could not be found.
When it comes to the actual chipset, it is amazing that NVIDA has been able to use the 680i/780i for so long. The NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI MCP is built on TSMC’s 90nm process technology, and contains the same exact micro-architecture as the NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI MCP. Eventually NVIDIA will have to design a new chipset to support even more features like 1600MHz FSB processors, DDR3 memory modules, and native PCI Express 2.0 graphics. Either way, let’s see what happens.
If: I like Speed..Decent Overclocking…Price
If: I hate slower clock times…lesser quality components