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GIGABYTE > 
Item#: N82E16813128412

4 out of 5 eggs good board--some trade-offs 12/01/2010

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros:

- Solid, well-made motherboard. Has a good look and feel to it.
- Extensive feature set, including separate chips (i.e. other than the Intel P55 chipset) to support USB 3.0 and SATA-6Mb/s (but see limitations below.)
- Many BIOS options for tweaking and overclocking.
- Works well, with no issues, under Win 7 (64-bit).

Cons:

The motherboard has some limitations and trade-offs:
- According to the manual, the primary graphics slot (PCIe-16) will run at half speed (x8) if either the USB-3.0 or SATA-6 Mb/s controllers are in use, _and_ set to use PCIe Gen 2, instead of Gen 1. Having support for these features is nice but, if you use it, you'll hamstring graphics performance. I have a 1Tb Caviar Black (6mb/s.) But my thought is that you only pay once for the game load time, but you pay all the time for hampered graphics. With this limitation, I'm likely to never use the USB3 or SATA6, so those features are a waste.
- Items discussed here were confirmed by Gigabyte tech support, but the process was more painful than it needed to be. First, they came back with stock/canned answers. Then, when they finally addressed my questions, they were difficult (but not impossible) to understand, as their English replies were either translated, or just "rusty".

Other Thoughts:

Be aware:
- MB does not support SLI (Crossfire only.)
- Secondary PCIe-16 slot only runs at x4 speed with Crossfire enabled. (I don't know if this would hamper Crossfire performance or not.)
- I have a Core i5-760 CPU in the motherboard, and the design of the retail-packaged heat-sink, and integration into the motherboard, is really terrible. Heat-sink uses four split plastic clips, each with a central plastic locking pin, to secure it to the motherboard. I was never able to really secure the heat sink properly, so that it would provide decent cooling. After tinkering with it for a while, I replaced it with a Hyper-212+, which screws in to a metal backing to make a solid connection. CPU idle temp dropped from 40C to 17C!

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  • Chris D.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year


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Item#: N82E16813128412
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