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Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 Motherboard Review

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Old 11-08-11, 08:45 AM Thread Starter   #1
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Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 Motherboard Review



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Today we're back with another high end motherboard featuring AMD's 990FX / SB950 chipset: the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7. The last 990FX board we looked at was the ASUS Crosshair V Formula, which was quite impressive; does the UD7 have what it takes to compete? Let's find out!
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Old 11-08-11, 09:07 AM   #2
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I just wanted to put a note in the first comment that Gigabyte does not yet know when Revision 1.1 will be available in the US. If they let us know that information, we'll definitely edit the review, but as of right now only Revision 1.0 is available.

EDIT - Inserting clarification as to why this board did not receive an award:

Basically, it is my opinion that this board was not good enough to be "Approved", but that it also was not bad enough to be "meh."

It doesn't deserve a "meh." because on its own merits, the board is solid and does what it purports to do pretty well. There are issues, but like I said in the review, nobody's going to blame you if you choose this board.

It also doesn't deserve an "Approved" because it isn't priced right for the simple reason it doesn't live up to its competition. When the review was written, the UD7 was a mere $5 less than the Crosshair V Formula. IMHO, the Cross V is the superior board.
  • Its power section holds voltage even under LinX, which the UD7 does not.
  • It does not have some weird clock throttling problem, which hopefully will be addressed in a BIOS from Gigabyte but has not to date. They are aware of the problem and rather than hold the review they said go ahead and publish it.
  • Gigabyte's Easytune 6 doesn't even get close to ASUS' AISuite.
  • For those that use extreme cooling, CloudOC requires tinkering with a firewall to get to the computer in the first place. Those that do bench under extreme conditions often don't install network drivers, which isn't possible when you have to use the Cloud to OC.

It's not a long list and somewhat nit-picking, but it all adds up to a board that is decent on its own, but not as good as its competition at the same price point.

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Old 11-08-11, 09:43 AM   #3
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Nice review.

The new revision sure seems the way to go! I wonder if Gigabyte is planning on offering a new updated revision for the UD5? If so the lower price point of that board with corrected vdroop options would offer another choice for those considering AMD.

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Old 11-08-11, 01:17 PM   #4
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I have this mobo with BIOS version F6. I have overclocked my Phenom II 945 from 3.0GHz to 3.6GHz and ran Prime95 blend test for 14 hours with no problems. The vdroop issue doesn't appear to affect my overclock stability at all. It may for more extreme overclocks, but mine has been very stable thus far.
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Old 11-08-11, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wufei View Post
I have this mobo with BIOS version F6. I have overclocked my Phenom II 945 from 3.0GHz to 3.6GHz and ran Prime95 blend test for 14 hours with no problems. The vdroop issue doesn't appear to affect my overclock stability at all. It may for more extreme overclocks, but mine has been very stable thus far.
The 945 should be fine as a quad core. It's hex- and octo- core CPUs that really pull it down. I've seen several people report being fine with quads.

Even with six and eight core CPUs, it's not that Vdroop affects stability; you can always add more voltage so that the loaded voltage is what you need it to be. My issue is that the massive Vdroop forces you to run much higher voltages than you should need for 24/7 use at idle. With LLC, that's a non-issue and you can set it such that you can run the same idle voltage as loaded voltage.

Then, yes, for extreme overclocking that Vdroop is a big problem. When you're running 1.8V for benching, you don't want to have to run 1.9V+ just to get 1.8V loaded, you want what you set to be what you get, idle and loaded.

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Old 11-08-11, 01:41 PM   #6
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Okay so no worries for me then. Great review by the way... I've had this board for about a month now and have been very happy with it. Looks awesome inside my NZXT Phantom.
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Old 11-08-11, 01:52 PM   #7
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Great review as usual hokie. Very informative about how this board reacts with certain CPU's and the vdroop.

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Old 11-08-11, 03:04 PM   #8
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It was mentioned I might want to clarify the reason this board received no award, which is a very valid concern. It should have been done in the review, but we have comments that appear on the front page, so it's not that bad. I'll edit this into the first comment too.

Basically, it is my opinion that this board was not good enough to be "Approved", but that it also was not bad enough to be "meh."

It doesn't deserve a "meh." because on its own merits, the board is solid and does what it purports to do pretty well. There are issues, but like I said in the review, nobody's going to blame you if you choose this board.

It also doesn't deserve an "Approved" because it isn't priced right for the simple reason it doesn't live up to its competition. When the review was written, the UD7 was a mere $5 less than the Crosshair V Formula. IMHO, the Cross V is the superior board.
  • Its power section holds voltage even under LinX, which the UD7 does not.
  • It does not have some weird clock throttling problem, which hopefully will be addressed in a BIOS from Gigabyte but has not to date. They are aware of the problem and rather than hold the review they said go ahead and publish it.
  • Gigabyte's Easytune 6 doesn't even get close to ASUS' AISuite.
  • For those that use extreme cooling, CloudOC requires tinkering with a firewall to get to the computer in the first place. Those that do bench under extreme conditions often don't install network drivers, which isn't possible when you have to use the Cloud to OC.

It's not a long list and somewhat nit-picking, but it all adds up to a board that is decent on its own, but not as good as its competition at the same price point.

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I.M.O.G. - "Vaseline on Ivy Bridge is a bad idea. But not so bad of an idea that it can't be fixed with a torpedo heater, a dishwasher, an oven, and a few hours. "

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Old 11-08-11, 03:33 PM   #9
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Mehprroved?

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Old 11-08-11, 03:47 PM   #10
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So no green stamp of approval?

Superb review as usual Jeremy

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Old 11-08-11, 03:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
Mehprroved?
I can agree with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brolloks View Post
So no green stamp of approval?

Superb review as usual Jeremy
Nope, not this time (see post #8).

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Old 11-08-11, 04:40 PM   #12
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I trust your findings will go back to Gigabyte to help them make it right with the next revision

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Old 11-08-11, 04:43 PM   #13
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Yep, they already know about the LinX Vdroop and clock throttling. I didn't specifically tell them about Easytune 6, but presumably they know that was a hack job compared to their Intel boards.

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I.M.O.G. - "Vaseline on Ivy Bridge is a bad idea. But not so bad of an idea that it can't be fixed with a torpedo heater, a dishwasher, an oven, and a few hours. "

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Old 11-08-11, 06:33 PM   #14
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Thank you, a very good reviw.

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Old 11-26-11, 11:31 PM   #15
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I own this board and am quite disappointed in Gigabyte. No LLC options, no UEFI and no XMP RAM profiles. Other boards have these features so why not this borad? It shouldn't take a new revision to fix these issues either, BIOS updates are needed. I have emailed Gigabyte about all this and hope I get a positive response. I'm seriously considering an ASRock or ASUS board

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Old 11-27-11, 08:51 AM   #16
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Unfortunately it's apparently not something that can be addressed with a BIOS update. Otherwise, when I asked for one they'd have sent something other than a diagram for a hard mod. Your response will probably be something along the lines of 'Gigabyte has designed the Vdroop on this board per AMD's specifications.'

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I.M.O.G. - "Vaseline on Ivy Bridge is a bad idea. But not so bad of an idea that it can't be fixed with a torpedo heater, a dishwasher, an oven, and a few hours. "

\m/ OverClockers mATX L33T Club \m/ - Join Now! - My mITX Build
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