Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 £190
21st Sep 2011 | 08:30
An expensive AMD 990FX-based motherboard with high specs to match
This high-end Gigabyte 990FX motherboard actually represents something quite new from the Taiwanese manufacturer; namely a high-price, high-performance AMD motherboard.
Gigabyte has obviously long-supported the AMD side of the PC world, but until now hadn't released a serious top-end product in that market.
The GA-990FXA-UD7 is most definitely a serious board. Like the Asus Sabertooth 990FX, this board supports SLI as well as the standard CrossFire setups. In this UD7 trim we're talking about full four-way SLI support too.
The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 retains the SATA 6Gbps support from 8 series boards, and Gigabyte has made full use of this by including 8 SATA 3 ports.
Rival motherboard the Asus Sabertooth 990FX isn't really leaving anyone wanting by including just six SATA 3 and two SATA 2 ports, but it's worth bearing in mind when figuring out why the Gigabyte board is pricier.
Sadly, there's no native USB 3.0 support as many were hoping. It's still handled by an onboard controller limiting the number of ports. It has just four USB 3.0 ports and 14 USB 2.0 ports.
Gigabyte's board looks great too, which is a pleasant surprise after its gimmicky Assassin enthusiast range.
Fitting any cooler shouldn't be a problem and despite cramming four GPUs into its little beige mouths, it's less of a space hog than some four-way SLI boards we've seen.
CPU video encoding performance
X246 v4: Frames per second: Higher is better
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX: 33
Asus M5A99X EVO: 33
Asus RoG Crosshair V: 33
Asus Sabertooth 990FX: 32
Gigabyte 970A-UD3: 33
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H: 33
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7: 33
MSI 970A-G45: 33
CPU rendering performance
Cinebench 11.5: Index score: Higher is better
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX: 5.86
Asus M5A99X EVO: 5.86
Asus RoG Crosshair V: 5.86
Asus Sabertooth 990FX: 5.72
Gigabyte 970A-UD3: 5.78
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H: 5.83
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7: 5.74
MSI 970A-G45: 5.71
So, if you've got around £200 to spend on a motherboard, and you want a high bang for buck ratio, the bucks, if you can chuck in the extra few, must go to the Gigabyte board.
The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 justifies its price tag with its performance, tons of ports and four-way SLI.